The last couple of months have brought some big changes to Ketubah-Arts.
The biggest one is that we are no longer located in Charlotte, North Carolina. We moved to Amherst, New York, a suburb of Buffalo. For clients this means that I am now charging sales tax for New York, but otherwise doesn't change much else.
For my family, it means taking part in an exciting upswing and membership in a Jewish community with generations of history. Temple Beth Zion, where Jonathan Freirich, my husband is rabbi, has many members who count seven generations of belonging.
Yet even with this long history, Buffalo has a lot of energy as new people discover that artists and entrepreneurs can afford to live here. For the first time in decades, more people are moving to Buffalo than are leaving. We are thrilled to be part of this new wave and are very pleased to find rich history, gorgeous architecture, and a strong sense of local identity. In the Buffalo area, many local restaurants and customs thrive - a novelty to most of the rest of the country where local stores have disappeared and regional flavor has been discarded in favor of national chains.
Other Important Changes
In order to eliminate some confusion, I have changed the process for Adding Names & Dates.
I have created an "opt-out" system, rather than an "opt-in." By default, couples will have their names and dates included. Those who truly do not want it can opt out by entering the coupon code NONAMES at checkout and will have $50 deducted from the price.
Every week I get several orders in which couples fill out all of the information but don't pay for personalization. I then have to awkwardly explain that if they want it, they have to make an additional purchase.
Originally I included personalization in the prices, but because the industry standard is to charge separately for it, many couples then thought that I didn't offer it. (The separation is a holdover from pre-printed ketubot, when couples would buy a lithograph with blanks, then pay to have it filled in. All of my ketubot are printed-on-demand and specially prepared for the couple).
The couples end up feeling nickeled and dimed - after all, the wedding industry is rife with extra fees, surcharges, etc. I pride myself on providing a service of value, offering high-quality products at budget prices, and leaving clients with a sense that they have been cared for as they get a keystone in the Jewish wedding ceremony and enter their marriage.
I never want clients to feel that they have just been sold another expensive, meaningless wedding trinket or that they are held hostage to yet another fee.
There are some instances when a couple truly does not want it - some people honor the custom of filling it out immediately before signing, others may be providing a completed custom text and therefore have no need to pay me to research their Hebrew names, others may want to do something creative and fill in the text in a creative, contrasting ink.