frequently asked questions

“The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions.” — Susan Sontag

— Do you do custom work?

No! Nope. Nuh-uh. My brain only thrives when it can swirl in it own soup. As my friend Bill said, "Your work is Pre-Custom — custom for people who didn't know they wanted it." If you want advance notice of my new work, please join my mailing list.

— What forms of payment do you accept?

Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) plus Paypal and Apple Pay.

— Do you accept returns? Mostly yes ... 

Clothing: Yes. You may return your purchase for any reason within a week of receipt as long as the tag is still attached and the piece is unworn and in the same condition.
How to return: 
You need to let me know ahead of time that you're sending a return. Really, really you do. It's going back to a city-block-sized warehouse and I need to know to look out for it. Please include package tracking too. When it arrives back I'll refund your money through the same channel I received it, minus your shipping costs. I'll cover your shipping costs too, if you're returning it because I goofed up somehow.

——> Send your return to:
Helen Carter
Secret Lentil
501 W Fayette St Studio 214
Syracuse New York US 13204

— How do I contact you?

email me:

— What size is this? Will it fit?

It's easy to buy my clothes online and have them fit. Most things are one-of-a-kind — a piece just is the size it is. So I offer a rough size first, which will help you narrow things down. Then I follow up with specific measurements of the garment itself — if you don't know your measurements you can compare my numbers to a similar nice-fitting piece from your own closet. I also include the measurements for my dress forms. Feel free to email and ask me about fit if you are uncertain.

— Do you make plus-sized clothes? What about petite?

Yes yes and yes. Well, more on the plus-size side honestly. I'm only one person, making everything by hand, so at any given time there are limited options for most sizes. It's nothing personal. 

— How do you ship? (aka my Shipping Policy)

Your package will go out via USPS First Class or Priority Mail, (depending on the weight) with Delivery Confirmation (within the US). You'll get confirmation and tracking info! 

— Do you ship worldwide?

Yes, gladly! We use First Class International shipping from the US. You are responsible for paying any taxes or customs duties that your country adds to shipments.

— What about allergens? [cat, lavender, cedar]

Pandemic-days update: I'm working in my home right now, which is also the home of the handsome cat Jimmy Patterson. He is in, and around, my working area.
Jimmy Patterson, an orange and white cat, nestled in fabric on my cutting table

Just look at that delightful surly bastard. 98% of completed things are then washed, photographed and put on display at the decidely un-cat-filled 10X12 Boutique. So, cat-free-ness is mostly but not fully guaranteed. I also store some finished clothes in lavender and cedar.