Ashes, head Kudu here. I'm super excited to announce that we have completed ALL CUSTOM ORDERS!!!! We will have all of them shipped out to their forever homes Friday. We cannot express our gratitude with customers over how patient most of you have been, and how kind and understanding. It's a huge weight off of our shoulders to finally have them all complete.
That being said there's a few things that now need to be addressed here in the aftermath of this long, VERY trying and stressful experience. We've had some questions about customs and we'd like to answer them now!
Q: Will you ever be taking on fully open customs again in the future?
A: No. We will not EVER again be opening full customs. If we ever open anything close to customs again we will most likely be doing something along the lines of Made To Order toys with very specific color combos that can be chosen from. We will not be offering customs based on inspiration photos, other pours, guided surprises, characters ect.
Q: If you do MTO toys when will those open?
A: Currently we have no timeline for when and IF we will be doing MTO toys. Likely not for a while. The last few months have been incredibly trying, stressful and anxiety riddled. We very much so need a break from all things custom.
Q: Why no more fancy guided surprises, inspiration photos, character inspiration??
A: We are going to take down our business face for just a second and are going to get very personal and honest here. When we decided to take down customs we wanted everyone to get their chance to get a spot if they so wanted. We are people pleasers by nature and we wanted to say yes to well...everyone. We found ourselves drowning in incredibly complex pours, with very lengthy descriptions and notes, trying our very best to wade through endless photos, explanations of color and instructions. We did our best to sort everything out and ensure we understood correctly. But it took a huge toll on our mental health and well-being. We are only human, we missed the mark on some and made sure we made it right. We as a business strive to always make it right when we've made an error on our end. But there were moments we simply had to say no. Which is something we struggle with. Nobody wants to hear no, and we don't want to dish it out. But the level of abuse, (and yes I am using that term, because it was) we received when we did have to say no was appalling. So I'm using my platform to address this. This is not ok. Most of us are still very small shops. We do not have an army of people working for us. (In our case we have a herd of three Kudus!) We try very hard to make everyone happy and in the event something has gone wrong we make good. But we also have to set boundaries. And it does not feel good to have those boundaries stepped on and disregarded. If you have ever dealt with Kudu customer service you've dealt with one of only two Kudus who handle that department! We are people. (People who do cry when yelled at!) And I feel that this needs to be remembered here. Customs don't always come out the way you imagine. It happens. It's happened to me! (Ashes here, I'm a collector as well as a business owner!) And it's not a great feeling. And always contact the shop with concerns of course. But when you are told no, even though it might be upsetting at the time, this is not an excuse to bully, abuse and push the boundaries of a shop. Please don't. It hurts. And while we are not doing customs anymore, there are newer shops that are! So please be mindful and don't put them in this position. Many shops have closed customs because of the issues stated here. Most of our customers were AWESOME! We got to work with some really rad prompts and make some super neato stuff. So I'm not a grumpy kudu just raving about negative things. But this is important and I felt needed to be said.
Q: So what's next?
A: Now that customs are over and done with we will have two Kudus now strictly pouring inventory! Which means even bigger drops, really awesome experimental pours and focusing on things that we didn't have time for like filling out our size lineups for some of the toys! Making sure toys like Asethia, Arcus, Galeged, Leena, Jasper, Aleya and Ekyll get large sizes! And toys like Arith get some in-between sizes! ;D
Final thoughts: If you got this far, thank you for reading and taking the time to listen to all the points covered here. We are forever grateful for the chance to get to make y'all some lovely customs! We will for the most part look back on our custom days with fondness. And we are super excited for what's in store for the future!
The Head Kudu, Ashes