Frequently Asked Questions

What sets Laurie Tavan's work apart?

There are a number of factors that set my work apart, and while I can't claim any single one of them as unique, when taken together I find that it's an attractive package to offer my clients.

Certainly, my attention to detail and perfectionism (though dreadful for the bottom line) keep people coming back. My repeat customers particularly like that I'm flexible, willing to work with them to get a particular look while balancing often-conflicting priorities, such as their budget, time constraints, physical limitations, guild/cast costuming guidelines, and aesthetic sense.

Finally, I think my clients particularly like that I produce pieces that are specifically created for them, fully customized with their involvement and input at every step of the process. They can see the work progressing, and they know that they're getting something special.

What is the process of ordering an item from you?

Briefly: You contact me with a request for a consultation. I will get back to you within a week to schedule an appointment (unless I'm out of town, which will always be noted in my blog). At the appointment, we'll discuss the project details, timeframe, materials, and cost. Once we've come to an agreement, I will take a $150 deposit to secure your place in the queue to fully develop your design. Then we sign a contract and design sketch with your initial estimate at which time a 50% deposit is due. Please see commissions for a detailed description of the process.

How long will it take?

My turnaround time varies seasonally and with order volume. For a corset, expect about two months between initial consultation and the corset being finished. This includes finding compatible times for fittings. For gowns, the design and construction process and multiple fittings will generally take three to four months. This said, depending on my work queue, I will let you know if things may be done faster.

What is your busy season? When should I place my order?

Place your order as soon as you can and we can figure out a schedule that works for both of us. In general, costuming orders build up at the beginning of the year before Rennaissance Faire season and around mid-Summer for the Dickens Christmas Fair. As for when you should place your order, I'd suggest doing so at your earliest convenience. Even if it's during my busy time, it's better for both of us if we get the design process started and give it time to develop rather than rushing things.

Do you accept rush orders? What do you consider a rush order?

Depending on my workload, I will sometimes accept rush orders. Rush orders are those placed with deadlines inside the time estimates given above (one month for corsets and three months for gowns). Rush orders incur a 50% additional charge, and are contingent on the client's full cooperation in scheduling the required fittings.

May I bring my best friend/fiancé/mother/bridesmaids to meetings?

We prefer you to come alone to the initial design consultation and other meetings. I can get a clearer idea of exactly what you want with one-on-one communications. More people means more opinions and often more time taken in unnecessary complications.

If you do wish to bring a mother or a friend it is probably more interesting and worthwhile to do so during fittings rather than the intial design process. Please give me warning ahead of time. All visits should be pre-arranged prior to the fitting date.

Are your estimates exact?

No, they're estimates. I try my hardest to provide reasonable estimates based on the design requirements specified at the beginning of the project. For a given design as detailed in the initial contract, I will not exceed the estimated price by more than 20%. Should requirements change mid-project, I'll always contact you and we'll come to a new estimate before proceeding.