COMPANY PRACTICES & POLICIES
We want your experience with us to be as successful and rewarding as possible. The following information is a guideline to the practices and policies we employ to ensure that our classes and all gift boutique transactions are handled quickly, professionally, and with optimal results. If you don’t see the answers you need listed on this page, please Contact Us, with your specific question or issue and we will respond as soon as possible.
Class Policies follow immediately. Please scroll down to see Gift Boutique Policies.
So you are interested in taking a class and you want to know where to start. First, start by viewing our Class Menu to find a project that interests you. Then read our Class Policies and Procedures described here to make sure you gain a detailed understanding of what to expect during the classroom experience. We can’t wait to see you in class. We know you will have a good time!
**Please Note: By signing yourself or your child up for classes you acknowledge that you have read our class policies and will abide by the guidelines set forth therein. If you ever have any questions about these policies, please Contact Us, so that we may address your specific concerns.
1. Understanding the Class Listing
The Class Listing is an important part of the selection process, so we try to make sure it is as accurate and detailed as we can make it. You should make sure you read all details included in the Class listing before reserving a spot to avoid any possibility of cancellation fees. Each listing will include the the following info:
a. Featured Project: Details about the featured project or lesson objectives (i.e. learning to use a home sewing machine, or making a pillow.
b. Suggested Age (of participant): Usually has to do with who the featured project will appeal to, more than the skill level. For example a stuffed toy class might be suggested for students ages 8-12, while a class for formal dresses might be suggested to adults or older teens. Sometimes it will refer to the sizes of a featured project as well. If a certain project is not available in children's sizes we will suggest the class for students who are 14 and older. Prospective students are free to accept or disregard this suggestion as their needs dictate. (For instance a parent and child may want to take the stuffed toy class together.)
c. Recommended Skill Level: This detail should be used as a definitive measure of whether the class is suitable for the prospective student. Students are not encouraged to sign up for a class that is higher than their current ability level, without consulting the instructor beforehand. However students are always encouraged to sign up for a class that is either at or below their current ability level. If a student is unsure of their current ability level, they can reference the "Skill Levels" section of this page, or Contact the instructor for advice on the matter.
d. Date & Time of Class: Most classes are held at the same time on the same day(s) of the week over a 2-4 week period of time. We tend to call those classes "Courses". Other classes, we call "Camps", are held at the same time each day, every day in the week or group of weeks (i.e. Summer Sewing Camps). Then there are classes that we hold for a limited number of hours in a 1-2 day period, that we call "Workshops or Events."
When you are signing up for a class make sure you read the date(s) and time details so that you can confidently commit to all the classes in a course, camp, or workshop. Opportunities to make up classes cannot always be offered, and partial refunds are not available.
e. Location: Regular classes will be held at the Academy studio location, but certain classes or events may be held at a different location such as a local community hall or tradeshow. Take note of any special event locations so you turn up at the right place.
2. Description of Skill Levels
Skill levels intend to describe the students skill level as follows:
a. "All skill levels welcome." -Means anyone who can or cannot sew
b. "New Beginner." -Assumes a student with little or no sewing experience on a home sewing machine, needs to start with machine basics like threading a machine, winding a bobbin, choosing stitches, and loading needles.
c. "Experienced Beginner." -Assumes a student has basic sewing machine knowledge and can ready to build beginner level sewing skills and create beginner projects.
d. "Intermediate." -Assumes a student understands the basics of sewing, is comfortable operating a basic home sewing machine, and is ready to learn more.
e. "Advanced." -Assumes the student can use specialized techniques on advanced sewing patterns, is ready to explore pattern alterations, and wants to expand the types of fabric they work with.
f. "Challenging." -Assumes the student is ready to combine advanced sewing techniques, with pattern manipulation, and work with a variety of challenging fabrics.
3. Signing Up/ Reserving Your Spot
In order to reserve your spot in a class or event, the listed class (and registration fees) must be paid in full at the time of registration. Unless specifically stated otherwise in a class listing, we cannot reserve classes with deposits. Because our class size is limited it is important you sign up and submit your class fees as soon as you know you can attend.
Online registrations are the fastest sign up method, but if you do not have access to or have trouble using the online portal you can Contact Us to make an appointment to register in person.
