The National : OCTNOVDEC2017 DRYCLEANER
but the gown comes out of the machine and beads have melted. Especially when a garment is being made locally, if the dressmaker runs out of beads, she is just as likely to pop down to Spotlight or Lincraft and pick up “something similar” to the professional beads she should be using. They don’t all perform the same. “I am not a superstar, I have stuffed up gowns before today, but I like to think I have learned. “When you are at the counter, with your customer, take photographs of the damage. First of all, it’s a record. Secondly, it shows your customer that you take the problems associated with the dress very seriously. You aren’t going to miss anything. “These days all the work checked in over the counter in the USA, and in some Australian plants, is recorded on camera at the counter. Sometimes you will see a garment simply being held up in the air, to get a closer shot. Recorded, dated, time stamped. “No more arguments about “That wasn’t there!” Yes, it was, and I can prove it. “The second thing is, have a Consignment Book. And have your customer sign it, and have the customer acknowledge that you have discussed specific problems, at the counter, and that you will try within the limits of what is achieveable, to resurrect it. “And get paid. One thing I have learned from my Membership of the Specialist Wedding Gown Association USA is to upcharge. Wedding gowns can consume a huge amount of your day. Your time, your staff’s time. Time at the spotting board, time in the machine, perhaps time spent respotting or digesting problems. You will be working it and working it round and round your spotting board. Look for things like diamantes. Are they shiny on the back or a dull grey? You want dull grey. The shiny ones are trouble, the diamante is glued onto a backing. I wouldn’t 10 THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DRYCLEANER & LAUNDERER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2017 Pay attention. A cursory glance at a heavily beaded gown will not show you where beads are missing. Diamantes need testing but there are a couple of tricks. Michael Murphy is flanked by Queensland Cousins, Nice and Nathan.
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