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pricing debate

updated mon 27 mar 00


Chris Campbell on sun 26 mar 00

Kathi said -

"The real threat to our sales is not our fellow potters. It comes from
Mervyns, Target, and the mass merchandisers who are increasingly offering
choices to the consumer that are well designed, sophisticated, and less

One of the prevalent trends today is toward hand crafted objects. If the
articles I have read on this are accurate, it is only going to get stronger
as people get deeper into computers and electronic reality. The cyber realm
does not give anyone the pleasure of the human touch.

I am even more convinced of this as I wander through the chain stores
Kathi mentioned and see how hard they are trying to make their objects look
hand made. Cute tags, small defects, obvious brushstrokes, etc. They are
almost selling us to their customers. As craftspersons we could not be in a
better position to take advantage of this niche.

Whether you sell your mug for $8 or $60 ( yes, I have seen mugs priced
this high and selling well ), do not just sell a mug, sell "the story". Give
your customers a little part of you to take home and share with others. Kathi
knows that by explaining how she cares about her work, she sells not just for
one year but for ever.

Customers are always asking for "the story" but we sometimes fail to
recognize this need and get bored with their questions - How did you do this?
How long did it take? How long have you been doing this? They are begging for
a connection - looking for a reason to buy from you.

Learn to talk about your work in artistic terms and don't be afraid to
sound artsy. You are an artist - something a lot of people daydream about.
You are creative - something they don't believe that they can be. Most of all
recognize how incredibly lucky we are to wake up in the morning and actually
do something we enjoy all day long. Then, give people a piece of that - you
can afford it.

Chris Campbell - in Carolina