These are the questions I get asked all of the time, so please take a look before messaging me with something answered here. It will save both of us a lot of time, because I just don’t have time to respond to the same questions every day! 🙂
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
How do I request a commission or an estimate?
First, I open and close commissions throughout the year, depending on how busy I am. If you want to know if commissions are open, I usually list it on my facebook page banner (CommissionsByAmazonMandy), or feel free to just message me and ask on my Facebook messages (or Instagram, though I check those far less often)!
I would need as many reference pics as you can (at least something good of front/back or drawings), and your height and size.
The best place to message me is on my Facebook.
If you have specific design requirements, fabrics you want use, certain ways it needs to be made–it needs to be specified BEFORE AN ESTIMATE IS AGREED UPON. Whenever I give an estimate, I will give a detailed write up of how I plan on constructing it. Please, if anything specific is desired further, STATE IT AT THAT TIME. Once a commission is completed, any statements such as “oh, I wanted it made this way” or “oops, I wanted this fabric used” will mean you are responsible for paying for a new piece to be made, a replacement, full reconstruction, or, forfeiting your downpayment. I will absolutely work with you to make sure you’re happy, but you must be fair to me & my time and effort, I can’t read your mind on what you want and once something is made, remaking it costs both of us.
How much is a commission or gown?
If you want an estimate, send me reference pictures, your height, and your size. There is NO SET PRICE, it depends entirely on what the commission is, how complicated and time consuming it will be, and the materials involved. Every commission is different.
If I have drawings of an original design, will you make it?
Absolutely! I’ve done lots of original designs, I enjoy making your visions come to life! I’ll work with you to make sure it’s what you want and the kinds of fabrics you have in mind!
A NOTE ON ORIGINAL DESIGNS: Using a piece of art is fine unless the artist says “not for cosplay”. The same goes for original designs. If someone has designed (or had designed for them) something original, I WILL NOT recreate it for you, unless the designer has given permission. People work hard on creating their own designs, replicating it is unfair. The same goes for my own original designs that I make for myself–I will not create the same costume for others. But I will be more than happy to help you come up with something original of your own, if you need help!
Do you ever turn down commissions?
At times, yes. This can be for a variety of reasons. I may not feel like it’s something I can take on, or requires materials I don’t work in. I may not have time, it may not fit into my portfolio, or I just may not like the design, which means I won’t be able to do my best work on it. I don’t need to specify each time I turn down a commission, please don’t take it personally or think I may not work on something you’d like in the future. I just am not able to do every design set before me.
What will you NOT create for me?
I think it’s fair to put a list out of things that are going to be a definite “no” on commissions from here on out, to save customers time if they were going to put in for an estimate. Again, if you are already waiting on a commission on my wait list, please don’t worry, you’ll still get it! This is just for future requests!
• Sailor Moon fuku
• Star Wars Uniforms-this includes officer uniforms, empire officer uniforms, pilot suits, First Order uniforms, ect. I WILL make character costumes, usually (Darth Maul, Holdo, etc).
• Military style uniforms
• Japanese fuku/school uniforms
• Armor (other than small pieces at times as part of a full costume)
• If someone creates an original design for themselves, I won’t steal the design for you w/o creators permission. This includes my own designs.
• Clothing/costumes for babies
* Costumes with large amounts of built in armor/shell/solid parts (I will do small pieces, at times)
• I no longer do “parts & accessories” unless they are part of an entire commission. This includes shoes, head pieces, jewelry, pouches, etc.
I also just may decline commissions on the basis that they don’t really fit into what I want to make….I want to start being more selective with what I take on. I want to do commissions that truly appeal to me. I want challenges, I want designs and materials I love, I want to shape my portfolio a little more to reflect my own style and tastes.
As mentioned before, please do not take it personally if I can’t take on your commission, and please don’t think that means I may not do a different commission for you in the future! I just cannot take them all on anymore, and so I have to decide which ones are right for my business. If your commission request is rejected, don’t be afraid to come around for something else should you want. And if it’s something I am interested in, as always, estimates are always free!
Do you take payments?
Only in halves, only via Paypal. The way I usually do my commissions is to get half of the payment up front. That covers materials and as soon as the payment arrives, I will order the fabrics. I will send pictures of it all when completed. If it looks satisfactory to you, you send the final payment with shipping cost and I’ll ship it out!
Shipping isn’t included in the prices, what I usually do is weigh the costume once it’s complete and get an estimate from USPS.com based on the zip code it will be shipped.
How do I sign up for/use Paypal?
Paypal will walk you through it. I do not have time to spend walking you through something that you can easily do yourself, or Google for further information.
Do you take any other forms of payment?
No. Paypal only. I might consider trades if someone had something I badly wanted, but that’s 99% likely not going to happen. Every time I’ve tried to work with people to take other forms of payment, I’ve been burnt, so I can’t anymore.
Can I pay extra for a rush order?
There are times when I will accept rush orders for a fee (fee depending on the complication of the costume and how much time I have to work on it). You may ask, I’ll let you know if I am too swamped or if I can handle it for a price!
Why does my rush order cost so much extra?
