Where is My Bear?

So, I’ve gotten quite a few emails (actually TONS) from alot of you wondering where your bear is. I understand. I truly do. Now, this is the process I’m working on now. The first part of the day, I work on a bear that was made to order and it gets boxed and sent out. My mailman shows up at 4:30. The second part of the day I work on a bear to sell right away. At this point, I have no choice. I mean, I have no money. And I have to sell one bear a day to keep things afloat. Rent, electric, more polyfil. So, alot of people are upset that I seem to work up a bear and then sell it, when they haven’t received theirs yet. I totally get that, but the reality is, I have to keep selling. Another crinkle in the scenario is that I get some rather angry people who say, “Send me bear now, or else.” And I have to oblige, even though someone further down the list hasn’t received theirs. Someone who has been waiting longer writes me and says someone they know got their bear before they did, but I seemed to have skipped them.

So, there is a lot of….geez, I dunno. I’m trying to make everyone happy, but pissing everyone off at the same time. I’m not sure what to do. I have wrestled with the idea of charging more, so I wouldn’t have to work as hard….but that’s a risk that could turn people away. At this point, I have to sell 30 bears a month to settle my bills. And that’s not just rent and utilities, that’s also food, boxes, poyfil, and postage. I’m not trying to whine, or bestow a pity party, I’m just asking you what you want me to do? I mean….I’m asking you, what do you want me to do? Right now I’m working on Kathi Ganz’s panda and at the same time, working on a bear to sell for tomorrow. Because that is the reality. I have to sell another one tomorrow. Actually, I now have to sell 3 tomorrow. So, I know people are confused, and angry, and I’m…..

I just….I don’t know what ya’ll want me to do. I want to do right by everyone. So, I just need to know how to do that.




  1. Whatever makes YOU happy. I would hope most people buying your bears understand and support your situation. If I ordered a bear and had to wait a long time to get it, i would be overjoyed on the day it came. I would know the effort and love and care that you had taken to make sure that bear got to me. And anyone that gives you grief doesn’t deserve one of your bears. Who is taking care of you?

  2. I’m so sorry you’re in this difficult place. Is there a way for you to set up variable prices? Like set a minimum of 30$ but allow people to pay you more if they wish? I’ve seen it done in some places but maybe the set up for it would be too expensive.

  3. You can only do the best you can do, and it sounds like that is exactly what you’re doing. I’ve been following your story for a while, and I know, going into it, that when I eventually can manage to order myself a bear, yes, I’ll have to wait a while for it. I don’t think there’s any surprise to that. And yours is a unique situation in some ways. There has to be an understanding that if you can’t keep a roof over your head, there will be NO bears to ship. As a wise fish once said, “just keep swimming….” It will get there.

    As a side note, a long while back in a post you mentioned you were in need, or would like, a camera so you can take more of your own bear photos. Do you still need one? I have a spare older model digital that I am not in need of. I’m local and would happily ship it to you.

  4. I’m not pissed off at you and I truly appreciate this post. I understand completely. The day will come when I open my mailbox to your lovely boxed bear or I’ll answer my door to the postman and I will be elated. Until then, I’ll live with the anticipation and the knowledge that you are working as hard as you possibly can under difficult circumstances, hopefully happily. ❤

  5. Deep cleansing breaths…it’s late and you need to take a break. It will get done, and all will be clearer in the morning. Just a reminder to your readers, buy patterns &/or ebook, too! (I did.) Consider putting up your donation link again. 🙂

  6. I’m realistic, people want what they paid for. If they bought the bear thinking they’d get it in a timely manner and it comes late, yeah that’s going to put a lot of people off. They won’t buy from you anymore. That causes a loss in income, added to the fact that you know they won’t be singing your praises to potential customers. That’s a huge loss in business. All you can do is make the custom orders as fast as you can, and communicate to future customers that the bear will take about a month to send out. Make sure they are aware there is a long wait before cash changes hands! I do a lot of custom orders and that’s the only way to do it. If you live off the money knitting brings, unhappy customers will destroy you. After awhile you may have to recruit help in making your bears. At least long enough to catch up.

