Usually, I start out with a day or so to meditate on how I'll go about the pattern, what colors to use, and generally just a lot of thinking before I jump on to crocheting.
Now each pattern these days usually requires the use of one to three different sized hooks, and let me tell you...the smaller the hook, the more likely the yarn is to snag while you crochet it. If you snag the yarn, you may have to undo what you've just crocheted or you may even have to undo to a certain point, cut that string, & tie it to a new piece that isn't snagged, or you may have to start that particular piece over depending on where it goes on the plush and how easy you're able to camouflage the mistake. Imagine...all that because your yarn snagged once...a pain in the rear right? Yeah, can you grasp going over that 20 times? [oh yeah, I've been there with some plush...]
Another thing about my plush is that since I don't use a pattern, these plush are very trial and error. If I don't like the way something looks, I usually take it apart and start from scratch. BUT WHY?! You go so far and you just took it apart?!! Because it's not right to cheat your customers! If I don't do the best damn job that I can for the money my customers paid me to do, then what dignity do I have as a custom plush maker? I don't think that I'd have any if I didn't do my best.
Something else I don't think people take into account is the time it takes to make these plush. A simple project like the cats I made take ME 5 hours, my mother on the other hand with no pattern [because I don't have one], she couldn't even figure it out. She's an advanced crocheter and she shook her head telling me no, she couldn't make it without a pattern. Even when I told her how to do it, she still struggled...she been crocheting for so much longer than I have, [like 3 or 4 times as many years]. So, these patterns aren't just anything someone can pull out of their mind without a good deal of skill and creativity. I also work in a very timely manner. Some plush take a lot longer than my acclaimed 10 days; some plush take months.
I also don't use any felt like some crochet artists seem to do. Every plush I make is 100% crochet unless specially requested otherwise. So all the little circles and dots and do-dads, they're all crochet and yarn.
If you want to do my job, by all means, you're welcome to it. I encourage those that want to learn, but it's a lot of work as you can plainly see from reading the above. It takes a lot of time, effort, and endeavor...so when you request any custom, ask yourself if you want to go through the trouble to make it as well as someone who knows what they're doing. Every seller has their price and for the most part, those prices are damn good!
[I'm sorry that this post seems brutal, but so many people just seem to take it for granted and I'm just really tired of it all; you want the plush or you don't want the plush, make up your mind and don't try to barter D< ]