trade tales | Oct 11, 2019 |
How do you make clients wait?

In the age of Amazon, our patience for shipping times has all but vanished. When so many things in the world are now available in just a few days, are clients still willing to wait the months it can take for special pieces? We asked five designers—Lindley Arthur, Joy Rondello, Nancy Boland, Marty Lord and Gillian Gillies—if patience with the process has begun to dwindle.

Lindley Arthur
Lindley ArthurCourtesy of Lindley Arthur

Tide them over

“Most clients don’t like to wait longer than eight weeks. We always try and educate our clients that it’s wise to wait for the right piece and that their home will look more curated when put together over time. That said, we do like to find showrooms who have ‘grab and go’ unique lighting, side tables and accessories to mix in instant gratification.” —Lindley Arthur, Lindley Arthur Interiors, Dallas

Joy Rondello
Joy RondelloCourtesy of Joy Rondello

Only when necessary

“As long as a piece is necessary to achieve a design concept, and suitable alternatives aren’t readily available through other sources, most clients are still willing to wait for special pieces. It can be a challenge to explain delays when the estimated lead times are already very long. That said, we do have clients who expect items to arrive much sooner. We accommodate their needs by making sure to use only resources that can deliver as quickly as possible and incorporating vintage and antique pieces to enrich the design.” —Joy Rondello, J+Studio, Seattle

The right way

“We are finding that clients appreciate craftsmanship and applaud our efforts to source locally and consciously. The right way is not always the easiest way, and we encourage our clients to wait for that perfect piece. Having said that, nine months might be the breaking point!” —Nancy Boland and Marty Lord, Boland Lord Design, Denver

Gillian Gillies
Gillian GilliesCourtesy of Gillian Gillies

Years and years

“When a client has purchased a new-build home or is updating a floor of their existing home, I feel that lead times of three to four months from receipt of deposit is acceptable. We are not an emergency service, and don’t aspire to be one. We want to deliver interesting pieces to our clients, and these do come with lead times. We want to procure beautiful finds that our clients will want to have and enjoy for years to come. It’s more sustainable, and I believe the right way to design.” —Gillian Gillies, Gillian Gillies Interiors, Toronto

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