I’ve been really busy this week; loads and loads of orders coming in which is great as January is usually a bit slow. One is for one of the largest private residences in Wales, as well as a couple of 30+ pole orders, to orders for a few extra rings and everything in between. I definitely have my work cut out now!
I’m still a bit behind with a few pre-christmas’s which I need to get done so I’ll be working over the weekend again to try and catch up. I’ve also got a backlog of quotes again, mostly the technically challenging ones which can take ages to do. I never charge enough for them!
I’ve been making French poles and bays mainly this week. I’ve included a couple of photos of the poles that were finished yesterday; a Flared Ball Bay and Round Cage Bay in Pewter which will be sent out on Monday.
I’m also launching a new range of poles which will be on the website in the next couple of weeks.
Haven’t really got a great deal to say at the moment but don’t want to lose momentum writing the blog so I thought I better say something. I think I’m just a bit tired after another busy week. I’m still trying to catch up with a backlog of work… slow suppliers don’t help either. Loads of interesting work is coming in at the moment though. I think I’ve done 8 quotes so far this evening, and a few nice orders, so another reason why I’m not writing much as I still have more to do (sorry to anyone still waiting but I should be caught up tonight) . Some interesting stuff is coming in, such as a couple of double curved bays with Passing brackets and rings (I like a challenge!). I’ve had a few overseas enquiries from Australia, Denmark (again), Sweden, USA and quite a few orders for Curtain poles with Flared Ball finials all of a sudden. It’s really weird how a particular design is suddenly in demand as though it’s the result of a collective decision made somewhere. I had a rush on Arrowhead curtain poles a few months ago but they seem to have gone off the boil a bit now.
I spent today catching up on all the admin, answering emails, quotes, etc. It’s amazing how long all that takes so I’m back in the workshop tomorrow; I’m quite looking forward to it after the break. I’ve got some new ideas for products to add to the range which is as much about “a change is as good as a rest” as anything!
I’ve added a testimonials page to the website too, starting from today, so I’ll keep that updated from time to time. I’m half thinking of getting a marketing person in to do all the social media thing as personally, I can’t stand Facebook, etc. but it seems a necessary evil to some degree. Also, maybe get a professional photographer to take some decent photos for the website which is something I should really get sorted out. I just hope I find the time…
This curved bay window curtain pole has Stopper finials and a Beeswax finish. It was made yesterday but I didn’t get a chance to photograph it until today. It’s just been loosely assembled and balanced on stands to give a better impression of how it will look. There’s also a picture of the room it’s going in to…
Today I made a five-bend bay window pole with Button finials in Pewter and a couple of straight poles to match.
I’ve been making loads of bay window poles lately and I thought I’d just show some of the process. The photos aren’t that brilliant as these things are quite difficult to photograph in the workshop and can only really be appreciated once they’re up above a window. Also, I’m not much good at photography!
In this example the customer has supplied a photo of the bay as well as the measurements when emailing for quote.
We write back with the quote and send a drawing to show how the pole will look in relation to the bay.
After the customer accepted the quote and ordered the design drawings are created…
…from which the pole is formed continuously with no welded sections
Here’s another muti-angled bay window curtain pole that’s going out tomorrow along with yet another curved bay pole (which I’ll photograph tomorrow).
Made a couple of Bay poles today, a multi-angle Pewter one (Pictured) and a curved Beeswax (well, not quite finished actually). The reflection in the Plain Ball finials is from the green awning overhead, stopping the trees dropping snow on the pole.
Everything was slower today due to the thick snow. It was a good 9″ deep in parts in Blockley and had to dig the car out several times to get home.
A package was due for delivery at the workshop so I had to be there in case it arrived. It didn’t arrive and thought they’d have obvious problems delivering but was surprised to get an email from DPD saying they’d attempted delivery and left a card but as no one was there they’d try again tomorrow. I was there, they didn’t attempt delivery, they didn’t leave a card and there were no extra deliveryman footprints in the snow. Why didn’t they just say they couldn’t deliver today due to the weather conditions instead of gambling that probably I wouldn’t have made it in and making stuff up? This is why we use UPS for deliveries (or TNT occasionally), as they’re much more professional. Things do go wrong sometimes with deliveries, even with the best couriers, but most people are reasonable if you’re honest about it, so why try to hoodwink them?
Bought a laser measure months ago with the intention of using it to measure up for local bay windows but never got round to advertising the service or using it. Today I had an appointment to measure up and thought I’d try it out on a bay window in a house in Honeybourne. It was pretty useless! It measures incredibly accurately if you can hold it steady enough but it’s so difficult to keep it from moving around when measuring from corner to corner over a 3 – 4m distance. I persisted far too long with the damned thing before finally admiting it was no silver bullet. Anyway, the moral of the story… the very quickest and best way to measure a multi-angled bay window is with a decent tape steel tape measure and an angle finder, especially if you’re measuring a large bay without help.
Had some more nice emailed feedback from customers today:
Thanks for the poles, lovely job, nice finish, fitted perfectly, great to (see) someone making something well nowadays.
I just wanted to thank you so much for the curtain poles. They are all up and look wonderful in the room.
Have a great Christmas
Thank you too, Pete Ketchen and Lucy Bishop, much appreciated.
Worked out that I need to make at least one and a half bay window poles and four straight poles a day, every day, up to the 21st which will be the last despatch day before Christmas! Everything else will have to go on the back-burner until the pole orders are done.
I had a nice email from one of my Danish orders saying all had arrived safely and how pleased they were with the “Stopper in Beeswax pole”. It’s to go above this door…
Might add a dedicated testimonials page to the website as I must get several a week… I’m just not sure whether anybody believes testimonials these days!
We went out for a meal last night and there were those Edison type lights eveywhere, hanging on wrought iron hooks from the ceiling in the restaurant. It made me think again about doing a range of lighting, although this particular type seem to be more decorative than functional. Most designs seem to be have the bulb itself as the main feature which is simply framed; very easy to make! I’ll post some design ideas or photos when I get a chance to make some prototypes, although I also have an oversized, 4ft wrought iron clock to make first thing after Christmas as well as the usual poles.
Made a boot rack today as a bespoke item, to a customer’s own design. The top is designed so that it can be sat on while you’re pulling you boots on or off. The top is made from heavy gauge sheet steel and the rack is 20 x 5mm strap. The feet are all adjustable (stopper design) for uneven floors. It weighs a ton! It’s still in a “raw” state and needs the finish applied to it. Need to find out whether it should be Black or Beeswax.