You can also Contact Us to request an email invoice sent directly to your inbox, but keep in mind your spot is not reserved until payment of the invoice is processed and received.
We do not currently take class registrations or payments over the phone. We apologize for any inconvenience.
All class fees must be paid in full before the start of the class, for the student to attend.
4. Payment Methods
a. We currently accept major credit/ debit card payments and PayPal thru our secure online website portal. Multiple major Credit and Debit cards are accepted.
b. We can also accept major credit and debit cards in person at the studio as well, along with Money Orders for the exact amount of the class registration. Because we are not open for regular retail hours you will need to Contact Us to make an appointment for payment.
c. Though we don't turn down cash payments, we request advance notice to accept cash payments and it has to be the exact amount. We do not keep change on hand at the studio. Because we are not open for regular retail hours you will need to Contact Us to make an appointment for payment.
d. Absolutely NO CHECKS, of any kind. We apologize for any inconvenience.
*Also we do not currently take class registrations or payments over the phone. We apologize for any inconvenience.
5. Supplies and Supply Lists
We list the required supplies on each class listing page. Keep in mind some classes have registration fees that include the needed supplies for a class or particular project.
If you'd like more information or have questions regarding the necessary supplies for your class, prior to the start of your class, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Safety Acknowledgement
Sewing has its own set of hazards due to working with scissors, rotary cutters, needles and pins, hot steamy irons, and sewing machines that have fast moving parts. However sewing is no more dangerous to your health than cooking, cleaning, or even walking. Just like all these other activities, if you take your time and pay attention you can enjoy long periods of sewing without so much as a scratch.
When you do sew you do have to understand that little pin pricks and the occasional burned fingertip are a part of the process. This is especially true of beginners who are learning to use these tools for the first time. We take every precaution, largely through proper demonstration of how to use various sewing tools and hands on supervision to limit these types of injuries.
By signing yourself or your child up for one of our classes you are acknowledging and accepting there is an acceptable risk of injury, related to working with sharp and hot tools.
7. Class Rules
They say creativity is about breaking the rules, but sharing a classroom with other students who are also paying to learn alongside you means observing a few key classroom rules as well. Please take these rules seriously, as failure to observe them more than once can result in a dismissal for the day and even the entire course. Hopefully once you read them you will see these are more about common courtesy and safety than anything else. If you ever have any questions or concerns about these rules, please Contact Us.
a. No Ringing Phones or other devices: Phones must be set to silent and no other electronic devices are allowed in the class room during class. Ipads, tablets, etc, should be stored with your bag or purse in the designated areas, or best of all left at home.
b. No food or beverages in the classroom: Water would be the only exception to this rule but even water bottles can be a hazard at the sewing table, so we discourage students from bringing them inside the class room. We have a lobby area just outside the classroom where students can enjoy a drink or snack away from project areas.
c. Pay attention and follow the directions of the Instructor: The sewing studio is largely creative lab so students are frequently encouraged to talk and help one another and share ideas and ofcourse ask questions. But students are also expected to know the difference between the times they can talk and the times when they should be quiet. Students should not talk while the instructor is talking. If the instructor asks for the class's attention, students are expected to pause what they are doing and give the instructor their full attention at that time. Students who fail to follow this rule are potentially disrupting the class and distracting their classmates. Behavior like this is subject to dismissal.
d. Be respectful of the Instructor and fellow students: Politeness counts. Remember your manners and this rule is a no brainer. Watch what you say and how you say it when speaking to other learners.
Words like "dummy", "stupid", or personal insults are not welcome in the studio classroom. Younger students can be harsh critics of each other's work and we want to foster an environment of support rather than judgment. Failure to be kind to other students is subject to dismissal.
e. Use tools, supplies, and spaces responsibly: Creative work can get messy and disorganized in a hurry. We don't mind as long as every student returns borrowed tools to their appropriate place, puts away supplies after using them, and cleans their sewing stations at the end of each lesson. Students who use studio supplies improperly or fail to return them in working condition will find their access to these amenities revoked, and access to further lessons in jeopardy.
f. Follow ALL safety rules: See Safety Rules for details. Failure to follow safety rules is hazardous to the student and their classmates. This type of Behavior is subject to dismissal.