  7. When I bought my bear, it was posted as boxed and ready to ship but it was still weeks. That frustrated me a little bit but in the end, he was well worth the wait and half of my purpose was to offer support to someone if felt could use it. I wonder if you couldn’t arrange some kind of “expected date” system? The bears that are premade, ship ASAP-no excuses. Custom or individual orders get an expected ship date that you can meet. If you are able to ship earlier, then SURPRISE! 🙂

    1. I agree Melanie! An expected ship date, or even just a “bears in queue” total like someone suggested further down would go a long way to soothing grumbly customers. 🙂

  8. Maybe one thing you could do is let everyone know how many bears there are in the queue (not necessarily where individual people sit in this queue) and also give a weekly update of how many bears were shipped out? Let your readers know how you are progressing, we know that you work really hard but for those who are anxious about where their bear is maybe this could help them see that their bear is getting closer? Ps love the bears! They are wonderful!!

    1. Laura, I was just about to suggest that! I have seen spinning wheel makers who post a list with first name and last initial letting folks know where they stand in the queue. Spinning wheel makers will sometimes have waiting lists that are years long! Also, the donate button and patterns and ebook are good ways to get some cash in so that the pressure is off a bit to generate new sales so you can concentrate on back orders. Good luck, deep breath and take care.

  9. Exactly what Andrea Squared said:) Oh, and what Laura said, too! I have to make sketches for my job. I get really behind on them sometimes. Other stuff, like current orders, takes priority. But, the people waiting for their sketch don’t know that, and I’ve found that a quick little, “Here’s what’s up” note does the trick. They know I’m not blowing them off, and I feel better knowing they are in the loop.

  10. I love the bear I bought from you, I think it’s really wonderful that you are sharing your creativity and mad knitting skills. However, I wasn’t as thrilled to reorder or spread the word due to lack of communication. When I paid the invoice, I didn’t receive a reply from you that it was received. Even just a quick email stating, “Thank you for your payment/purchase, I will send your bear out as soon as possible, please know that the wait can sometimes take up to 30 days/60days… etc”. And then let them know when you sent the bear out, “Your bear was mailed today/date, enjoy!” or something along those lines. Short and brief updates are better than no response at all. It was the lack of any communication on your part that was confusing. A customer shouldn’t have to contact you first to get those basic answers. Please don’t take this as negative criticism, it’s just advice on keeping customers coming back. Good luck with continued fabulous bear-making!

  11. Hello 🙂

    Firstly, I think your bears are absolutely gorgeous! A couple of times I’ve clicked on the “buy me now” option when you’ve posted a new bear, but alas I’ve never been the first one in line. I do have a couple of suggestions, mostly advice wearing my “professional hat” from my real world job.

    Firstly, is there a way you can stop taking orders temporarily whilst you catch up? That way, it gives you a chance to catch up, and then people will get their bears in a timely manner.

    If this is not an option, I’m thinking you can probably quite accurately calculate “when” somebody will get their bear. If you make one a day, and you currently have a queue of say 20, you could say “your bear will be posted in 4 weeks”. I’m guessing people would be much happier with an actual date, even if that date is somewhat in the future – than not knowing when their bear will arrive at all. That way, if somebody is planning to buy a bear for a niece’s birthday in 6 weeks, and your site says the bear will be posted in 4, they will know they are safe to put the order in.

    I know I’ve said it already, but your bears are gorgeous. Kindest regards, Terri.

    1. I think this is probably the most viable way right here ^. It’s hard as an artist to want to just do the “job” part of it and do the orders and not anything else. Sometimes the creative heart wants free reign. I think if it were me, I would do the orders first. I’d put out a couple of bears a day because it sounds like these are people who already paid for their bears. It would make sense that they would come first as it’s paid for. Then when the urge is high, make a random one just to sell. It’s really not fair to make ones to sell off now while others have paid and are waiting.

      We know you need to survive somehow though. I’m not sure what else to suggest there if the ordered bears are somehow backing up and the money is already gone and done. I would definitely stop taking orders at the moment, though, and use the time to catch up even if you’re doing a daily bear to sell. I haven’t bought one because I’m broke and struggling as it is. I just read and support fully what you’re doing. I like the post that says communication would be helpful. The other option is they pay part of it up front and the other part later when the bear is delivered.

  12. Hi I also understand the points you make but it would be helpful if we knew this. I ordered my bear in October last year and have heard nothing, not even a reply to an e mail. I’m not pissed off either but it would have been better to have received a message to say that I’m on a list and will get one eventually. Thanks for replying through the blog though. I’m reassured now x

  13. Sounds like you’re caught in a catch-22, but hopefully, the suggestions above will help. I know I’d be more patient if I knew how many bears are queued up to be knitted, and an approximate ETA for mine.
    I seem to have a technical problem when trying to buy your bear patterns through Ravelry or Craftsy… my payment info gets rejected, or the order doesn’t go in so payment doesn’t go out. Is there a way for you to check on that, and maybe let people buy directly through Ravelry? I’ll knit my own bear then… and have only myself to blame for wait time.

