Recently, I've noticed that I'm getting orders and emails from people referred by others who tried the microbead forms and liked them. That's lovely, and I truly appreciate all the nice things people have apparently said on various breast cancer related blogs! THANK YOU ALL! You're so kind, and you really make my day. Friendly emails from truly nice people have greatly multiplied in recent months, and it's thanks to bloggers...HUGS! :^)
However, some people now come to order the forms who haven't read any of the rest of the website so they don't know that I'm sewing these mostly as my way to help, and am not making a big profit or running this as a business. That's why I'm adding this explanation right next to the microbead forms for sale, so perhaps those who didn't first read anything else in the site, will have read this bit. :^)
Those who sew, know that just buying the materials for the first pair would cost them more than I charge for a pair already made, plus I've contributed half a day or more of labor to make and package them, and postage to ship them, and gas to drive them to the post office, etc...
I enjoy making these for anyone who would like them, for any reason, and my buying a few things in bulk can
save others some money this way, too. Some people can't sew, some can, but simply don't have time while trying to take care of a family and a job, or go through treatment, and that's especially hard on them. I really do want everyone to be able to
experience the comfort of lightweight microbead breast forms even if they can't make them, and I'm happy to help by making these for others.
I really DO love to sew, and currently have the time since my home situation is such that I'm unfortunately unable to return to work away from home, so it works out and I'm glad to! This is something I CAN do for other survivors, and it means a lot to me.
Unfortunately, every now and then, a person gets here with no idea what this site is all about, having read nothing more than the 'Buy Now' button, lol.... This is a very, very, very small percentage of people, but still it needs to be addressed to prevent any misunderstanding that could happen.
Here's the story: These custom-made forms are hand-sewn one pair at a time by one REAL PERSON who's had bilateral mastectomy and wants to help others in the same situation. They are made of the best materials possible. They are NOT shoddily made in another country of cheap materials, or by child-labor working for low wages, so they are not something disposable nor can they be returned or exchanged like at Walmart. This is not Walmart, dear hearts, it's my little sewing room.
Some women who buy these are still undergoing chemotherapy and may have compromised immune systems, (the same as I did when in chemo) so I'd never take back a pair tried on by one person and sell them to another who might be adversely affected by any germs (or smoke, or whatever). NOT...GONNA...HAPPEN, sorry... so, no returns or exchanges, as I simply can't afford to take returns and then throw the microbead forms away like a big company might do.
Also, I can't afford to give them away for free because you are living on a low income or have no insurance to buy breast forms somewhere else, though I truly do understand. I've been there, and now must live on a very limited income myself. Those who've read this site know that it was created for people in discomfort or who maybe can't afford something like a pair of $800 silicone breast forms, even if they wanted to go through the pain of wearing them instead of microbead forms.
To explain the 'money' side, what usually happens is this... someone buys a pair, and I buy another bag of microbeads for about the same price... a few more people buy some pairs, and that money goes to a specialty fabric place to restock some more of the hard-to-find skin-tone spandex fabric...someone else buys another pair, and I replenish the special sewing machine needles for spandex fabrics that cost me about $6 a pack, and thread that costs $4 a spool on sale (and both those things wear out or run out a lot faster than you'd expect if you don't know about sewing! Spandex fabric can dull needles faster than I went through hubby's Valentines Day chocolates.) Even the inside backing layer that I add for more comfort is expensive, and I pay retail for that as well as many other items.
This all doesn't begin to explain all the unseen expenses such as upkeep on sewing machines, buying more rotary cutter blades, assorted other sewing supplies, and then there's the internet. Ouch. We can't get any kind of regular broadband where we live, so we have to use a more expensive satellite internet to keep up with the website. It's an expense for us that I'd likely not be using if not for doing this website.
See what I mean? The pair you purchase, pretty much provides enough to maybe buy materials for the next pair, and the next provides something for the next, and so on. Occasionally, there's enough for something extra such as new close-up sewing eyeglasses needed for making those tiny handsewn seams at the end of the process that need strong magnification, and oh am I ever thankful for that! Those stitches are itsy-bitsy! :^)
I sometimes tell people that the money from the forms is my 'pin money', but little do they know that usually it often means that I'm running low on good sharp ultra-thin pins (they also dull fast) and the rest for other supplies. Now, if anyone wants to donate something toward the site's upkeep, you are welcome to, lol... as I would LOVE to actually break even more often or afford to buy things for myself like some more arthritis aids for the sewing room, my fingers are gettin' old a lot faster since chemo! (Does anyone else's fingers lock up now when you grip scissors or anything too tightly? OUCH, right?)
***AND ON THAT TOPIC... I've come back to add this section because a couple of people wrote, who used my free website patterns to sew their own items, and asked why there's no place here to donate to help out with costs. I had put it there once, years ago, but soon took it out because I was uncomfortable doing that, it made me feel as if I was asking others to help pay for something that I wanted to do myself, but..well... maybe they're right and it's time to do it, as I can't always afford to do things or get things needed to improve what I'm making or showing here.
If you've found information within this website useful and would like to make what I do a little bit easier, there's now a "Donate" button at the bottom of this section. If a few people want to send a dollar or two, I'd appreciate it, but if you can't, please don't worry one bit about it, as I seldom can afford to donate to sites I've benefited from either. With the current economy, and with health issues most readers of this site are going through, we're all doing everything we can to survive from one month to the next! PLEASE don't ever refrain from emailing or asking for info, etc., because you don't donate,. I NEVER EVER WANT ANYONE TO FEEL THAT THEY CAN'T EMAIL ME, my whole point for this website is trying to help others in my own situation post-mastectomy or dealing with effects of breast cancer, and if by putting the "Donate" button here causes that to happen, ever, I'm REMOVING IT!***
Hope all this explains everything sufficiently, and sorry to have to add so much on this page. It's boring, I know, but I thought it better to type it out once now and it'd save time when someone clicks here who doesn't know what this site is or how it works. Thanks for reading, and have a great day! :^)