Sewing Machines...

Photo of orange cat with bandana
Coming soon - festive holiday cat bandanas!
Shortly after my last post (you know, the one that said my sewing machine was back in working order), I worked on a few sewing projects and remembered other problems the machine had.  It seems to be mad at me for leaving it dismantled for so long while waiting for the parts to come in, so now it is fighting me when I try to use it.  It looks like a tension problem, and I'll have to address it again tomorrow! 

This is definitely a sign to start looking for a new sewing machine.  Any suggestions about sewing machine brands that you love?  I have always used Singers, but have seen either really good ones, or less high quality machines (erm, like mine currently, I'd say).  My current machine will be my backup machine, but I would like something a little heavier duty to work with on a daily basis. 

People have given me lots of suggestions on Etsy.  Here are machines I need to check out (note to self: check out these brands!)
- Bernina
- Brother
- Husqvarna (this one in particular was suggested)
- Huskvarna Viking
- Janome
- Kenmore
- Necchi
- Pfaff
- Singer Confidence
- Singer (Project Runway)
- Toyota

...and here are some sites I need to look at, hopefully to find a great deal!
- Overstock / Amazon / even Craigslist, I'd say
- QVC

Hurricane Sandy...

The day after my machine was back in service, Sandy started rolling in.  It has been such an odd week because of the storm, and very reminiscent of last year's storm (almost to the exact same day as last year). 

We were left in the dark for a few days, and we are very hopeful that hard hit communities are able to rebuild safely and quickly, all while staying warm with their families and pets.  The shop was very quiet this week, which was good because we were focusing on staying safe, warm, and informed about the storm. 

Today I received the following information from the Humane Society of the United States, regarding pets affected by the storm, and ways to help them.  Here is the information.  It will be a long road ahead for many people and their pets; they can use all the help they can get.

Customer Service...

Photo of turkey cat toy
Gobble Gobble! Turkey catnip cat toy =^-^=
Something neat happened this week - we were quoted in an Etsy Blog post about customer service.  I really appreciate good customer service, and am honored to be a part of this blog post!  Here is the link to the post (click here to see it).

As you may or may not remember, I had quite an annoying customer service experience when ordering parts to fix my machine.  The flip side of that experience was a very pleasant transaction with a different parts supplier (here is the post about it!)

Throughout the power outage due to Sandy, I have been in contact with the local power company.  I noticed that the customer service reps are all fantastic - they are pleasant, and even though they didn't always have all the information I wanted (e.g. an eta wasn't available at first due to the number of outages), they were actually listening to and hearing me when I talked to them.  I am very appreciative of each rep I spoke to, and made sure to tell them that they are doing a great job.  Thank you, power company customer service reps (and crew on the streets who are working non-stop this week). 

Weekend Goals...

My shop is a bit further behind where I wanted it to be by November 1, but this weekend I plan on catching up with a couple more holiday items to list. 

Other things to do for the shop this weekend: photograph the new items, list them, promote them, order more shipping materials, re-list items that expired earlier in the year (and tweak the listings/titles/tags as needed)... As usual, I am sure more needs doing, but these few things are a good start as we get back into the swing of things. 

Hope you all doing well!  Wishing you a creativity-filled weekend!  =^-^=
11/3/2012 12:37:29 am

I'm glad you're safe and have power again. By the way, when I recommended a machine I don't actually own ;) I have a Brother PR edition, though for some reason I said Singer (it's been a crazy week - I'm taking the MPRE in two hours). In any event, I still recommend checking out Overstock.com once you decide on a brand. They have good prices on a lot of machines (and $2.95 shipping), plus they have factory refurbs. Good luck!

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11/3/2012 12:25:21 pm

Duly noted about the machine! I'll be sure to look up -BROTHER- PR instead of Singer :) Definitely will look on Overstock; that's an awesome shipping price.

Good luck with the MPRE!!

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11/3/2012 05:52:43 am

LOVED that you took the time to acknowledge the customer service reps that you spoke to. I am sure the sheer volume of people they had to be hearing from would blow us all away. To remain nice, patient and to LISTEN and to have someone acknowledge that through YOUR own hardship is wonderful indeed!

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11/3/2012 12:28:01 pm

So true, Caren! I was in customer service years ago, and I still remember a few times when people went out of their way and said thank you for helping them through their tough/frustrating time. You're right though, I bet they were slammed with incoming calls from this storm. In any case, they were great!

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