  14. Maybe charge a little more for people who want theirs in more of a hurry? It’s great that you want to hold your price steady, but if you’re swamped with more orders than you can keep up and you’re barely making ends meet, I think you’re justified in raising your price a little bit somewhere.

  15. As I see it, you’re doing about the only thing you can right now.
    One, you make each of these bears by yourself, hand knit, not machine knit, not farmed out to someone else and passed off as made by you, not done in China or anywhere else.
    Two, making anything by hand takes a certain amount of time. A person can only knit so fast (I suspect you knit pretty fast), so there is only so much that can be done in each day. There is also the assembly, again, by hand, again, time consuming.
    Three, it would seem that boosting your price for the make and sell bears might just be necessary. If you’re not getting at least your materials, postage and your time, you’re giving them away. Sad tho it is, your time counts for something and you have to charge for it.
    I wish people would stop and think. Part of the problem is that we’ve been spoiled with this instant gratification crap. Buy something on Amazon, or eBay or whatever website and you’ve got it in a week to ten days at most. All that stuff is already in stock. Unless you can build up a stock and have someplace to keep it, I suspect you’re going to continue having people upset. Maybe you need to let them know there is a minimum of a certain period of time wait before they can even begin to look for their bear to be shipped.
    You’re a good person, Gregory. You’re trying your best and getting reamed for it. That’s just wrong. Maybe if you’re behind more than six months on your orders you should offer to refund the purchase price, I do realize that would be a major hardship, but maybe you have to do that with the ones that are screaming the loudest.
    Hang in there and don’t forget to breathe deep, calm yourself and knit like mad.
    All the best.

  16. I am happy to continue to wait for my bear – it is, after all a treat, not a necessity. However,I think you are kind of hurting yourself by not charging enough. If you raised your cost even a little I suspect that folks would still happpily purchase them.

    Brightest blessings and best of luck!

  17. I’m happy to wait until my bear arrives, I know he will arrive eventually and that will be a happy day. I do agree with Terri, perhaps put a temporary stop to people being able to order and pay for a bear until you catch up, then just sell them as you make them. You could sell them the way “Little Cotton Rabbits” does and people go into a ballot to purchase completed bears? Keep up the good work and take some time to take care of yourself too 🙂

  18. I haven’t ordered a bear from you, but I do admire them & follow your page. A month ago I gave a half deposit for a hand made felt cat (that will look like my own real cat) knowing full well that the artist wouldn’t start work on it until august/sept. She was upfront about the waiting times, and I appreciated that. Special handmade works are worth waiting for- but you MUST give the buyer an accurate time frame.

  19. People will still buy your bears if you charge more for them. I believe you wrote in a blog a while ago you had stopped taking orders while you catch up on the backlog. Maybe once you’re caught up, the way to proceed is to not take orders and just sell what you knit on a daily basis. Whenever you post a bear for sale it’s always gone before I can get to it. Just a thought. The ideas posted by others about communicating with those who have ordered are good ones. People just need to know what’s going on. Good luck!

  20. I completely agree with everyone who is saying communication is the key. It’s actually more important to set aside some administration time each day than it is to knit. Updates and acknowledgements keep people happy and allow you to be less stressed so that you can get on.
    People who care about you won’t order bears at the moment in order in order to be supportive and allow you to catch up but estimated genuine delivery times etc will allow people to feel comfortable to put their order in and thereby keep your cash flow flowing.

  21. I’m one who sent an email, but not an angry one. I just wanted to make sure there wasn’t a problem with my order. I am not trying to press you. I’ll wait. I’m going to order more, too, for Christmas presents. So do what you must to make your rent and I’ll be ordering sooner rather than later. Take it one day (and 2 bears) at a time. Love to you. It’ll all work out.

  22. I would like to think that you could stop taking orders, and simply sell bears that you make on a daily basis. For me, your bears are like Comme Il Faut tango shoes. Each pair is handmade, and so each is slightly different, and the same fabric or pattern is only used for a small amount of pairs. Let it be your expression, and not someone else’s demand.
    Of course, I don’t know if you feel like you have the following for that… I like to think that you do.

