the process: custom design case study

We get pretty busy around here.  Ash and I are constantly trying to come up with ways to streamline and be more efficient and "work to our skills" and find ways to get help with things we're not so great at doing.  If you read any business sort of "how to succeed in business" newsletter or blogpost or whatever, they all tell you that the key to success is having a great team and not trying to do it all yourself.  Which is simple advice that can be SO HARD to follow, cause gah!  What if they don't do it like me and all of our customers get mad and our business fails and Ash has to go back to working in kitchens which means that the whole world will end, because, serious split-hollandaise rage will ensue. So, sometimes I think that it'd be best if I got help answering emails and could focus more on big-picture stuff.  

But!  Then!  I get an email from someone like Clint, and I realise that this is the best part of the whole business, and NO WAY am I going to give that all up to somebody else.  We communicated for the better part of a year working and tweaking the design to make sure Steph got the perfect ring for her. It was an epic process, and not at all typical.   

Clint lives and works in the wilderness and doesn't really understand the internet, so we had some breaks between revisions while he was off fighting bears and learning how to use Paypal.  I think we did about 6 rounds of revisions.  Clint did his own sketches and sent them to us.  We had the design all sorted and the Clint said "stop the presses" and I got all freaked out that he changed his mind about the engagement, but no he just wanted to go back to our original design.  At some point I started calling Clint "Glen" for no apparent reason.  

There were promises of beef jerky and wedding invitations.  About ⅞ of the way through Clint and I figured out that despite the fact that we now live on opposite sides of the Earth, we actually grew up about 20 minutes away from each other in small town Texas. I guess, all this is to say that it would probably make better business sense if I spent that time researching trends or twittering with Martha Stewart or something, but then I never would have met Clint and Steph and made this awesome connection and gotten a promise of beef jerky (ahem, Clint if you're reading this...)  

Like I always say, making this business sustainable in a global sense is so important to us, but making it sustainable in a personal sense is as well.  And sometimes, it IS hard to answer lots of emails answering pretty similar questions, and I think it would be an easy task to hand-off to some one else.  But, then I open up an email and Clint, who doesn't even have a computer at his house has made the effort to send me the story of his engagement to Steph, and I can just feel the love in his words and I look at these amazing photos and I find myself in tears of joy for a couple of people I've never even met.  How could I give that up? But really, this is just an excuse to show these adorable photos.  Don't you want to kinda marry them both?

Engagement Day   clouds   55