I have a list of customers already lined up who booked their commissions in advance and expect them at a certain date. In order to ensure their orders are not delayed, I work rush orders during my evenings and weekends. Therefore, you are paying for my overtime to complete yours as quickly as possible.
What if I am late on paying you?
When you order a commission from me, I’m assuming you have the money to pay for it, just like any other product. Once it’s completed, it’s unfair to make me wait weeks (and months) for my own payment, I’ve invested a lot of my time into your costume, and I have bills that need paid just like you! Therefore, unless we come to an agreement other than this (and I try REALLY hard to work around when people need time, I understand life happens), a late fee of $20 will be added to your payment, and $10 for each week that the commission isn’t paid for.
How long will you hold my costume if I can’t pay right away?
First off, see the above question for payment and delay costs. Even if you are delayed on paying a costume, unless we come to an agreement other than this, ALL COSTUMES MUST BE PAID FOR WITHIN 2 MONTHS OF COMPLETION. If a costume isn’t paid for in 2 months after I’ve contacted you that it’s completed, I will assume it an abandoned commission and have the right to sell it to recoup my time in it, and the first payment that was put down will not be refunded.
Please keep in mind my time, effort, and costs when I work for you. I put in days and sometimes weeks on a costume, knowing that I will be paid when done for my work. I need paid as much as you do; I have bills just like you. Can you imagine working for a month+ for your boss, and him telling you “oh, thanks for that, you’ll be paid in 5 months”. That’s absolutely intolerable in any other business, and because it’s happened to me time and time again, I now have to enforce this rule. I don’t have space to store boxes of commissions that people asked me to create for them but then don’t have the time/want/priority to pay me after I’ve invested myself in the work and completed it.
tl;dr: Two months, including the late fees.
Can I have progress pictures?
No, unless I choose to post some (usually I will on Instagram). Taking progress pictures takes a lot of time out of my work. For the most part I don’t like to stop working for progress pics because this will delay your commission.
Can I rent one of your costumes?
NO. You can’t afford it. If you want a costume, ask me about making one for you.
Can I buy one of your costumes?
If I am selling one of my own costumes, which I do fairly frequently, I publicly list it for sale. You may inquire about one, but most of them are things I am hanging onto until I decide to list it myself.
Do you do costumes or gowns for extra large sizes, or cross dressing costumes?
Yes! I work with anyone of any shape and size, I believe everyone should have a chance to wear what they want and feel good in it!
If I commission a costume or gown and it doesn’t fit perfectly, what about alterations?
If a costume doesn’t fit and it’s not due to wrong measurements given to me, I will happily alter it for free, you only cover the shipping. If a costume doesn’t fit because you gave me incorrect measurements, there will be a fee depending on how complicated it is to fix it.
If I am not completely happy with my commission, how can we fix that?
If for any reason you aren’t completely happy with your commission, I will do everything in my power to fix it. I just ask for a clear explanation of why you aren’t happy so I know exactly what needs fixed, and a little patience to send it back to me so I can remedy that! I try to explain how it will be made up front, including fabrics so you have a really good idea of what you are getting, but sometimes someone just has something else in mind. I cannot do full refunds…the first half of your payment, as stated before, is non-refundable. That is because I spend it on all of the supplies, materials, and fabrics. But if there is anything I can do to make sure you are completely satisfied, I will do everything in my power to alter it till it’s what you need!
“I live in the same city as you! How about I meet up with you so that you can take my measurements and do fittings on me?”
The answer is a firm NO. I do commissions based on measurements people give me from all over the world. This is to ensure my own personal safety, it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. Should your commission need any alterations when complete, I am more than happy to help with that. If meeting with me for your commission is a make or break thing for you, shop somewhere else. I’ll be happy to meet you at a con!
“HEY! I am really well known! How about you do my costumes for free or at a huge discount? It’s like, free advertising!”
Do you do trades?
I have in the past, it completely depends on what you’re offering. I have done trades for parts of costumes (such as my sewing in exchange for a prop you may be skilled in making), art trades (I’ve had artists design costumes for me in for sewing them something), and more. Don’t be shy about letting me know what you have to offer but don’t be hurt if I don’t have a need for what you’re offering at this time. Mostly I just want to make my living!
Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
Unless we are really close to the deadline date we agreed on, I’m going to stop answering this question. I literally have people message me a week or two after their first payment, it takes that long just to get fabrics I ordered in, at least. Repeatedly asking slows me down and is honestly annoying. I’m ignoring it from now on.
Do you sell prints?
Yes, I have a link on my home page, and the current ones available are always in my Etsy shop.
I do offer specials and ways to get discounts on my Facebook page, coupons from time to time. I do not do military or student discounts, those can generally only be given by large businesses because the government gives them tax breaks for offering it. A self employed person doesn’t get such help.
Where do you ship?
Pretty much anywhere. As long as you’re ok paying the shipping (some countries are pricey!), I get estimates from USPS.com and ship where you need! Occasionally if the item is large, UPS is cheaper, if that’s the case I get rates from both.
Please don’t be afraid to contact me with any questions not covered here! I am always happy to help out, explain, or find ways to work with customers! These FAQs are just a way to save us both time in messages before we get started!