  23. In my opinion you need to stop taking orders and make and sell a bear a day. Complete the orders you have in the manner you are doing but not take new ones.

  24. Are you doing a list of income orders? How about list all the orders with date and contact date. Once a forthight you can then send out information emails to those whose orders will be delayed. As far as I can tell from the posts people are willing to wait. So, it’s more a matter of information, I assume. Pick a certain time, like every Saturday morning, 2-3 hrs to write a status update to your customers. They will appreciate, I’m sure. Creative work does not follow schedules though – it can be a hard business as all the others. Cheer up and don’t stress yourself too much. Just keep being organized (a little tiny bit :-))

  25. Hi Gregory – I ordered a bear because 1) I wanted one because they were so adorable and 2) it would be helping you out. I also knew it would take a l-o-n-g time and I’m patient. I also know people can be nasty. So knit away, my friend. This isn’t helpful advice in anyway but rest assured this teddy bear wait-er isn’t having a fit. 🙂

  26. Hun, you have to do what you have to to support yourself. I think everyone should understand your strategy for doing this. I know I would. You have to give yourself a break from time to time so you can stay focused. Keep your chin and your hook up! You are doing fine dear! Keep checking in, I love to hear from you. You ever want to chat, I’m a late nighter!

  27. Catches like this suck. Don’t they? I’m currently working about 2 months out. I have to tell people asking for pieces that when they ask. Some are okay with waiting; some are not. I do what I can. I often get so worked up, I skip sleeping and sew till my wrist swells up. I had this whole plan of “getting ahead” over the late winter and early spring. Reality squashed that pretty flat. So, I’m rolling into the season where sewing & sales = food & rent. The good news is I’m slowly getting the hang of it, figuring out those non-art details and making it work. I’m sure you will too. The business end is just an odd duck.
    Just keep communicating.
    Oh, it would be so cute if someone graphic art inclined could make you an adorable “bears in queue illustration”.

  28. I think the idea of charging more for the ones that are immediately available would help you out financially. That way you can see how much people are willing to pay for immediate gratification and a sweet bear. Also, not taking any more orders until you catch up on the backlog would probably be a good thing, then maybe you could move to just selling as you have completed a bear. Perhaps that would take some of the pressure off.

  29. Greg, don’t stress. As I have said before I am willing to wait because I know it’s a handmade item and you just can’t pull them out of your bum on request. I have ordered two and I am patiently waiting, I know the bears I ordered will be lovely. I agree with nevertrustahappyblog, make a list and post it, update it and that will keep people happy so they know you are trying. Put a hold on ordering bears that are not made and just sell what you are making. That way it will give you time to ship out ones you have made. It will help you to sell more and ship out backlogged ones as well. Talk to Linda at Dyakcraft, they had the same problem. There is a wait for the needles they sell. I knew that going into it with them and I waited almost a year for a set of handmade needles, which by the way were worth the wait. Just keep going and let the negative roll off your back like water on a duck. Keep going and you will be fine.

  30. I was at a talk one time given by a very well-to-do gallery owner in my area. She said, artists ask her all the time, “How do I price my work?” She said, “Price it as low as you can at first and raise your prices as the demand increases. If you price too high at the beginning, you don’t know whether or not your work is not selling based on price or if people like it or not.” My unsolicited advice to you is this, if you cannot keep up with the demand for your bears, you need to increase your price for them. Keep your head up! You are doing good work here!

  31. Hopefully people will calm down. They have to realize that you’re one person and that you are doing the best you can and that one day they will receive this awesome handmade bear. As my knitting guru, Elizabeth Zimmerman said. “Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crisis.” 🙂

  32. My own 2c would be to sell the custom bears at a slightly higher price, and with the ‘you’ll have to wait for this’ caveat. People pay more for just about any custom-ordered item, whether it be a tailored suit, made-to-measure curtains, or a just-so piece of art. Doing this seems to cover all three bases; you’re charging a bit more (for some items), you’re still doing your off-the-peg bears for immediate sale, and people can still order something custom made and specific–provided they’re willing to pay a bit more and wait a bit longer.

  33. I am still waiting also. I like the list idea so people can see that their name is moving up. I am a quilter with a full time J.O.B. and it does take time to get items completed. I understand. Some people want instant gratification and those are really hard to deal with. Just keep on doing what your doing and we will all get out bears when they are finished. Daizy in Alabama

  34. You do what you can when you can. People need to learn patience. You are one person and you need time to rest those wrists and hands or you won’t be knitting. You’ll be wearing wrist splints and that ain’t fun!

