The Ivy Cottage Journal
I thought I would post this here as we are getting a huge amount of messages, comments, e-mails and so on.
We know our orders are behind, we know a lot of you have got in touch and we havent got back to you yet and we are sorry for this. We just do not seem to have enough hours in the day.
We do everything in the business, buy (and collect in recent cases) all the wood, cut the wood, stain the wood, paint, print or laser the wood. Answer the phone, messages via e-mail, on social media and it is a LOT. We are overwhelmed. If we answer messages, and the phone we are not making orders and this just seems to make the situation worse.
Throw into the mix illness, Im not taking sniffles for a few days, I am takling strep throat, Covid, Wisom Teeth flaring up and removed. As a family business, we not only work together to get all your lovely orders out, we are each others family support network. If one of us is ill, the other steps in with childcare, and so on.
After a full 6 weeks of illness, we are both hopefully back, this does mean that we are way behind where we want to be, but we are trying to manage this.
We usually make orders in the order they were placed, we have always done it this way for the last nine years and on the whole it has worked lovely.
Not so much when you have gone from a team of 5 to a team of 1 and a half. So on the 10th June we made the decision to proritise orders via event date, this means we could work on the ones that needed to be produced first, we needed understanding from our customers that this was the best way to manage orders and help everyone get there things in time.
We could then schedule our workload to do this. We sent e-mails to all customers on the 10th of June just letting you know all this (please check your junk as it did contain an image :-) )
We have also taken the decision that we cannot accept any more hand painted orders for this year, our print and laser items are available as they are much easier to produce, but hand painted items take so much of our time and we dont want to rush them so our order books are closed. This will also help us get our orders all finished and with you.
We also need to look at how and when we can realistically answer everybody, we dont want anyone to feel ignored it just ends up making a stressful situation for all of us :-0
So we have a ticketing system, which collects all our messages into one place, so if you e-mail studio@theivycottage, or message via facebook or instagram you will be in our system and we can answer you quickly.
We ask that you please get in touch with us in this way, comments on posts are not always seen and the studio gets really noisy with all the machines running, and we cannot leave them unattended, which all makes it really hard to get to the phone.
We are dedicating time to answering all your messages as soon as we open the studio each weekday morning then we will check and answer again each evening hopefully this will give us time to make sure you wait no longer than 24 hours before you hear from us. I know this is not ideal but it means that we can protect the hours that we spend making and a balance of answering you all without it being a mammoth task.
We love making all your wedding items and hearing about your plans for your big days, The last couple of years have been tough on all of us, and I know we run on empty a lot of the times as I am sure lots of you do, all we ask if for a little kindness, and understanding we are two people trying to make the best of a rubbish situation, but we do value you all as customers and look forward to when we are back up and running at 100%.