There doesn't seem much point reviewing the ordering process, as that is through Etsy anyway so I will just put in a quick mention that the Etsy website is quite straight-forward and the check out process was very fast.
Shipping and Communication
I placed the order on the 1st of July. The Etsy listing said that orders usually take an estimated 1-3 days. I thought this was quite a short time period, so I was expecting it to take a bit longer than that. Sure enough, the tricorn did take longer to make and I got a notification on the 11th of July (If we ignore the weekend then that is 8 working days later) that a shipping label had been created. As I knew the tricorn was coming from the USA, I didn't bother checking the shipping for a couple of days. But after a while, I became a bit concerned. The shipping label had been created, but USPS didn't have the item from the seller yet. By the 21st of July (10 days after the shipping label was created) I decided to send a message, just to double check that everything was okay. Sheena replied very quickly and was pleasant enough in our conversation, although I felt that my concerns were dismissed. It turned out that the tricorn hadn't in fact been ready on the 11th as she thought it would be. I appreciate the time and effort that goes in to making these items, but I felt it was a bit misleading to say that on average it takes 1-3 days to make on the listing, as in fact it was significantly longer than that. I was told that my tricorn would be shipped the afternoon of the 21st. My tricorn was eventually shipped out on the 23rd, which was 22 days after I first placed my order.
After being shipped on the 23rd, it arrived at my local depot on the 31st. That is just over a week, which is a reasonably quick speed for something coming from the US to the UK.
My tricorn arrived in a sturdy box which was taped up well. The box was slightly bashed in places, although that was probably done during transit and the contents inside were perfectly safe.
Inside my tricorn was wrapped up with plenty of tissue paper, so the hat didn't have much room to move about during transit.
And here is the final product. The hat looks just like the stock photo and the colour is exactly what I was hoping for. However, I was a little disappointed by the quality of the hat. The material is very floppy and thin. I felt it needed to be a bit firmer. Looking at the base hat that was used to create the tricorn, you can tell it is cheap and of a low quality. Looking closely at the stitching, the folded up sides are only held in place with a few tiny stitches, which I think contributed to how floppy it is.
However, the braid around the edge and the ribbon had been stitched very neatly. The pleats in the ribbon are all the same size. The ribbon used is a little shiny, but of a reasonably good quality.
One of the things that really disappointed me about this hat was the elastic. I knew from the listing that the tricorn would be attached to the head with a band of elastic. What I wasn't expecting was such flimsy, thin elastic. It looks like it will break so easily. The hat also didn't feel very secure when worn and slipped about a bit. So I think I am going to have to replace the elastic. I may add some small combs instead to make it feel a bit more secure.
And as a bonus, here is the free gift I was given for having to wait so long. I'm not quite sure what I am going to do with it but it is always nice to get free stuff. I was thinking of making a medal brooch maybe?
So overall, I was left feeling a bit disappointed with my order. The tricorn took a lot longer than predicted and I wonder if it would have taken longer if I hadn't sent a message to prompt her. I found the final hat to be very underwhelming. To be fair the tricorn wasn't that expensive, but I felt like I was expecting something a bit more from it. That elastic is definitely a bad choice and the general lack of stiffness put me off as well. I don't feel these issues are enough to warrant a negative feedback but I definitely can't give a positive feedback for my experience. I wouldn't recommend Sheena's Bella Bows as I have had much better experiences with other stores selling similar products.