  35. You really should charge more. The bears are so worth it and so is your time. Also just keep in touch with your customers a bit more and keep on knitting! You should try and not let these people stress you so much, you do not want to reach a place where you do not want to knit.

  36. I agree with all the other comments. I’ve been waiting a long time for my bear, and I understand that’s because they’re hand made. But communication and a updated ETA would be very nice. I don’t know if I’m a few weeks away or a few months.
    And you really do need to charge more. Yes, you might get less business because of it… but that’s actually the point. If you could make fewer bears to earn the same amount of money, you wouldn’t need as many orders each month and you wouldn’t have as much trouble keeping up.
    Figure out how many orders you average each month right now. Increase your price 25% and see how many orders you get each month at the new price. If it doesn’t reduce, you’ve made more money AND you can try another 25% increase in price. Keep doing that until you see a reduction in orders. If the new quantity of orders at the new price doesn’t equal enough money, reduce the price by 25% and see how that works out.
    But remember: the goal isn’t the number of SALES you can make, it’s the number of BEARS you can make and the income those bears will earn. Selling more than you can produce is where you are right now, and it’s the problem, not the solution.

  37. As someone who has bought and received several bears from you, I think this is the best solution and a good one. I don’t know what you are charging for your ready-to-ship bears, but I hope it’s more money than ones we wait for. At least $45 – $50. I would buy one at that price.

  38. Not sure if I was posted . A list would be a good idea. I am still waiting for an order I placed at Christmas. I just want to be assured others have waited this long. Being patient, just want to know where I stand

  39. Dear Gregory

    I have sent you a donation of $20, hope this helps towards the rent.

    Keep calm and keep your spirits up.

    Love Kate

  40. Good Morning, Sweet Cheeks. You know I’m a fan. Here’s my take on the situation. You are an artist. Note I did not say “starving artist”. These are handmade goodness. You are charging, what, $35 + shipping/handling? Something like that. The thing you need to keep in mind is you need to keep yourself going while keeping customers happy. For Custom Orders (note emphasis), I think you should charge a (non-refundable) 50% deposit of $25.00 and have an automatic response message that tells the customer something like “Thank you for your order. When your bear is ready to be shipped, we’ll contact you.” Then, when the bear is ready, you send them an email saying your bear is ready, please pay the remaining $25.00 + shipping/handlng. For folks who no longer want to play, that bear is up for grabs and goes to the next person in the queue, or something like that, or might even turn into your “sale of the day” bear, which would free up that day for making 2 Custom Bears. See where I’m going here? Note that we’ve increased your price to $50 + shipping/handling, but in chunks that are affordable. The 50% non-refundable deposit pays for the materials and gives you a cushion for rent/food/whatever. Now, those Custom Orders are your bread and butter. Like you need another project, I think you could put together Holiday Packs of say, 3 bears and sell them for $125 + shipping/handling (for the grannies and aunts among us who are looking for several of the handmade goodness to gift around), but the Holiday Packs in my mind would be already made up, and the price might ought to be slightly higher, even.
    I would also use your blog to communicate with customers, something like twice a month: I have just shipped an order from XX/XX/XXXX, am keeping on keeping on or something like that.
    I would NOT allow anyone to cut in line, ever. Everyone’s time is precious. And every rule has an exception, my exception for this would be a child who is dying. Seriously, that would be my only exception.
    Now, think about this, what are you asking yourself? If it is some variation on “how could it get any worse?”, STOP that right this instant. The Universe is going to answer whatever question you ask, so take control over your self-talk and START asking yourself, “how can it BE better than this?” — in those exact words. And then let the Universe answer THAT one.
    I know you will find the perfect answer to your current dilemma and in time will look back at it and be amazed at everything you learned as a result. Love and peace.

  41. I read this post, and Dory from Finding Nemo popped in my head – just keep swimming, just keep swimming. If you want instant gratification, go to Walmart. If you want custom made quality, be patient.

  42. Hello Love,

    Love your blog and your writing and your candor and your bears. Rooting for you and your unique life. I, too, run into trouble with knitting, i.e. it takes a long time to finish a project and get paid. Have you ever considered learning to crochet? it’s much faster which means you could still produce hand made goodness but it would drastically speed up production while still allowing you to go to that wonderful Zen place to which needle arts take us. There are some impossibly cute patterns on Etsy for stuffed toys and many of the creators don’t mind if you sell the items you make from their patterns. Just a thought.


