Friday, September 9, 2011

Companies you love to work with

I’ve had a lot of questions over the last couple of days about various topics, from where I get my boning to who did my business cards.  It all boils down to one thing: the companies I love to do business with.

There are a lot of reasons I prefer some shops over others.  It could be the atmosphere of the shop, or the people I know who work there.  Some have great deals or discounts, and others have a friendly staff.  Some shops simply have the best quality goods.

See more after the break.

One of my favorites,, is my supplier for the majority of my corseting supplies.  I've tried other places, but for the selection and customer service I have never found a better place. is fairly unique in the way they handle bulk pricing.  If you buy a single piece of spring steel boning, ¼” wide and 11” long, it costs you $.40.  If you buy 12 of them they are $.26 each.  If you buy 144 (a full gross) they are $.17 each.

I adore the flexibility!  If I have a custom order and need boning in a size I don’t usually use I don’t have to fill a minimum order, I just buy what I need for that piece.  Then, when I need to restock the boning I use a lot I can buy in bulk.

I have only needed to call their customer service once, when a roll of hoop boning I ordered wasn’t in the package.  The woman I spoke with (sadly I don’t remember her name) immediately apologized, and asked if I could receive UPS at my location.  You see, mail had already gone out, but if she shipped the hoop boning via UPS she could get it out to me THAT DAY.  In short, amazing customer service.

Fabric Suppliers!  I get this question too: “Where do you find your material?”  My fabric store of long standing has always been Hancock Fabrics.  I worked for them part time while I was attending college.  Unfortunately for my wallet, I ended up giving them back my paycheck in purchases almost every time.  I still have fabrics I bought in 2005 that I’m holding onto because they are too gorgeous to throw away, but I haven’t found the perfect project for them.

A tip for finding gorgeous and unique fabrics at Hancock: Search the flat fold tables.  They’ll be marked Drapery or Upholstery remnants.  These aren’t just remnants from the fabrics in store; a lot of them are shipped in specifically to be put on that table.  So you’ll get a ton of fabrics you can’t find elsewhere.  The downside: you can usually only find around 5 yards.

Also a favorite is Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft stores.  I didn't use them very much until a month or two ago.  The Jo-Ann store that’s been in the area for years has a limited selection.  They were always great for standard materials, but nothing unique.

Then, the Jo-Ann store in Norman opened.  Firstly, they’re huge.  Walking into the store is like walking into a clothier’s dream.  Secondly, they have a section of Red Tag materials.  This section has the most gorgeous materials in it.  Velvets, gossamer organza, embroidered silk, anything I could want.  My only regret is I can’t buy it all.  Thirdly, every person I’ve spoken to in the store has been a delight.  They are all helpful, and if they don’t know something they find the person who does.

I really prefer to buy my fabrics in person.  Fabric is something I need to feel, to touch, to examine in all lights, and to see how it drapes.  Nevertheless, there are items I want to be able to build over and over again.  I do not relish the idea of walking into Hancocks one day to find they no longer carry silver dupioni silk.  For fabrics like that I use  They are efficient, and I have never found the need to call customer service.

Finally, business cards!  More than one person got to see me do a Kermit Flail when my very first business cards arrived.  After doing a TON of research, I decided on for half of my business cards. 

They were incredibly efficient, shipping out my order in just a day.  They have a nifty online designer (though I used photoshop to design mine) and a selection of sizes and shapes to choose from.

However, when it comes to anything printed, my undeniable favorite is  They were a sheer delight to use.  They have something I’ve not seen anywhere else, called printfinity.  Every single one of my business cards has a different picture on the back.  Everything about Moo caters to the artist in me: their simple layout, clean lines, and vibrant colors.  Plus, the cards I received are quite simply gorgeous, and show a large range of things I’ve designed.

So there you have it!

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