The last eighteen months have been trying in so many ways. We've all learned to pivot and change our mindset with expectations on a variety of issues. This includes how we shop. I'm so honored that many of your have purchased items though my shop and I do everything I can to make it a smooth transition but because some of my items drop ship from the vendor, get held up in customs, freight company can't get the shipment unloaded and so on ... items get delayed. And sometimes ... delayed longer.
It is so disappointing, I know. I thought it might be helpful to dive into why this is happening and give you an idea of how I'm preparing Dashing Trappings for the holiday season.
First, how did we get here. As we all know the effects of COVID had influenced every aspect of our lives. Many of the home items we all love come from India, China, and Vietnam which have all had multiple surges of COVID that has resulted in multiple factory closures. This is compounded with a surge in freight which many of the small and medium size businesses have been navigating and implementing new procedures and expectations during this time.
Also adding to the delays for Dashing Trappings and our vendors is lack of raw materials. This also includes foam and wood. Confused about lack of foam and wood issues? Read more here.
I reached out to Interior Designers I trust asking for their insight about the delays and how it is affecting their business - I think you will agree their advice and ability to pivot can help us all manage our expectations.
"This past year and a half has been a learning experience for everyone. If you had told me the delays that we would be experiencing I never would’ve believed it. There are so many reasons for the delays and the bottleneck is impossible to control. The only thing you can do is control your expectations. You will get your product you will get your furniture you will get your home decorated. But you just have to be patient on the leadtimes. A custom sofa might’ve taken 12 weeks previously and then two weeks to ship but now they are running about 22 weeks to produce and then shipping can take up to two months. It is unfathomable some of these delays but the good news is the product does arrive. And I have learned to work differently. In the beginning when leadtimes were given I used that as my guide. But now I have learned the leadtime is merely a suggestion… we have started using a lot more product that is in stock. I also have brought in some new vendors that are local so I don’t have to rely on freight carriers. The shipping charges have increased so it’s also more economical and it’s nice to keep it local when we can. Furniture that I would have ordered from my vendors in the past I am now custom producing and designing which is wonderful for controlling quality and leadtime. The big important pieces we are still using our wonderful trusted vendors that we have worked with for years and just explaining to clients that it will be quite a wait but it’s always worth it! And I try to pick one or two rooms that we can pick in stock items to get done as quickly as possible so they can see progress happening and it doesn’t all feel like it’s never going to come together.l! Clients have been amazing and patient and understanding. We are all in this together and the creative brainstorm process is no less wonderful we just have to understand limitations and expectations."
- Andrea Sinkin of Andrea Sinkin Design
Design by Andrea Sinkin
"The challenges facing our current industry in both furnishings and construction are numerous from raw material shortages to rising freight and shipping costs to labor shortages in manufacturing plants. Consumers need to understand that many of these issues are out of the designers control. We are having to make re-selections daily as inventory changes hourly and we are seeing long lead times up to 6-9 months even on products made in America. We are doing our best to manage expectations and patience and communication are key to keeping projects on track. Consumers need to be willing to either wait on finished products or accept re-selections as needed. The demand and obstacles we’re facing are unprecedented and everyone is having to learn new ways of managing the client experience including our design firm! We don’t expect these challenges to improve until well into 2022 so everyone is going to have to adjust to this new normal and out of the immediate gratification mindset." - Kara Cox of Kara Cox Interiors
Kara Cox Interiors
So what does that mean for Dashing Trappings and your Fall into Holiday orders? Being as transparent as I can, many of the items I ordered for the holidays in January still aren't in-stock. Holiday will go "live" October 1st. Whatever I have in stock - will be featured at the time. I will not hold anything back. I will be in constant communication with clients. If you are in the Winston-Salem area - I will again be doing pick up and delivery beginning in October. Shipping deadlines are currently being worked on and should be posted soon.
My advice for shopping Dashing Trappings (and other small businesses):
Most of all THANK YOU!!!!!
xoxo - Christine