    Jill Lawrence Holland
    CEO and Grand Poohbah of Fat Joey Knitwear, Vintage and Crafts

  43. Dear Greg,
    everybody who reads your blog knows about your situation and that´s why I don´t understand why people are setting you so much under pressure. They´re buying your teddy bears to support you, give you something to do and money for living and receive something unique in return. Some people just seem to forget that you only have two hands and even your days only have 24 hours (minus sleeping time etc.). Those people seem to forget that you´re not having a warehouse full of teddy bears. And I`m glad you haven´t cause then your teddy bears wouldn´t be so special. As soon as I receive mine I`ll send you the same amount of money again. Not for a second teddy bear, but for you to treat yourself. Promised.
    With greetings from Germany,

  44. I have a bear ordered but I knew I would have to wait, if others after me want their bears sooner I would be happy to wait longer for mine! It just means that I will get a surprise one day in the post 🙂 you can only do want you can 🙂

  45. I agree with so many others that say communication is important: Website – “there is currently a ___ month wait for special order bears (update as necessary). E-mail – “received your order, projected ship date is ___”. Maybe another 1 or 2 e-mails along the way – “Thank you for your patience. Expected ship date is ___”.

    For the current orders, take the next 20-25 in the queue and send an e-mail that says you expect to have their bears done and shipped in the next 30 days. Then the next 20-25 – expect to be done in the next 60 days, and so on.

    I also agree you should consider increasing the price of your bears, especially for the “sell right away” bears.

  46. I would keep a running list of each person in their turn and as you send out a teddy bear just cross it off don’t take her name off just cross it off so people can see that you are mailing them out each day and the person who is waiting can see when their turn will come up I think that would make people feel a lot better instead of just hanging and waiting

  47. I think that your idea is a good one. First part of your day do back orders and the second work a bear to sell. Otherwise you make no money. And I think for the buy it now, you can sell it for more since they are bypassing the line. I no longer make customer orders on my toys. I make them and sell them as I go. Good luck!

  48. Dear, sweet Gregory,

    I wish I could give you a hug through this computer or, better yet, give you my hands so you can knit twice as fast. It is more than obvious that you put your heart into your work and you care about your customers. The down side of that is the stress is clearly hurting you. Do what you can, and ‘can’ the rest!

    There are many great suggestions here. Please allow me to add one of my own: Your current price for your patterns is $ 2.50. Other designers are charging at least twice that for similar patterns. Double your pattern charge; people will still order the patterns. I know that is only an additional $ 2.50 per pattern, but it will help a wee bit without any additional effort on your part.

    Here is an additional two cents’ worth: An experienced designer once told me, “If you charge too little, people will think your work is crap.” Sweetheart, your work is NOT crap! Don’t be afraid to express the value of your work!

    Sending love, prayers, and good thoughts. Blessed be!

  49. Raise your prices a tiny bit. You have the demand, but not the supply. Sure, you might lose a couple sales here and there, but overall, people will be happy to pay the extra $5 or so if they know it will help you out.

  50. My recommendation: make a work list with X number of slots. For those on the work list, email them and let them know that they’re on the list, and should be done within a month/X number of days/what works best for you. Everyone else, thank them for their interest, you’ve received their request, but it may be some time before they will get on the work list as it’s first-come, first-served, it takes you a day to make each bear, they are handmade by you and only you, etc. If you have an estimate of how long it will be before you can add them to the work list, let them know in advance. If they are willing to wait, great! If not, please let you know so you can give their spot to someone else.

    Also, you should allow yourself a certain percentage of time to do bears to pay the bills. Factor that into your work list schedule. Leave yourself however much time you need for those, and then the work list of custom orders fills the rest of the time.

    I had a similar situation at work erupt because I was handling the orders and juggling schedules willynilly. I found that telling people upfront about the schedule (and keep it ironclad, don’t let people persuade you to let them jump the line) and when they can expect their order to be completed helps manage their expectations. Better people are disappointed upfront.

  51. My suggestion would be to tell everyone that delivery time is longer. I’m still waiting for my bear, long after the deadline, but that said, I’ve waited a long long long time for other things that have needed to be made or restored/fixed. Just let everyone know up front. Your patterns and bears and stories are delightful – don’t quit. The world needs more bear hugs.

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