Friday, August 13, 2010

Two Cheers For {Sweet Simplicity Designs}

First, I would like to say that I am beyond in L-O-V-E with my new blog design. Lindsey of Sweet Simplicity Designs knocked it out of the park with her creativity and was so in tune to my millions of ideas.

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I randomly found Lindsey through my stat counter in a round about sort of way. I saw that someone had arrived at my blog by way of Second Street East, I then clicked through to see SSE, and I was immediately smitten with her design. Right then and there I did some sleuthing and I found out that Lindsey was the designer behind it and immediately emailed her because her prices were so unbelievably reasonable and her work {see examples here and here}...outstanding! I mean, we're talking high end design for thrift store prices, people!

Lindsey started my blog {almost immediately} in one weekend and finished it 6 days later! What? I know, I was giddy too! I was so impressed because she worked with me every step of the way to hear my ideas but also acted as a great designer and came up with her own options to help me choose. She was easily approachable, friendly, and fast to respond to my emails. I am over 100% impressed with her and I hope those of you in search of a great and super affordable designer will head her way. She will NOT disappoint you.

That was the good news. I debated about whether or not posting my experience with another designer and even consulted my hubby about how to go about informing people of my experience with a different blog designer before Lindsey. Dave gave some good advice and said that I should go ahead and air my frustrations here since it is my blog and I might be helping someone else before they fall into the same trap as me.

So...here goes nothing! I had originally fallen in love with a different designer's work, we'll call her "Betty". I decided to put down a $25 deposit for "Betty" to design my blog on April 3rd, 2010. At that time, after reading her terms of design, it said that the wait time was "8-10" weeks. I understood that it could take longer, but had no idea it would take as long as it did {or rather, didn't ever even take that long because I backed out}.

Fast forward to about August 6th, almost 18 weeks later, and I had not heard from "Betty" and I knew there were 60 people still ahead of me on the wait list! I did however, receive emails from two other dissatisfied wait listers, like myself, who had been promised a similar turnaround and unfortunately it had been over 6 months and still NOTHING for them! I took those emails to heart and I knew that my wait time would most likely end up taking til the end of the year. I had to get out the lineup with "Betty" and sent her an email stating that I had found someone else to do my blog and advised her in a very nice way that as a common courtesy, it would be nice to be more forthcoming and realistic with wait-times for future clients. After all, I would have never put down that deposit had I known that the wait time would have been as long as it was getting.

I knew when I paid the deposit that it could take longer, but almost double the estimated time + inevitably more time? That seems a little insane to me. And, when I signed up in April, there was wording to the effect of "the wait list will probably move faster through the summer"---yeaaah, um no. That did NOT happen. So right as I'm getting ready to cancel, I received an email from "Betty" asking for the rest of my $130 design fee before she was even ready to start on the design...remember we're talking there were still 6o people ahead of me!!!!

At this time I politely bowed out, asked for even a partial refund {not expecting one}, and I have never heard from her since. Nothing.nada.diddly squat. I expected maybe an explanation or an "I'm sorry but your deposit's not refundable" but again, absolutely no response.

I'm taking her silence as a big virtual middle finger to me and am letting myself "live and learn." Even with my lost $25 deposit on "Betty's" design services, + Lindsey's total of $45 for her services, I still came out way ahead of what I would've ended up paying for "Betty's" services: $155!

So word to the wise: shop around, ask for referrals, check up on wait lists {they may appear all fine and dandy...} and go with your gut when you know something is just NOT right.

I sincerely hope that helps someone and ultimately, I definitely got the better end of the deal and could not sing Lindsey's praises any louder.

As always, if you have any questions...you know where to reach me! ; )

NuestraVidaDulce@gmail.com

xoxo

33 comments:

Dobbygirl said...

Man, total bummer, how shady and rude! Lindsey did a fab job! It really looks great. I'll keep her in mind when I'm in the market for some blog work!

Chateau 809 said...

How annoying and totally rude! Your new design looks amazing though!:)

Jesse said...

Well I adore you new blog design! It is SO you! And I have a good guess as to who "Betty" is. hehe

Bri @Meyouandawienerdog said...

thanks for the post at least I know who to go to when I'm ready to change the look of mine, its hard coming into blogging cause you have no clue whom or where to go for these things, so this helps a lot.

rachel♥jo said...

Lovin' the new design, was it inspired by your new DIY pillows? Thanks for sharing your experience!

Dana-v said...

Thrilled to see you stopped by my blog last night! Love your blog makeover. I want one too, but with school starting, I know I'd be OBSESSED with IT instead of work! Wishing you a smooth beginning of the school year!

heather s. said...

The new design looks great!

emily said...

Love the new design!

Jeannine @ Small and Chic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeannine @ Small and Chic said...

Based on what she just posted on her blog, she's halfway through the JUNE list right now. I can't believe she expected full payment when she's clearly weeks away from getting to your part of the list.