8. Safety Rules
Sewing has its own set of hazards due to working with scissors, rotary cutters, needles and pins, hot irons, and fast moving sewing machines, but they don't have to be dangerous to your health if you use caution and observe the following rules:
a. No throwing of ANY Kind in the classroom.
b. One person at a time at the iron
c. Become stationery and Pay Attention when using scissors. No walking/ Running/ or Talking with scissors.
d. No horse playing or pushing is the classroom.
e. Slow down and watch where you are going/ watch what you are doing.
f. Do not attempt to refill irons, or move sewing machines without Adult Supervision and proper instruction.
g. Ask for help with items on the top shelf. Youth students (ages 17 yrs or younger) are not allowed to use the ladder. Ask an adult for help. Adults proceed with extreme caution and ask a fellow student for assistance.
ANY STUDENT WHO FAILS TO OBSERVE THESE SAFETY RULES WILL BE DISMISSED FROM ACADEMY CLASSES!!!
9. Attendance Policy
When you attend a group class it is very important you be considerate of the instructor and the other students who attend, by arriving on time and with your supplies on hand. Instructors arrive 15-20 minutes early so that the class can begin at the time posted on each class listing. Please plan to arrive a few minutes early and allow yourself time to prepare for class, set up your materials, hang your coat, purse, etc. Preparing to learn when class begins will ensure that the instructor has time to cover all of the materials you've paid to learn.
Should you have a last minute emergency, please *email us at email@example.com to let us know you will be absent so we can make a note in the class record. We do not offer refunds or credit for missed classes and handle make ups on a case by case basis (subject to availability). If you know in advance that you will need to miss a class, please let us know so we can make arrangements in advance about the best way to handle the missed material.
*Please note calls to us right before class will likely go unanswered as we are preparing to receive the other class members in that moment. By sending an email instead, we can still note class records of your absence and respond to your email at the next available opportunity.
10. Class Exchange Policy
If you find yourself registered for a class or workshop and discover you would prefer to attend a different class instead, we can assist you with an exchange provided you meet the following criteria:
-You must notify us* 14 days prior to the start of the “registered” class you wish to transfer from.
- There must still be availability in the new class you are requesting to transfer into
-You would be required to pay any “balance due” ** if the new class fee is higher than the registered class.
*Without a 14 day notice your “registered” class would have to be Cancelled, and Cancellation Fees would apply.
** If the exchange creates a “credit due”, the credit would be refunded back to the original purchaser in the same pay method tendered at time of registration.
11. Cancellation Policy- when a student cancels
Our class can accommodate a very limited number of students and as a result our classes fill up quickly, which means we often turn students away. If you find you can no longer attend your registered class please contact us as soon as possible. We require a full 14 days notice to issue a full refund for a cancelled registration. Cancelled class registrations (and exchanges) with less than a 14 days’ notice are subject to a Cancellation Fee. However, if you cancel with less than a 14 days’ notice, and we can fill your spot with someone from our waitlist, we will waive the cancellation fee and issue a full refund.
**Please note if a student signs up for a class less than 14 days before the start date the same cancellation policy still applies.
Made By Me Academy does require a minimum number of students for a class to move forward. If a class is canceled due to Under-Enrollment, you will receive a full refund or a credit towards a future class.
12. Cancellation fees
If a student cancels a class with less than 14 days notice, any refund given will be credited minus the Cancellation fee. Cancellation fees are determined as follows- The fee will equal the lesser of either $50 or 20% of Class fee. For example:
If your class fee was $180.00. 20% of $180 is $36. Since $36 is less than $50 the cancellation fee charged would be $36 and the student would receive a refund of $144 ($180-$36= $144).
If your class fee was $350.00. 20% of $350 is $70. Since $70 is greater than $50 the cancellation fee charged would be $50 and the student would receive a refund of $300 ($350- $50= $300).
*Please note: To receive any refund the class must be cancelled at least 72 hours before the first class starts. Once the 72 hour period leading up to the first class starts the spot in that class can no longer be filled by someone on the waiting list or a new registrant, and no refund is possible. The student assumes the total cost of the classes.
