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Even Experts Goof Up

Cowrie Shell Runner

Expert or Not

After nine years of making hand-painted canvas rugs, I do count myself as an expert. I am constantly trying new materials, searching for better sealants, testing qualities of paints. I experiment with sewing different shapes of the canvas rugs.

But even experts goof once and awhile. About six months ago I received an email through my Etsy site requesting a quote for a custom canvas rug.

Jane sent me a photo of a beautifully simple design which I named the Japanese Design. She sent me the Sherwin Williams Color codes for the colors she wanted. We have Sherwin Williams in Costa Rica so that makes color matching easy.

I sent the rug via courier to Jane in the US. and she confirmed she received the rug and I quote “ It is great!”

I’m so glad to have a happy customer. Five months later I get another email.

Dear Laurel,

We love our canvas floor mat and have kept it out of any heavy traffic areas and rarely walked on it to keep it pristine. As per the attached photo, the rug has cracked in several areas, the paint has chipped on some edges and a drop of water has left spots.

Do you have any suggestions on how to preserve it and keep in excellent shape. We do not want to be nervous about using it.




Dear Jane,

I am pretty horrified to see what is happening with your rug. I pride myself on creating a product I believe in of the highest quality.

I have not seen this happen on any of my rugs unless they were folded and crushed, but I don’t think this is what happened here.

As long as the rug is on a flat surface it should not crack. I have rugs in hotel lobbies with suitcases rolling across them and no such cracks.

We have two options. 

I can make you a new rug. But it would be insane ( by Albert Einstein’s definition) to make a new rug with the same materials and expect different results.

I’ve consulted with other canvas rug makers and got reports of formula changes in their materials such as the paint or varnish. I investigated different brands and also talked to the technicians of the companies I work with to see if there have been any changes,

If you accept this option I only ask that you give me some time to come up with a new strategy. This is not only for you but for my business as I cannot have this type of thing happening to my products.

 Or, I give you a full refund. I guarantee 100% satisfaction and if you’re not happy with the product I have no problem refunding your money.

I feel though, that you really want the canvas rug and I hope you take option #1. I’m sorry, but this has happened to other canvas rug makers and it’s not unresolvable. I am up to the challenge. Please let me know your decision.

Thank you,

Laurel Anderson


Jane agreed to a new rug so I did the research, changed the varnish, made a new rug and sent it off.


Dear Laurel,
We applaud your decision to replace the original rug. We received the replacement today and we are very happy with the appearance and quality of the rug. You have exceeded our expectations working with you and we look forward to working with you again in the future.

Jane and Lewis

I am happy to have been able to resolve this problem and keep a satisfied customer. Even experts can make mistakes but I feel confident in my ethics and the ability to keep my clients happy.

Warm regards,

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