I haven't had a single piece in with a Christmas deadline as yet. I am pretty busy for being the "new guy" in town but it has been regular framing, well, except for the 40x59 Thai wall hanging that I finished this afternoon.
I hope that these folks don't all wait 'till the 18th to get their holiday framing done!!
Christmas? It's Christmas time? You'd never know it from our customers. I had a couple of people in late this week wanting Hanakkah (sp?) gifts. Only 2-4 with actual Christmas deadlines. Thursday and Friday were busy for this time of year, but today I had 2 whole orders in 8 hours. Go figure!
I've been framing Christmas and non Christmas items. I had customers coming in before Thanksgiving asking if there was still time to frame something for CHristmas.
I will take in orders right until Christmas Eve.
Of course the options are more limited at that point but it's all business to me.
I'm planning to change the message on my marquis sign on the road every few days between now and December 24th. Just keep 'em coming and spending!
I've been here until at least 10:00 every night for two weeks, and back by 8:30 - 9:00 in the morning. A lot of gotta have before ... (something). It seems there are a lot of baby showers, and other family gatherings that the houses need sprucing up for! Everything seems to be a rush. I've had a fair number of Christmas orders, but many have been in more of a rush than that!
Of course, I have developed a pattern of delivering in less than 2 weeks for "non-stock" items and less than 3 days for in stock selections. Everyone else around here is quoting 4 - 6 weeks and taking all of it. I still quote 2 1/2 to 3 weeks, but rarely take that long. Seems to be a winning stategy for word-of-mouth!
Cliff, it sounds like your customers are more on the ball than most!
It baffles me when I take in a wedding sampler, finished two weeks ahead of time, and it is during the Christmas season. Those people are waaay scary, they are so efficient! I have also had more framing done for house beautification before parties than actual gifts, so far. Interesting.
I imagine your turnaround reputation is helping with biz! Keep up the good work, and let's hope your procrastinating customers don't come in on Dec. 22!
I took a couple of orders the day before Christmas the last two years. It all depends on my work load. If they come in and I don't have anything in the "right now" queue, I'll give it a shot. It usually gets you way more in word-of-mouth and good-will than the money you make. But, in stock stuff, usually purchased in bulk and no discounts, means a pretty good margin too!
I'll take orders up until the 23rd. No discounts and possibly a rush charge. Last year I worked from 6:00am on the 23rd until 4:00pm on the 24th when I locked the doors. Then went home and fried a turkey for Christmas dinner. Doesn't get much better than 34 hours of framing followed by a nice juicy fried turkey
November was good, December started slow, but now I am going insane. This is my one break today. Lunch and looking for happiness in some mindless internet surfing.
FWIW, in 15 years of framing I have never had a cutoff. They have to take what I have when it gets too close, and I'll work around the clock to do it, but I've taken orders even on Christmas Eve. Well, except for this year. I've decided to stop being insane and make the executive decision to close the shop on Christmas Eve. Yay me.
I guess the BB cutoff is finally having an effect on my shop - people come tippy-toeing in and ask very meekly "If, by any slight chance, there is any possibility..." and I say OF COURSE - BRING IT ON!!!
I am averaging two or three customers per day with 2-4 items to be framed each which for me is a Christmas RUSH!!! Yippee!
These are MOSTLY regular customers but I am glad to say also some NEW ones!!!
And I have seen a number of neighborhood strollers-by stopping to read my "ad clock" in the window!
Still no snow here - it has been warmish and drizzley for days!
Every month this year has been better than last year; but honestly the December business is running in fits and starts. Three days a week I'll have limited customers; and the other days are customers with many pieces where money doesn't seem to be an issue. Tuesday I delivered 13 pieces and yesterday a new customer came in (referral) with 7 pieces... knew exactly what she wanted and was in and out in 20 minutes. I've somewhat changed my work flow and have a better handle than ever on the orders, but I think next week will be a killer one.
This has been a very strange holiday selling season. Took in 13 jobs on Friday (only two for Christmas). Saturday was our Christmas parade and the shop was busy alllll day long. The artist/graphic designer I share space with, sold 3 oil paintings, and numerous old photos that she's reprinted of the Clayton area. All came to me for the framing following Gail finishing up w/them. By the end of the day, I had taken in 23 jobs but only 3 for Christmas. Looks like January is gonna be a BIG month!