Tailors/Seamstress’ and their wahala

Florence Uwaeme

Nigerian artisans are notorious for the high rate of disappointment their clientele/customers receive. Numerous range of these group of artisans are made up of fashion designers, hair stylists, iron benders, graphic designers, the list is endless.

Here in Port Harcourt, the story isn’t different from what has been heard from other parts of the country. They give the craziest reasons for not meeting up with their schedule. Sometimes, they go the extra mile of blaming their clients for either of the following ridiculous reasons like adding too much weight in less than one week- and that is the reason your size isn’t tallying with their measurement, losing weight, bringing in fabric that their machine isn’t comfortable with. Some go as far as switching off their mobile phones in the bid to evade a client’s call.

If you have ever sown clothes by any of these artisans, you’ll be conversant with their endless stories. A visit to a selection of these artisan’s shops in the city of Port Harcourt led to the writing of this article.

Some of the clients/customers I met said they were used to their seamstress’/tailor’s gimmicks. They agreed that though it could be very frustrating to be disappointed especially when their designer is past deadline, there is little or nothing they could do about it they agreed.

One customer narrated how her seamstress made her miss her best friend’s wedding. She said her seamstress agreed on the date she should come pick-up her dress with all assurance that the dress will be ready even before that weekend. To her disappointment, seamstress was nowhere to be found and her number was intentionally switched off. An old dress saved the day.
When after two weeks she went back to her seamstress’ shop, she claimed her parents were rushed to the hospital a day before she was to pick-up her dress that was why her number wasn’t reachable. Ridiculous right? Yes. There are even more ridiculously unbelievable stories they tell.

The tales told by some of these artisans are lies that are visible to even a blind man. Here is what I think can be done to curtail these artisans excesses.

• Before sending out your fabric to your seamstress/tailor, ensure you have alternative wear for that event.
• Take your fabrics 2 to 3 weeks ahead of the event to your seamstress/tailor and them you’ll pick it up a week to the event. Don’t make the mistake of telling them the exact date for the event.
• Always call them to remind them to keep to their promise.
• Get them arrested if they fail to deliver. I think this will make them sit up.

Have you been in this situation before? How did you handle it?