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November 18, 2019

Demanding times

When we decided that our occupation should be this – what we do today, there was a lot of fear and uncertainty about whether we will be able to present our offer in the right way, because we are from Southeast Europe and we wanted to work for the Western market only. Then, there were questions such as whether the monument companies will react positively to our work, whether they will be at all interested in outsourcing the work that most companies do in house, whether we will be able to make a living from this, etc. Fortunately, it turned out that all the fears were unjustified because we fulfilled most of our business plan in the first two years.

Since then, our small company has been operating successfully for many years with already a number of long-term clients, and we are immensely grateful to them for their trust. We hope that we have reciprocated in the right way with quality work, reasonable prices and responsibility. A good reputation is heard far and wide, so the group of companies we work for expands every year. Almost everyone who sent us an order once continued to use our services. Once again, thank you so much for your business and trust.

However, this practice has become unsustainable. The growth in number of new customers has led to the fact that we are constantly overwhelmed with orders that, at the moment, we can barely deliver on time. Also, the increase in the workload of most of our clients is obvious, which contributes to all of it and it is something we didn’t count on. So, for example, at this moment, the delivery time for the order received today is 8+ days.

This tempo has been going on for months and, as all this found us unprepared, we started doing what we never dreamed we would do – literally reject new clients and cooperation of any kind. It is very unfriendly and unprofessional, but at the moment we are simply forced to do it. In July we turned down three companies – two from the States and one from Ireland. We are both angry and sad about it, but it would be completely frivolous to start a collaboration that we know will not go very smoothly.

Our team consists of a graphic artist and a coordinator. We are very serious about the quality of our work and every single portrait we deal with is processed up to 2-3 hours, in order to get the best possible result. We thought that we would be able to meet all the obligations on our own, and when we realized that we had to include someone else, we encountered a problem. It turned out to be impossible to find a graphic artist who is maximally responsible, who would work for the same price as we do, and whose quality of work, at the same time, is equal to ours, which is the most important thing at the end of the day. All this is also the reason why we do not outsource the work to third parties – we want to provide the best possible quality and to stand proudly behind our work.

So, we have decided to create a graphic artist out of scratch. Our new associate Vanja will be a valuable member of our community in the foreseeable future, but, still, it takes a lot of time and effort to get such a quality associate, which we insist on.

In the meantime, we will continue to do our work the best and fastest we can for our regular customers. I hope that the delivery time you are used to will not be extended, and if it does happen, we will definitely announce it regularly and I hope that you will be able to understand this.

To illustrate what kind of busyness we are dealing with, here’s a few recent examples… We work up to 17 hours every day, I couldn’t see my parents this week, my friend’s father passed away and I couldn’t attend the funeral, we had to work two Sundays in a row, there are some errors on our website that we can’t find time to fix, etc. Even the time spent writing this post is a real problem for me, because every hour is precious. All this drives me crazy; I feel embarrassed and angry at the same time. However, the company’s policy has always been that the delivery time, specified by ourselves by the way, must be met.

I have to mention that recently we have had many inquiries for the preparation of various scenes, engraving applications, map restorations, etc. We specialize in portrait editing and we only do portrait restoration and retouching. We really try to avoid everything except that, especially lately.

For all of the customers who need such services, or services that we normally offer, but cannot accept at the moment, you can contact the following artists/ companies:

Of course, we cannot and do not want to provide guarantee for the quality of their work, but these are well-known names who have been working successfully in the industry for many years, some much longer than us.

I hope that we will find a way to overcome everything in the right way.

Stay safe and have a great week.

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