You may not know it, but you are in sales. 5th grader writing a composition…penmanship, content, vocabulary, punctuation and whatever else 5th graders do. You sell the composition with whatever you got. Up for parole? you are totally in sales..dress nice, stripes all nice and neat, ball and chain polished, yes ma’am, no sir… I am a changed person. Politicians, waiters, taxi drivers…there is an aspect of sales in every walk of life.
In sailing, as in sales, every effort has an affect. When racing not only is there a course to sail, sails to trim and wind conditions but the weight distribution, currents, rules of the “road” and fleet management must be contended with. These variables can change by the minute and must be addressed.
Recently towards the end of the day at a market I was talking to what I thought would be a now buyer, changing to a maybe later but be nice keep talking kind of situation. He was very interested in sharing his knowledge about an antique tool I was selling, when another potential customer walked by casually looking at some toys. I bailed on the first guy and focused on the new potential customer. Giving up completely on the tool guy. In sailing this would amount to a crash tack to go for new wind on starboard. The current course was going nowhere fast and an effort must be made to make a change for the better. That effort payed when the now customer asked “Do you sell wholesale?”
Sometimes its the boat or maybe the good start or the lackluster performance of the competion. Other times the crew for some reason actually does things right again and again and sometimes, well sometimes a nice breeze just gives you a lift.
There is a season among crafters and vendors that starts somewhere in November and runs into Christmas where ideas and inventory ramp up to prepare for the joyous onslaught of paypal beeps from your cell phone. Along with that comes stressful craziness of not enough hours in the day along with woulda coulda shoulda dope slaps every time a calendar is seen. Late, late late…
I usually do a combination of holiday shows and sell in Manhattan a few sundays at a flea market on the West Side. The holiday shows are typically indoors and hosted by community or art groups and the vendors work is juried, which attracts professional and the oh so creative sort. These are low key affairs in which attendees are there for gift buying and to see original work. The flea market, on the other hand is an open market free for all with some very… interesting sellers (think carnies gone retail), others are there to supplement their income, whether they are retired, working, or the starving artist type.
Last week I looked around and saw all the different colors and cultures of the other vendors, all there to get the last gasp before Christmas. There was the retired school teacher from Brooklyn selling estate jewelry, the tall guy from Senegal selling vintage clothes, from Holland a woman selling her handmade knit hats, the funny guy from Tibet selling rocks and crystals…Burma, Ecuador, Argentina, Israel all represented. It was like someone threw the fire alarm at the U.N.
Business was miserably slow and we all were watching the clock, speculating on the next rush. The rush never really came and so we all wrapped up a little early. There were a few Merry Christmas’s about but not as much as you’d think considering it was only 4 days to Christmas. Fact is, much of them didn’t celebrate and/or recognize Christmas. But what they did was give big hugs, forget the sales, it was like group hug day. There was a kinder, gentler spirit…even from the grouchy Russian blanket dude (who might have hugged if he didn’t get a parking ticket…). A sense of Christmas had permeated the air.
Driving across town I saw all the hustle and bustle and lights and helter skelter of the city under holiday attack. The vendors had it right…like Dr. Suess’ Grinch says: ” Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store”
A very happy to you and yours.
So I often get asked where the wood comes from, how I came about getting it, is there a story behind it? Well, I can’t say that I remember EVERY piece but I do know something about these guys..
These are parts of a table from an old restaurant in Folly Beach, SC . They’re made of mahogany and I am a sucker for mahogany. Originally salvaged to use on the interior of my Tartan 27 sailboat but never did so they hung around for awhile until I broke down and made these stands…
These are for displaying (duh!) the smaller cars, like by the cash register or Ill use them at a craft show or something. Customers are buying them to go with a few cars, so I need to make a few more than usual.
Back to the restaurant…the place was a dump and was in business only a short time. The tables had these archeological finds not just stored gum and typicall greasy spoon food stains but cigarrette burns, worn edges from use and some gouges that were maybe from an atempt to carve some initials or draw a map. In this place the map would be more like where to park the getaway car or where Mrs. Williams keeps her silver. And each rip and cut I took away that history, thats why I save old wood. It speaks to me.
Funny thing about the restaurant, the new owners put up one of those “Formerly the yada yada yada” banners to let the good people of Folly Beach that there was another place to get grits and fried oysters…except the old name was “The Sanitary Restaurant”. So the sign said: “Formerly Sanitary”.
Wow. That blog was a long time ago. I just didn’t recognize that the internet and computers are tools for the trade. Up until recently I thought a hacker was a skier from Texas and a selfie….well you go blind if you do it too much is all I know.
Now this is a tool I understand…its a California framer and has pounded nails from Idaho, Colrado, Vermont, Maryland, South Carolina and maybe a few tent stakes in Utah.
At 22 oz and a waffle head w/ the axe style hickory handle (I’ve replaced at least 3 of these), I can adjust wall plates, tweak headers and rip the cap off a reineer. Semi retired, he will best be known for diving home the giant tenons when I built gates such as these when I lived in Folly Beach, SC. (Thats epoxy all over the handle).
Now this is the new guy a 16oz Daluge (made in USA), he is wiry and efficient, setting nails in trim, tapping a toy car axle into place, and crushing ice for a mojito.
Funny, still can’t get that I don’t run out of film when taking these pics….
Enough of this, go play!
This is a blog. I don’t often read blogs, so in order to get this right I looked it up in wikipedia. Excuse me while I click and mouse over to Mr. Wikipedia…. Ah, so blogging started in the late 90’s with the emergence of the web. I suppose that at some point someone had something important to say but the sheer joy of keyboarding gave those who like to speak out loud in class a kind of cosmic megaphone. By February 2011 there were 165 MILLION blogs…thats more than a couple of smart alecks getting uppity in home room, thats a veritable global homeroom uproar! And here I go, blog #1,650,001!
I make these things out of this place…..
well, not with the chainsaw silly. Thats for keeping away squirrels. So stay tuned and let me know whatcha think.
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