Mrs. Limestone said...

Ive had a similar experience and its driving me nuts. I spent a ton of time designing a new look and I just need to find someone to translate that into the code. Its become a nightmare to find someone reliable to do this!!


PS: If you don't mind sharing I'd love to know who this person is so I don't end up dealing with her.

Jeannine @ Small and Chic said...

I gave "Betty" a $25 deposit in May and emailed her a number of times over the course of six weeks because my name hadn't even been added to the list. I see you ahead of me on there and part of me thinks I should just kiss the $25 goodbye.

So frustrating. She just started blogging on a second blog, too. I wish she'd stop taking deposits. $25 isn't a huge amount of money, but it adds up. I hope there isn't some sort of strategy involved. I definitely feel cheated right now.

Word travels quickly in the blogsphere and many of us have been strung along. Karma might take care of her eventually.

(I reposted because I was a little emotional when I originally posted this message and there were a ton of typos.)

AnaLisa said...

It looks great Joi! I noticed that the designer is also a medical student's spouse and that is very important to support them! :) My husband is now a resident and those medical school years can be tough financially.. just saying, that's an extra good reason to support her. :)

Courtney @ Project Pretty said...

Joi, I love it! It's perfectly you, and what a FAB deal! I definitely thing you made the right choice in letting everyone know about the "other" designer. Hopefully we'll all be a little more careful when design shopping!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Your new look is amazing. So chic and very you. Bummer about the other designer. You are definitely the bigger person, because I almost think she deserved for you to post her name. How disappointing. But, I suppose that $25 is an inexpensive lesson, thank goodness you didn't pay the full amount. (Not that $25 is nothing, just better, I suppose.)

Glad you got the look you love. I really love it. Now, I'm thinking I may need a little blog makeover.

Dayka (Life +Style) said...

LOVING your new look!

Joi said...

@Jeannine-Sorry you're experiencing it, too. It sucks to have to forfeit the deposit, but even though I loved "Betty's" work, I had lost respect for her as a business woman and moved on!

@Kim-Lindsey is spectacular and so affordable. Do it! : ) And, I am loving your new home, chica! How fun!

@everyone-THANKS, ladies! : )

Anonymous said...

I'll post her name: Kelly from Fabulous K. Her work is very good, but she should have stopped taking clients back in the spring. Bloggers need to stand up, name names, and stop taking this kind of treatment. There are plenty of businesses trying to take advantage of us and we have to spread the word as soon as we know what's happening so we can turn our support to those who deserve it.

Sharstin said...

i love the new look! it is fabulous! sorry about the mess that you had to deal with before--that is no fun~

Sugar Bear said...

I gave the same designer a deposit quite some time ago as well and still nothing. I was just going to contact her to ask when the heck I can expect my blog redesign to start but reading this I think I'm just going to pull myself off her list as well and go with another designer. Definitely going to check out Lindsay. I also noticed Betty seems to be doing redesigns for her friends that just recently had her do their designs - so it seems she has time to service who she wants and to heck with the rest of us. Too bad, she is obviously very talented but the lack of communication and the unrealistic wait list is enough for me to move on.
Karla

Mary Catherine said...

I love your new blog look! When I saw it last week, I immediately went to Lindsey's website to check things out. I loved what I saw, so I am having her design my new blog, which will hopefully debut around Labor Day.

Aja said...

Love the new design!! Sorry for the headache, but so glad you found Lindsey!!

Sweet Simplicity said...

Thank you so much for the excellent write-up! I have already had two people sign up for a design with me based on your recommendation!

p.s. I saw your pillow "fabric" in apron form at TJ Maxx this weekend. I was so hoping they had the dish towels. :)

Suzie said...

LOVE your new look and feel! LOVE!

Rambling Renovators said...

What a shame that happened. So glad you found a new great designer though - I love the new look!

P.S. I think you should take the not-so-fab Betty off your blog roll. She doesn't deserve more business ;)

PeaceLoveApplesauce said...

So, so pretty!!

Jen said...

Love it Joi! I just signed up with Lindsey to have her do my design too. My Mirosoft Paint (yes...Paint) blog header isn't cutting it haha.

Joi said...

@RRenovators-Good advice. Done and done. : )

Oonafey said...

So sucky to hear about "Betty"... But I am glad you found Lindsey. The new design is beautiful! And a great price to boot!

Tamstyles said...

Isnt this sad...sounds like the same person that I posted about on my blog about design. Everyone that designs should not work with people...hell hire someone to work with the people and provide service...her service is pulling her down, not her designs.

Katie said...

Looks great!

The Domestic Princess said...

Crap, I think I've been had too. I put in a deposit back in July and two emails later I've heard nothing!

I wonder if I can dispute with paypal?

Anonymous said...

I am currently experiencing the same problem with Fabulous K. Any advice on how anyone came to a resolution with her? Would like to resolve amicably without resorting to a legal dispute. Any advice appreciated, thank you!

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