Just wanted to ask, once you have been commissioned to make a piece how much input do you allow your client. Do you expect that they will leave you to create with your artist talent or do you allow them to make suggestions and change things.
I just finished a piece, the client asked for updates which I gave. She then asked for changes ect to be made. The hat is an unusual piece and definitely the hardest piece I have made. the result is the client tells me she loves it, I haven't posted it yet. I however am not that fond of it at all.
So I wondered what other milliners do?

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The final decision rest with the client! You do not have to love or be fond of the piece as long as it is exactly what the client desires ... then you have done a great job. Personally the only input I demand of the client is the style, colour and trim of the hat...sometimes you ask for the shape (if any) and that is all. For consistent consultation, I tell the client before hand that there is a fee for changes - I only allow 3 consults and if any changes are required there is an additional charge.

It depends on whether you want to be the designer or the milliner.  As the designer, you would allow some but not much input ( color, basic shape, and possibly trim options).  But as the milliner, you are simply meeting the demands and wishes of your client within certain parameters (availability of goods and your ability). 

I have done both and much prefer to be the designer.  I have enjoyed both rolls and despised both as well.

The one thing I am always concerned about is, what if I do not like the end product and do not want my name attached to it?  That is the main reason being the designer is better for me.

Thanks ladies, Sharon you make a great point about the difference between being a milliner and a designer.I am slowly learning from each piece. The last piece I made I was definitely the milliner, I had some lovely ribbon cockaded made for trim and she preferred the store brought flowers.

It is difficult, isn't it. I recently made a piece for a lady that I had not met, and she sent me a really poor and tiny photo of herself, and then told me her hair was thin, and short, but she wanted a piece to cover a bun on the back of her head - this was hard, working blind, and I really needed more input from her, but she told me that as the artist, she had every faith in me..... lovely to hear but not much help.

Turned out she loved it, so now I think if they are happy to leave it up to you, don't push it.

Hi.  I have read all the previous comments with great interest. It is a difficult situation to be in and I know it well. I do not love every piece that I have made - mostly when I have specific colour schemes to work with that I think are rather dull, or they have picked the wrong colour from the outfit to highlight. The best thing to remember is that the hat that you are making is for the client - it is not for you! Providing they are happy with the product that you have made them - then your job is done. In short - I do not love every hat that I make my clients but I do the best job that I am capable of doing with the colours, and style that they give me. I make hats that I absolutely love for myself (if I get enough time to do my own), most of my clients, and the shop that I supply. Don't be too hard on yourself.  We all have jobs that are more difficult than others. Jodi


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