Friday, May 26, 2017

Things We Love: Passive Juice Motel

Hey Friends! It's not a secret that Heather and I both take our graphic tee game very seriously. It's such a great and easy way to let the world know what I'm all about while remaining quiet. We wanted to highlight one of our favorite small businesses that focus on graphic tee designs/sales.  We discovered Passive Juice Motel last summer. They used to do an over all print design as a tee option on certain fandoms and they had a Harry Potter inspired one. It's magnificent, and possibly the best thing I own.  Unfortunately they no longer offer the all over print but the rest of their designs are great. Anyway, we both ordered that shirt and immediately our love for this company bloomed.  I bet Heather and I could both go two weeks just wearing PJM tees. That is how far our obsession has come.  But just because we love something as a whole, doesn't me we can't see the flaws. We thought it would be a fun idea to share what we like and dislike about this small business in particular, like a review of sorts. We both shop a lot of small businesses and therefore are both feel pretty knowledgeable on this subject.

Before I jump into my review portion, I wanted to describe how these pleather joggers make me feel. I'm a big fan of the trend in particular, but these pleather ones make me feel like Julia Stiles from Save the Last Dance. You know the scene--when she is trying out for Julliard and she wears her leathers with her leotard and is absolutely killing it. And then her and her boyfriend make up! Gah! I could watch just that scene over and over. They make me feel strong and powerful.

When we first discovered this company last summer--the love was instant. Their designs are lit. They are fresh as hell and full of pop culture references which is my jam. The quality of the shirts and the prints are some of the best I've received. The ink doesn't fade horribly or crack after a few washes. The tees remain soft and I haven't noticed any pilling.  They offer great sales randomly and most holidays which is great and honestly gets an order out of me every time.  I'm a sucker for a sale.

Ok, so all that sounds great. Now, let's talk about their turnaround time.  They make each item to order. Their production time listed on their website is 10-14 business days.  So roughly 3 weeks. Not too crazy for a sweet ass tee. At least it doesn't seem like a crazy amount of time for me. But, I've learned that time frame is never adhered to.  I've never gotten my order in less than a month.  Typically it's closer to two months, which is fine and all, but I think updating their website to reflect their actual production time would be an easy fix to this. It's very misleading.  I think this would cut down on all the hate mail I know they are receiving.

That brings us to customer service.  I've sent them emails before asking for a status update. Very rarely are those emails returned.  Heather has received some return emails from their customer service assistant. Therefore, I'm going to let her take over and discuss their customer service failings.

Overall, I would say my experience with PJM has been pretty ok. Yea, they are a little on the slow side and their customer service leaves little to be desired but they have always delivered. I've always received the goods I've purchased and they've always been in top notch condition.  I love the uniqueness of their tees and I love that fact that they aren't massed produced.  I only know a couple of people in my area of the world that even know about them so my tee game always feels hip and fresh.  So if waiting a few months to get a purchase isn't an issue for you, I would recommend them.

Now a fun story. As I as preparing for this photo shoot, I was listening to music as I do to get in the right frame of mind. Anyway, I was just listening to Pandora-I believe it was set to the Hillary Duff channel.  Selena Gomez was playing-maybe "Love Song"? Please, judge away. Anyway, my husband had come into our room for some reason and hit me with one of his famous backhanded compliments he uses just to wind me up.  He is a tv nut--like there is no way possible I can compete with him on television so he ends up watching a lot of stuff on his own. Broad City was one of those shows until I happened to walk in on a viewing and Ilana was wearing overalls so I was immediately intrigued. I decided to finish the episode and fell in love with this show. It's great. Anyway, my husband is a HUGE fan. Now back to that backhanded compliment.  He looked at me and you could tell he was struggling. He was all "I have so many mixed feelings about you. There you go, wearing a pretty great shirt from a great show, but you are jamming out and dancing to Selena Gomez and that's just embarrassing". Since this is our normal repertoire, I rolled my eyes, giggled and told him I was a multi-dimensional personal. *shrugging emoji*

Outfit Details
"Best Broads" Tee {Passive Juice Motel} / Joggers {Forever 21) / Jellies {gojane}

So Jen pretty much nailed why we love Passive Juice Motel so much. I'm a huge pop culture junkie and they always deliver on cool tees that reference everything I love. I've even gotten the girls a few of their tees because they are just that good. Most of them have a feminist hint to them too, so you know I'm all in with my feminist tees. Plus it's fun to support a small business who hand designs all the shirts. They are made to order so you know that you are getting something unique.  

Having said that, their customer service could do with some improvement. When I placed my first order with them last summer, it took 4 weeks to get to me. Which is not a huge deal, but they clearly state on their website that the turn around time is 10-14 business days. I waited like 20 business days before sending an email just asking about the timeframe. The response was pretty terse and borderline rude, saying that because they are custom made it can take longer. Which, again, is fine, but not the policy stated on their website. 

After that, I basically knew it was about a month between placing my order and getting the shirts. So I ignored the website policy and just stuck to my experience, never ordering something I needed ASAP. However, I did run into another customer service issue in the fall. I ordered a really cool Drake coffee mug for my sister at the beginning of October, well within the 4 week timeframe I was used to. Her birthday is beginning of November so it looked like I had plenty of time. But her birthday came and went and still no sign that this mug was shipped. Right before Thanksgiving, I sent an email asking about when I could expect to get this mug delivered. I was assured it would be shipping the next week. Well that week came and went and I waited a full extra week before following up again, this time I got a response that was little more rude than the first. It basically gave me no new info, just said it was shipping the next week. Guys, I got this coffee mug on December 22nd. It was 10 weeks between placing my order and receiving the mug, which I find a little ridiculous. I know the things are made to order but putting it off that long felt super unprofessional. Luckily I was able to gift it to my sister for Christmas, but it was frustrating that the communication with the company was not helpful and sometimes borderline rude. 

My career has been customer service based so I know how important good customer service is to a company and also to a customer. So it's definitely put a damper on my impression of PJM, but the designs are so good and unique I keep coming back. I just live by the rules that it will take at least 4 weeks and the customer service responses are hit or miss. At the beginning of the year they had a big thing with not shipping things for 8+ weeks. Jen and I both ordered from a sale in January and being used to the wait time, I basically forgot about my order until there started to be a big thing on Instagram. Complaints about the turn around time and lack of response from customer support (and some deleted or ignored messages!) lead to the owners sending an email with a discount code and apologizing. That was huge for me, personally, since I gave up on emailing the person who handles their customer service after the whole Drake mug debacle. We didn't end up getting our orders until the end of March, so it was much longer than the norm we are used to of 4 weeks. 

It might seem like I kind of just dumped all over this company, but they are honestly still one of my favorite small businesses. I think it's hard to hustle and have your own business, so I kind of let the customer service thing slide. I think it's also important to be honest. I do think that if you order from the this company you should expect at least 4 weeks between placing an order and it being delivered. My experience with contacting their customer service has ranged from ok to frustrating. It's not great but the designs are enough for me to take the good with the bad. Maybe others have had better luck contacting them to get updates on orders, but mine hasn't been great. I do think this is an amazing company if you love pop culture and graphic tees. If you order something for a gift, give yourself 4-6 weeks to get it or you might be disappointed. 

Outfit Details 
"Carrie On" tee {Passive Juice Motel} / Cardigan {Lularoe} / Jeggings {AE} / Shoes {Target

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