Whew. I just read a Yelp review of me for the first time that was posted in December 2014. It's bad, guys. I don't know how I missed it before, and I don't know how - or why - I happened on it today. It's so frustrating, and makes me really sad. I'm actually holding back tears right now as I'm writing this.
Here's the review:
Wow, I don't understand the good reviews. Our experience was quite different. We hired Kelly to assist us with a remodel of our living room and kitchen, but we received very little help. It took several weeks and we received a couple of quick drawings of possible furniture placement. These drawings were just basic stick figure type drawings, no material options were provided, no color options, nothing but boxes/lines to denote where to place our furniture. One of the drawings included the suggestion of using a barn door to close off a bedroom to the living room. Great idea, and then I asked where I could buy this item; she replied "I don't know". I asked her if she could help us in picking out materials for our kitchen and she told me I should just go shopping. She was obviously not interested in our project, but we still paid her bill of $900 for two quick sketches of furniture placement. We just finished our home with the help of other professionals. So thank you to them! Just wish I had that $900 back. I could have used it elsewhere!
I don't want to go into a defensive mode. I understand that no one writes a bad review unless they feel like they've been screwed over in some way. We all have our perspectives - our truths - and nothing is right or wrong. But, wow. This review is so far from my truth, from my experience, that I'm really shocked.
I met with this client once. It was a consultation. I agreed to meet on a Saturday morning because that was the only time they could meet with me. Their home was an hour away, but I was happy to meet with them, and I felt we had a really good consult. A lot of ideas flowed, and we talked about a ton of possibilities for their kitchen remodel, as well as some other construction projects they were taking on. The energy felt good to me. And I thought it felt good to them, too, as we ended the meeting with their request that I draw up some floor plan options for them. I also distinctly remember not rushing out at the 90 minute mark, but lingering to talk more about their project because I was really getting into it with them.
After our consult, I produced 4 drawings for them. I put a lot of thought and creativity into them, as I always do. And I'm really sad that they didn't recognize this. After I delivered the drawings electronically, I made a couple of revisions per their request, and also provided some design feedback for a bunch of questions that they had. We had a few email exchanges with the understanding that we would be working on this project together after they found a contractor. Then I never heard from them again. I followed up several times, but that was it.
I wish they would have communicated directly with me that they weren't happy and I would have done my best to make it right.
But sometimes you just can't make it right. Sometimes a designer and a client are just not a good fit. And as much as it stings to hear these words, I have to come back to this.
I should also mention that less than a week after my appointment with these clients, my dad almost died. Like, really - ICU for five days after complications from cancer radiation treatment. It was a terribly traumatic time. And maybe that energy was transferred to these clients somehow. But I never didn't want to work with them.
I could go on more about the details in the review...about not telling them exactly where to get their barn door when they asked me on-the-spot at the consult. Or the reference to me telling them they should go shopping (I also offered to shop with them and/or for them, as I always do). Or why did they wait an entire year before posting this review? But I don't think that really solves anything.
For you, my reader, and my potential client, I just want to let you know that I DO care. I put everything I can into my/your projects and consultations. Maybe that's not enough sometimes. And I have to accept that. And maybe I'm not who and what you expect. Maybe I can't rattle off all the answers from the top of my head. I think a lot before I make many of my design suggestions. I need to get to know you a bit before I can know what will be best for your project. It feels irresponsible of me to give quick answers all the time. I like to explore possibilites with you, and see what feels right for you and your home.
I may not be the right designer for you. Or maybe I'm the perfect designer for you. I can't control how you experience our work together. I can only offer you what I know. And I can promise you that my heart goes into my work with you. I hope that we connect. And if we don't, I hope you'll let me know so that we can part ways gently and you can find someone else that you vibe with. That's really all I want in the end. For everyone to enjoy their homes and the process of design. It's absolutely my passion, and to know that I didn't help this particular client in a positive way...ugh. Just ugh.
And... this is just one. Single. Yelp. Review.
Just one home.
Just one client.
I'm sure there's more. In fact my very first Yelp review was TERRIBLE. (That's another story in itself.) Again. We just weren't the right match.
For me, I'll keep on designing. I'll keep on writing. I'll keep on working with the so-many-of-you that I love to work with. Because when it's right, it's right. And we create magic together. And nothing is more beautiful than that.