Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Art of Business or the Business of Art

There's a discussion on returns happening as I write this in one of my groups on FaceBook. One of the ladies has made a purchase and it arrived broken in half. She had contacted the shop owner who insisted she return before issuing a replacement. Somewhat frazzled as this was a gift she asked opinions on how we would handle it.

The majority stood behind the seller and her return policy.

I personally would be mortified if something I made had arrived broken in half. It's a reflection of me and the quality of my work. I stand behind what I make, while I have had pieces survive being driven over, I can't actually guarantee they will - but they sure shouldn't fall apart in transit or even before wearing.

wind dancer studios hand woven copper cross,
I made a similar Cross (available in my shop) for my son.
The purchased clasp failed and he lost it between the bus stop and our house.
We finally found it sticking out of the dirt road in front of the neighbors house,
months later. It had been driven over countless times with only a single bead lost. 

I was all set to explain even the big boys will replace without question. My customer service has got to be at least to par on that. Then it struck me. Of course they will, it's all machine made, factory mass produced, costing pennies to dollars and it's cheaper to send another than to waste wages on man hours dickering over it.  It's cost effective to just send another.

It really isn't cost effective for the individual artisan, though it is good customer service. If something is broken, replace it. If it's damaged in transit, it may be time to reconsider your packaging. What some call fluff others call protecting the good stuff.  I'd rather protect with fluff than have it arrive damaged. Some might consider it wasteful, but is it?

A protected item takes less packaging than a broken one.

A broken item costs: the original packaging, the return packaging, the replacement packaging. Man hours discussing the problem, offering solutions, and follow through. Not to mention the added stress on both buyer and seller.

Broken items just aren't cost effective to the artisan no matter how you look at it.

So there's your peek into my brain for the day...... the kiddo is learning all this in her final semester of college.
They've written their Artist Statements, created their wares, priced them, curated the exhibit, promoted it and are critiquing their accomplishments today.

She worked well past midnight every night all DURING spring break to prepare for her Senior Exhibit opening today. Kiddo had a minor melt down Sunday when the kiln gods decided to grace her pottery with a different color than her test tiles had shown the glaze to fire at and with only a mere few hours left there was no time to regroup.

So we focused on display and showing things to their best advantage. We pulled some of her older pieces to fill if she needed them and once she set up her display, she realized it wasn't as bad as she thought. She didn't need the older work at all, just a good cry and someone or four to believe in her and tell her it would be OK. Don't we all need that from time to time?

Rtistic Impressions on Etsy, Exhibit @ ATU Arts Center
The Kiddos Cup centered under exhibit :) 

The Kiddo's work can be seen on display at ATU's Arts Center. It is available for purchase and what doesn't sell from the exhibit will be offered again at the Art Sale benefitting the Art Department and from there it will move into her Etsy shop.

I'm proud of her. This last four years has just flown by and I'm not sure I'm ready to have one of my babies graduating from college. But ready or not it's happening.

Hoping your days are stress free!
See ya next time!

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