**Please allow 7-10 business days for your refund to be processed. Refunds are processed in the same payment method tendered at the time of registration, no exceptions. If the method of payment, such as a debit card payment, is no longer valid because for example the account the debit card was attached to has been closed, the student will have to accept a credit towards a future class. We cannot get around this limitation on our payment system. We apologize for any inconvenience.
13. When a Class is Cancelled...
A. ...Because of under-enrollment-
Made By Me Academy does require a minimum number of students for a class to move forward. If a class is canceled due to under-enrollment, you will receive a full refund or a credit towards a future class.
Typically we close registration for a class 14 days before its start date. We then notify registered students by email as soon as we determine the class is under-enrolled, at least 10 days before the scheduled start. This then allows the student enough time to make other selections or request their refund or credit.
B. ...Because of unforeseen or unavoidable events-
If a class has to be cancelled due to extreme weather, building maintenance, instructor absence, or other unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances, students will be notified as soon as possible
If the cancellation happens in the middle of a course of classes, for example the 2nd of four classes is cancelled due to bad weather the student will have the option of making up the class at a rescheduled time OR can request a partial refund or credit equal to the prorated fee for that class. A prorated credit or refund would be determined as follows:
Credit = Class fee/ number of lessons in the class x the number of lessons cancelled
With figures inserted:
Credit = $180 (class fee)/ 4 (lessons) x 1 (# of lessons cancelled)= $45
If you have any questions about this method, please Contact Us for specific details.
While we deeply regret when it happens, there are situations in which a student’s unwillingness or inability to follow class rules, and in particular the safety rules, will result in us having to dismiss the student from any further participation in classes in our studio.
When a dismissal occurs the student or student’s parents will be notified in writing of the dismissal and the reasons for the dismissal. Written warnings are not a part of the dismissal process, though students will very often have been given many verbal warnings during class before the instructor finds it necessary to dismiss students.
ANY TIME A STUDENT FAILS TO FOLLOW SAFETY RULES THEY CAN BE DISMISSED ON THE SPOT.
Refunds and credits are not given to students who are dismissed. By signing yourself or your child up for classes you acknowledge that failure to follow class rules and or safety rules is proper grounds for dismissal, furthermore you acknowledge that refunds or credits will not be provided for students who are dismissed.
GIFT BOUTIQUE POLICIES
So you have decided to purchase a One of a Kind creation from our MBMA Gift Boutique. First of all, thank you for supporting Made By Me Academy with your purchase. Second of all, you have made a great choice. All of our current creations are creatively devised and uniquely fashioned to be an original, heartfelt, amazing keepsake you will love to give or love to get just for yourself.
The following section includes the Practices and Policies we employ to make your shopping experience as easy and successful as possible. Use them as a guide to what you can expect from your shopping experience with us.
Again, Thank you for your support!
*Please note: By purchasing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Boutique policies and are willing to abide by the guidelines set forth therein. If you ever have any questions about these policies, please Contact Us, so that we may address your specific issues.
1. Making a Boutique Purchase
There are currently 2 ways to purchase from the Made By Me Academy Gift Boutique: In person at our Chattanooga classroom studio or Online through our website gallery store (the most convenient method and popular method).
A. To purchase in person, you simply make your selection and let the receptionist know you would like to complete a purchase.
**Please note: We do not have standard store hours because the studio is only open to registered students during a scheduled class. You can always contact us to make an appointment to come in and see our online inventory in person.
B. To purchase online, you simply select the "Boutique" page from our site menu and browse current selections displayed there. Once you've made your selections you can check out on our secure online payment portal and your order will be processed and shipped in 1-2 business days.
***Orders must be paid in full to be processed and shipped.***
2. Online Order Processing & Shipping
For purposes of processing and shipping online orders, normal boutique operating hours are Monday thru Friday, 9am - 6pm. Ofcourse you can place an online order at anytime 24/7; however, any orders placed outside of normal business operating hours will be processed that next business day. The boutique does not ship orders on major National Holidays as our preferred carriers are often closed on those holidays as well.
All orders are processed as quickly as possible usually within 1-2 business days. If processing would take longer than that for some reason we would contact the guest to let them know.
