Sometimes, Australian fabric suppliers really surprise me.
A while ago, I saw - and fell in love with - Aviary Tangerine, a divine upholstery fabric by Thomas Paul which combines two of my favourite things: the colour orange, and a botanical line-drawing print.
The very nice US supplier, Calico Corners, gave me the name of the Australian distributor. Bingo! Hooray! Success! A problem solved, etc.
So I emailed the Australia supplier and requested 10 yards - you know I always buy in bulk where I can.
And then I waited. And waited. And eventually, I forgot about it. That was THREE MONTHS ago.
I never received a reply from the Australian supplier, and to tell you the truth, I was mightily surprised. I mean, I know 10 yards isn't a huge amount, it's not like a massive order for fitting out a hotel or something, but still - I mean, it's ten yards. Ten yards is ten yards. It's a sale in a slow business economy, and isn't that worth something?
And as a customer who would buy 10 yards of a single fabric, am I also not the kind of customer who is worth investing in, considering that I may then make further purchases of different fabrics from the same supplier if I had a happy experience with them? Don't all businesses want their customers to have a good experience with them???
Yes, that's what I thought too. But to no avail. Clearly, I and my measly ten-yard order are not worth bothering with. So what to do?
Luckily for me, I happen to have a sister who lives in the States. Aha - a solution became obvious. And sure enough, after a few emails, I'd ordered the fabric from Calico Corners, they shipped it to my sister, she took it off the big roll it arrived on, repackaged it, and sent it to me for the princely sum of $75 postage instead of the original $266 it might have cost.
Yay for my sister! Wasn't that good of her? What would I have done otherwise?... I'd be fabric-less and unhappy.
So now I have my lovely fabric (and I added in two yards of a Sunbrella print while I was at it, to recover the long cushion on the outside teak daybed - see, Australian supplier, that is what you missed out on, a 12-YARD-ORDER of over $500, you silly supplier you).
As they say, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Or in this case, a bird in the hand is worth 12 yards I never managed to buy now mouldering away somewhere in the storeroom of an unresponsive Australian supplier in Melbourne who I will never, ever, bother wasting my time with again. Nyuuuuuuur.