Q: Are you any good?
A: Of course. We’re fabulous. Give us a call and we’d be happy to meet you at your home or office, or have you come to our studio where we can show you how we can help you accomplish your design goals.
Q: Will you work for me exclusively?
A: Yes, though this comes at a price. The arrangement must have some limitations, and must allow us to finish up current projects. We may keep an employee dedicated to already existing projects even after we begin our exclusive project with you.
Q: Can I get fabrics that nobody else has?
A: Yes, you can. Wallcoverings too. And furnishings, lamps, chandeliers, and accessories!
Q: Why do I have to pay a mark up on merchandise if I am paying for your time?
A: The design process is a totally different process from the purchase and management of the project after the purchase orders have been completed. Each requires certain staffing and office functions to support them, creating different overhead costs. Time billings alone cannot begin to cover the expense of ordering, receiving, handling, and managing the procurement, delivery, and installation of merchandise.
Q: Why do I have to pay for your time if you make money on merchandise?
A: In the old days, people paid retail for merchandise, and only paid for design if we were designing something that would be built or provided by others. In fact, we have some long time customers that still work this way. However, they purchase everything from us at retail (a realistic, not inflated, retail). Some people wanted to buy some things from other sources, for various reasons. Adding that to the confusion about what exactly “retail” is, complicated this method to the point where most people are more comfortable paying for time and getting a discount on merchandise when possible.
Q: How long will it take?
A: That depends on many factors. If you are aiming to complete your project for a specific date, you should contact us at least three months in advance. Preferably four.
Q: Can I return something if I don’t like it?
A: Not if it is a custom item. Non-custom things can sometimes be returned for a restocking charge. These charges have grown to be 25% and more, depending on the supplier, plus any shipping charges. Working with a professional designer and communicating openly and often will help reduce the chances that you will end up with something you don’t like. In some cases, we have made adjustments to things so they have met our client’s approval.
Q: Why is this so expensive? There’s one at Target for $69?
A: There are VAST differences in quality. Unfortunately many of the things now being imported from various other countries have a long way to go with quality control. Their model is to produce as much as possible, as cheap as possible. And they are. If you desire fine things, they come at a price. But you will not have to assemble them!
Q: What is the retainer for?
A: The retainer is a fee paid before any work begins and assures us that you are serious. We credit portions of the retainer back to you in your invoices, beginning with the first one, until you have received full credit.
Q: Will you upholster something for me in my own fabric?
A: Yes. We will provide an estimate for your piece, and you will be responsible for providing the quantity of fabric requested by us. There is a charge for the estimate, which will be applied to the invoice when you go ahead with the project.
Q: Can I get it for less if I pay cash?
Q: Can I use my out of state address for my in state purchases to avoid paying sales tax?
A: We will not falsify invoices. So many people were taking advantage of this “loophole” that governments are finding ways to catch up with them. Some other states require us to send the tax directly to them now.