The cost of Shipping is added to your order as a separate charge in addition to the selected items in your cart.
We currently offer flat rate shipping to addresses in the domestic U.S. (including HI, AK, and PR) via USPS Priority Mail.
Shipping to addresses outside the domestic U.S. would be provided via an international carrier (most likely USPS International). Shipping charge is calculated by what the carrier charges according to the package's weight and size.
We apologize, but due to our very small staff size we are unable to process requests for overnight and express shipping at this time.
3. Online Order Cancellation/ Order Changes
Because we try to pack and ship orders as quickly as possible, we cannot offer a guaranteed cancellation window. If you place an order and then shortly thereafter discover you need to cancel or change that order, please Call Us as soon as possible to alert us to your cancellation or change needs and we will make every effort to comply. Whatever the outcome, we will respond to your message and provide an updated status on the order. Keep in mind calling even the same day does not guarantee your order can be cancelled or changed. If you place your order in the morning of a Weekday, we could very well have packed and shipped your order by that same afternoon.
So contact us quickly. Once an item has shipped we cannot accept cancellations or change requests. Shipped order would need to be delivered and then returned. All returns are subject to a restocking fee.
Items that are cancelled before they are shipped can receive a full refund.
***Moral of this paragraph, if you need to cancel an order Call 615.601.1550 as soon as possible and leave a voicemail with your name, order number, and phone number so that we can call you back. Even if we are unable to take your call, a voicemail will be translated into a text for us to receive as quickly as possible.
4. Boutiques Exchanges
We do not currently offer exchanges for online purchases, only Returns. So if you receive an item and it is not the right choice for you, it can be returned and refunded (minus the restocking fee).
Then you can place an order for the new item desired.
If you have questions about exchanges, please Contact Us, for more specific details.
5. Boutique Returns
We offer hassle free returns. You didn't like it , it didn't fit, or it wasn't the right color? No worries, no explanation is needed. And because of the unique nature of our inventory, you don't always need a receipt. As long as the items returned are unused, unstained, unwashed, and free of smoke, perfume, pet hair, mildew, and odors; they are eligible for refund.
A. Returns are accepted within 30 days of purchase, a restocking fee will apply.
B. Returns must be unused, unstained, unwashed, and free of smoke, perfume, pet hair, mildew, and odors; to be eligible for refund.
C. Buyer pays for return shipping. Buyer is encouraged to repackage order carefully and purchase tracking and shipping insurance. No refund will be issued for damaged or missing returns.
Return Shipping Address is:
Made By Me Academy
Attn: Boutique Returns
4120 Maple Terrace Ln
Chattanooga, TN 37406
D. CUSTOM & SPECIAL ORDERS: Orders that have been custom ordered or had custom details added such as monograms and special trims and colors requests are not eligible for return, refund, or exchange.
6. Boutique Refunds
Once a return is received, the refund request will be processed within 5 business days, provided the return meets all refund eligibility requirements.
All refunds are credited in the same method as the original payment method.
* Please note: If the method of payment, such as debit card payment, is no longer valid because for example the account the debit card was attached to has been closed, the student will have to accept a credit towards a future class. We cannot get around this limitation on our payment system. We apologize for any inconvenience.
**CUSTOM & SPECIAL ORDERS: Orders that have been custom ordered or had custom details added such as monograms and special trims and colors requests are not eligible for return, refund, or exchange.
7. Restocking Fees
All accepted returns will be refunded less a 15% restocking fee. Restocking fee is based on the paid purchase price on the original purchase invoice. Restocking fees are determined as follows:
A. Guest pays $199.99 for a regular priced item, but has decided it is not the right choice afterall and decides to return it. The guest receives a refund of the $199.99 minus the 15% restocking fee or $199.99 - $30.00. So total refund equals $169.99
B. Guest pays $149.99 for an item that is discounted from it's regular price of $199.99. Again the guest decides it is not the right choice and returns it. The guest would pay a restocking fee based on the amount paid of $149.99. So the amount of the guest's refund would equal: $149.99 minus the 15% or $149.99 - $22.50. The total refund equals $127.49.
If you have questions about this policy, please Contact Us with your specific concerns.
