Thursday, April 17, 2008

Frustrated. Very frustrated.

Before you read this you should know two things:
1. I needed to vent. I feel better now.
2. I really like Ethan Allen. They have beautiful furniture and almost always* outstanding service. **I guess I'm like my children; I don't like being told "No."

When Hadleigh was a few months shy of turning two and Nathanael was a few months away from making his entrance to our family, we went "big girl bed hunting".

We decided we would get a twin bed, since we knew that it was possible that we would one day have another girl (good thinking, huh?) We looked and looked and looked. This was not an easy decision for us. Brent loves to build things. (He built our changing table, office bookcase, as well as many other smaller items...and my honey-do building list only continues to grow!) I love this hobby of his. He is so very talented. He therefore has an appreciation of quality furniture. So, our furniture search was challenging because SO many "good" beds and "reasonably priced" beds had some not-so-quality features about their construction. We would find a design that we liked only to find that very little of the bed was genuine hardwood or would withstand multiple military moves...and yet these would still cost over $500. (Brent sometimes has a hard time paying for something that he could build for less money...even though time is definitely a factor.)

So we were so very pleased when we found the Emma bed at Ethan Allen. Completely hardwood. Beautiful finish. Gorgeous details. And only a little bit more than the cheapo-construction beds had cost.

We ordered it. In a chocolate-stained finish. (We love dark wood furniture.) No one could show me pictures of it...because the popular finish was the white...which is what all the stores carried in their showrooms. But we were confident we would love it.

We loved it. Still do. Fast forward two years. Madeleine arrives on the scene. Our crib coordinates beautifully with Hadleigh's bed. So we move to Oklahoma, and I am spending some naptime surfing the web for a few pieces of furniture for the new house. And while I'm looking for a secretary desk at Ethan Allen, I decide to check to make sure that the Emma bed is still available.

It is.

But not the chocolate finish. What? It must be a computer error. I immediately call the store we bought it from and ask for Janet, the lady who sold it to us. She doesn't work there anymore, but I can talk to another design specialist. Okay.

So the lady...let's call her Kay. This is our conversation:

Me: Umm...I really need to order the Emma bed in chocolate for my second daughter (who is only currently four months old) and the website doesn't have that stain as an option.
Kay: Well, that's odd. Because I am looking at my NEWEST style catalog that I JUST received and the chocolate is still available.
Me: Oh. Well, do you think you could check because if they are about to discontinue it, I would like to order one right this minute.
Kay: I'll get right back to you.

(fifteen minutes pass)

Kay: Well, I don't have good news. They have discontinued that stain for that bed.
Me: But they still have the bed. And the stain. Just not together.
Kay: Correct.
Me: I need that bed.
Kay: We can put you on a wishlist that will be emailed to all the Ethan Allen stores and warehouses and if a bed is in stock somewhere, you will be required to purchase it.
Me: That's fine.
Kay: Okay, I'll do that and hopefully I'll talk with you soon with some good news.
Me: Thanks so much.

(about two months pass by.) (still no word from Kay. wouldn't you call your client one way or another?)


Me: Hi Kay. I spoke with you about the Emma bed on a wish list a few months ago. I was wondering if you had heard anything?
Kay: Oh, I'm so sorry. Nothing turned up.
Me: And there is no way I can get this bed?
Kay: No, I'm really sorry.
Me: There's no one I can talk to convince them to make one tiny exception and make me this bed.
Kay: No. I spoke with the owner of the company and she told me that the only way was through the wish list. Would you want to get the white bed instead?
Me: No. I really need the chocolate bed. (If I wanted the white bed, we wouldn't be having this conversation, would we? Sometimes I have to tell the thoughts in my head to be more polite.)

The conversation continued for a little while. But you've probably heard enough.

So here's why I am frustrated. When I was first interested in this bed, no one could show me a picture of it in the finish I wanted. Why? Because I was told that they were made as they were ordered. That would mean that they take the pieces of the bed and finish them in the ORDERED finish; then ship them to be assembled in your home.

Now, they still manufacture the Emma bed. They still finish other beds in the chocolate finish. Why can't they make one more Emma bed in chocolate? Would it really be so difficult? I would be willing to pay a little more for whatever inconvenience it might be. Because now I have one bed that I love that won't match whatever new bed that I find. And my vision for my daughters' room has these matching beds.

What are the chances that two months after Ethan Allen makes this decision is when I think to "check" up on the bed for Madeleine? Seriously. I guess I should have called the day she was born.

You should see the vision I have for this room. It's really beautiful. I would really love to show you a picture. But I can't. Now, if you or anyone you know has this bed...and for some crazy reason no longer wants it...well, make sure to get in touch with me! And if anyone knows the owner of Ethan Allen and could put in a good word or two about just one more chocolate Emma bed...I would be deeply grateful.


moonlightgrrl said...

oh, wow, Kimber-leigh... those things are really frustrating! i totally get what you mean.

just a thought... is it possible to purchase that bed in a different stain, the white maybe, and then use your hubby's talent to sand it and stain it with a very similar stain from somewhere else? since Madeleine is only 4 months old, it'll be a while before she uses the bed, so he has plenty of time to do it... like i said, just a thought.

good luck! i really hope you find a way for your visions of their room to come into fruition. :)

ricanlaw said...

I was about to ask if you purchase the bed and buy the same exact stain and stain it yourself. I do feel your frustration though. I do not take no for an answer and can become very manipulative and pushing when it comes down to my kids. Hmmm what if you call the other stores yourself? What about looking in the papers? Craigs lists or something like that? Is this bed made exclusively for Ethan Allan?

Wendy said...

If you do what others suggested, Sherman-williams will match the stain. I am not exactly sure what you have to do. You know Rachel and I got the same crib. She had the stain matched perfectly to stain other things in her room before Kate was born. Two years later we went to Sherman-Williams, pulled up their records and got the stain made as well to stain a bookshelf for Cara - it is a perfect match. I feel your frustration and hope it all works out!

Shawna said...

i'm sorry - that is too frustrating, especially when you "see" the vision in your head. too things made me laugh ... i love how you used the name "kay" as Person B. then i love how you said....the room is really pretty in my head. lol. both are so great to me in the midst of a not so fun situation.

hang in there - i think if this doesn't work out - something better will be right around the corner. how's that for a "feel good" answer? love you.


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