Hi, all! Lots of information here, so make sure you give this post a read-through if you planning on ordering in the next six months ヽ(°〇°)ﾉ
TL;DR: I'm going to continue to work on and accept orders until my baby boy is born, but I'm not promising construction times due to an unpredictable schedule going forward. I will officially return from maternity leave around February, so plan your cosplays accordingly. (But seriously, please read the whole post so you know what's going on).
(￣▽￣)ノ FULL POST ＼(⌒▽⌒)
Alrighty! So you guys know I'm pregnant with a darling little boy who should be joining our family officially in December. You guys also know I'm a full-time mama to little Jellybean and run Darling Army by myself and sometimes a sewing helper. It's not an ideal setup, but I'm so thankful that everyone has been so patient for the last year as I adjust to life as a working mom.
So, why the post? I'm having some medical complications with the pregnancy which is nothing for you guys to worry about, but is making my schedule extremely unpredictable. Because of this, I'm officially cutting off construction times. Yes, I plan to keep working up until the last second (it's nice to have something to focus on when life gets crazy), but I can't promise or even begin to estimate when orders will be completed. I'll try to continue finishing orders before the 8-week timeline, but I don't want to promise anything in case I get taken out of the game early.
Does this mean I won't be accepting larger orders until my maternity leave is over in February? Not at all! I'm actually hoping to accept orders in the next week or two. Like I said, I rely on work to help keep me grounded, so I plan to keep chugging along until the baby comes or I am no longer able to work. I'm finally down to the last few kimono dress orders that were damaged with my studio mishap, so I'll be able to start focusing on new orders very soon. They just have a potential of not being completed until February when I officially come off maternity leave.
Printed orders will continue to stay open throughout my maternity leave as they are much less time-consuming to fulfill compared to custom clothing like kimono dresses and pinafores. My family can also help me complete printed orders, so I can keep those bad boys available. I won't promise construction/shipping times on them since new babies come with a lot of unknowns, but I don't see them being a huge issue as long as nothing catastrophic happens.
When do I officially plan on returning? My hope is to get back into the swing of things about 8 weeks after my little boy is born which should be early February. With Jellybean, I started returning to work slowly around six weeks so I could get out of the house and feel human again. I imagine I'll be the same this time around. After I return, construction times will likely revert back to the 3-8 week estimate I've been operating at.
With that information in mind, please please please plan ahead if you have an early Spring convention. If your heart is set on a kimono dress or pinafore for your cosplay lineup, try to order during the next time I open. I know it's months ahead of time, but at the very least it will mean I'll be working on your order as soon as I return from maternity leave, if not finishing it before my son is born. If you miss out on the next date, consider ordering something from the Printed section of the store. They're not as much of a statement piece as the kimono dresses, but they do accessorize very nicely for cosplay and have the added benefit of being stretchy enough to accommodate weight gain or loss since you'll be ordering a few months out.
I hope this helps you guys understand what the Darling Army will be like going forward (￣▽￣*)ゞ
Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for your continued love and support!