8. Damaged deliveries
If you receive a delivery from us that has been damaged during shipment and as a result has damaged the merchandise please Contact Us immediately. To get a full refund on a damaged delivery you must report the damage to us within 2 days of delivery and return the damaged merchandise to us within 10 days of delivery.
Once you contact us we will make arrangements to send you a return shipping label as quickly as possible. All that we ask is that you ship the return package as quickly as possible so that we can file a claim with the shipping carrier for reimbursement.
A full refund will be issued for the damaged items once we receive them back at our studio.
SEWING SERVICES POLICIES
CUSTOM SEWING POLICY
When we take on a project our primary focus and concern is producing a quality, skillfully made product, while also providing an enjoyable and satisfying customer experience.
We take seriously the trust each client places in us to help them achieve their most original, beautiful, and inspired fashion moment.
To that end we employ a set of key guidelines to ensure consistent and professional results.
Prior to signing the contract, clients are encouraged to read our Custom Sewing Business Policy, and ask any questions they have regarding policies and procedures. Clients will be asked to initial the section of the order contract indicating they have read and understand our Business Policies.
If you are considering having a project done, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the policies outlined here:
Clients are seen by appointment only. This ensures that time management is maintained, and clients are not inconvenienced by waiting.
Clients are asked to call ahead to cancel appointments for fittings and consultations. Any missed appointments without 24-hour notification are subject to a charge of $25.00.
Only projects that can be successfully completed in a given time period will be accepted. This guarantees that all deadlines are met.
All consultations are billed at the rate of $50.00 per hour. Whether or not you elect to employ our services to construct your garment, the first hour consultation fee will be due at the time of consultation. Any additional consultation hours will be billed at the normal rate and added to your final bill.
-All consultation fees are due at the time of consultation.
-All orders less than $500 must be paid in full before any work is done.
-Orders totaling $500 or more will require a 50% deposit on labor and 100% deposit for estimated cost of fabric and supplies.The remaining balance is due at the first fitting.
-We accept Cash, Money Orders, and Credit Card payments.
-We discourage check payments. Payments by check will delay processing and the final pick up by 7 days to give the check time to clear the bank before merchandise is taken from the studio.
All charges for labor, notions, fabric, etc. will be discussed with the client in detail prior to acceptance of the project order.
All orders require a signed contract of service and paid deposit for work to begin. Timeline for the project does not begin until deposit is paid. Example if a project takes 8 weeks to complete, that means it will be done 8 weeks from date of paid deposit.
We have the ability to obtain a large variety of designs, patterns, notions, and fabrics for special order requests. All notions, patterns, and fabric will be billed directly to the client. Because we value quality and professional results, we reserve the right to refuse to work with fabric of inferior quality. However clients who wish to provide their own fabric are welcome to bring those fabrics to consultation for evaluation before placing a final order.
Estimates and pricing that are provided at the consultation are based on best forecast practices and will be most accurate when ordering designs offered in our signature collection. However when a guest provides their own design for construction, estimates are more general and final pricing can increase if the project requires more time than initially estimated to be successfully completed.
Custom work is billed at an hourly rate of $50/hr. To ensure quality, a successful project will take as long as it takes. If you have budget concerns, you will need to address those at the consultation so that we may make alterations to the design that fit your budget at that time.
Not all requests for custom work will be accepted.
Any changes in design, fabric, major alterations, and other changes will result in additional charges to the final bill. This can also lead to construction timeline extensions as well.
Final Bill must be paid in full before finished order can be picked up from the studio.
Pricing Guide Policy
When viewing pricing for sewing services, please note that listed prices are for labor and DO NOT include the cost of fabric, patterns, pattern making, notions and other supplies (thread, zippers, buttons, lining, interfacing, etc).
These are general base prices. Design details, sleeves, buttons, button holes, dart, pleats, gathers, pockets, additional seams, working with difficult fabrics, plaids, pattern matching will increase these base costs.
Other factors that determine the project price include:
• The sewing techniques used
• Fabric type
• Tailored or draped
• Lined or unlined
• Sewing from a pattern or making and testing a custom pattern
• How many fittings are needed
• Any changes to the project design after sewing has started