First I want to say this isn’t a thread meant to be dramatic, tear anyone down, call anyone out, I know where I stand, just curious what everyone else here thinks as collectors, artists, hobby painters, doll lovers.
A friend of mine bought a reborn (expensive in my opinion) from someone in our community who claimed to be a high end, highly trained professional artist. A baby with painted hair sells for over 900.00. She has a beautiful website, the babies are beautiful, really nice babies. This was not a custom order, nor was it advertised as a boo-boo baby.
My friend has been waiting anxiously for this baby and was so excited to get it. She asked me about the artist before she ordered. I knew the name, I loved the website, but I have never seen a baby of hers in person, I didn’t know anyone who had purchased one but I had not heard anyone voice complaint on a forum.
Well the baby arrived.
She sent me some photos, just quick ones with her phone.
I was a little confused, she was a little confused. The baby really didn’t look anything like the babies on the website. The coloring is unusual. It is hard to say just by looking at quick phone picks what the whole story is but it was disappointing and not expected.
She did what I think you should do in this situation (not everyone will agree) and she sent the artist a quick respectful email letting her know the baby had arrived and that there were some issues she would like to discuss, get some clarity about. The artist quickly sent a return purchase label, told her she would be refunded and kindly thanked her for her business.
I think that is awesome.
She isn’t out any money, there was no back and forth, she can start looking for a different baby.
I was thinking:
-Maybe the artist got overwhelmed and rushed the baby out.
-Maybe she has more business than she can manage and has someone helping her out who hasn’t developed the skills needed?
-Maybe she tried a new technique and thought it was really a good baby?
-Maybe her photography is better than her painting skills.
-This could be a scam but you would think that someone would have called this out. In this community clients who spend that kind of money can be vocal on social media and on forums, it can get brutal.
My friend doesn’t feel that going public in a nasty way would be helpful for the artist or for her and the artist was kind and issued an immediate refund.
I am thinking this thing to pieces mostly because her disappointment was palpable and I was sad for her. Some people waiting for these babies really, really, really want and need this experience and are so happy to have a dream dolly.
When we make these babies we make some great babies, some not so great babies, and some down and out uglies. It is just a part of reborn life. I think if you are a person of integrity and you are aware you know when you have an off baby, and you adjust the price. You also don’t try to sell a baby not ready for prime time at prototype prices, and hopefully you are delivering what you advertise. I mean that is fair right?
In the beginning you take a loss, as your skills develop the more you can charge. As you get better and start selling regularly you are able to afford better supplies, offer more in the way of sold out or limited edition sculpts, premium mohair, or a sweet layette if that is your thing.
What if…you claim to have skills you don’t. Should you be called out for charging top dollar? and I think 900 dollars for a baby with painted or penciled hair is a lot of money. Someone had to work really hard to earn that money and we owe it to them to do our best to delivery what we promise. Correct me if I am wrong.
I think it is the buyers responsibility to research their artist, look at reviews, ask around, ask the artist questions, look at photos of past babies…
-but what if people are too afraid to come forward and complain because they are worried about the repercussions?
How do you do this respectfully?
If an artist says, “Hey it was an off month, I had my SIL helping me out so I could meet deadlines and some babies slipped through the cracks, this does not represent my work, here is your refund, please give me another chance to make it right” then you have something to work with.
Not sure where I am going with this, it makes me sad a little. I don’t like thinking people set out to disappoint, hurt, and take advantage of other people.
I would hope my clients would be honest with me, feedback is humbling sometimes but it helps you grow, most especially if people do it kindly. If I send off a bad baby I would totally make it right. A bad baby to me is a baby that isn’t the baby you promised and marketed not a baby that you didn’t “bond” with or it wasn’t as fun as exciting as you thought it would be after a midnight “Box Opening” binge on You Tube, or getting your credit card statement and realizing you over spent.
As artists I would hope we all take last looks at a baby before we send it out, take care of touch ups, make sure the baby in that box is the baby you said it was, and you disclose everything you could like
- I am still a beginning rooter.
- I just started painting this year.
-This baby is very newborn pink.
-I am not terribly happy with this painted hair so I adjusted the price.
-I melted the pinky finger, I adjusted the price, here is a close up.
-I am a messy painter.
-I paint very light, or thick, or only use the primary method.
-This is air dry.
-This is my dogs hair.
-This is my first baby and I didn’t have everything I needed but I did my best with what I have.
-This is a hobby for me, this isn’t a top of the line baby but it is sweet and I had a great time.
You get where I am coming from. I think I have written a variation of this post a couple times, now it feels personal, my friend was so happy to finally get this sculpt, painted by skilled artist and she shopped for this baby… her heart was broken. I don’t want her to lose faith and trust in this community. Most of us are good people, really good people.
I think I just wanted to put this out there for any of you selling babies. When we all work from a place of integrity, kindness, and we are fair, it lifts us all up, we all win.
It is ok to make a bad baby, just be honest, be fair with your price, or donate it.
I tell my eight year old I am like one of Santas elves, my department in charge of making baby dolls for grown ups. I tell him just because we grow up doesn’t mean we don’t need things to love and collect and dream of having, we are still little kids we are just taller and have long commutes to work, laundry to fold, and kids to take to school. I get to help make people happy and I love my job.
To all my sister (and brother) elves, let’s spread a little happiness.