Bears and Bikers

Sleeping Bear I made this bear a few years ago and when I had a “photo shoot” done of my work he was one of the pieces I decided to take.  I haven’t made any for a while…they were hard to get to the final stages, I made a few and some cracked while drying, which almost never happens!  I think this one went off to Quebec or Ontario to a man who fell in love with it.  It was funny, he came in the shop with his wife and did a loop around the shop and then said he was going to wait out in the car, as a lot of husbands do.  But then he went back to the bear and said how much he liked it.  Then to the door and then to the bear, then around the shop, then to the bear….Then he said he couldn’t leave it.  He kept saying “but look at his little face!”  I think his wife was pretty surprised about the whole thing…I  think he’s probably generally the wait in the car type of guy.  I love purchases like that!  Its  nice to know that someone who normally isn’t into my kind of stuff is so captured by a piece that I’ve made that it draws something out in them and they can’t leave the shop without it!! Its very flattering.

Today I went to a “Women in Business Luncheon”.  When I was younger I used to think that “Women’s Night Out” and “Women in Business” and all of those various women only events were scary things…What, no men??! What will we do?  Now I love going to those kinds of events.  Its so fun just to get together and chat about whatever’s going on.  And even though I am a potter first, I’m still a businesswoman so its good to compare notes with other business owners in my area.  Plus most Cape Bretoner’s are really good at putting out a spread, so the lunch was yummy!  Anyway, the guest speaker was a man, go figure.  He’s organizing a big bikefest ( www.capebretonbikefest.com ) for this summer, which could potentially bring something like 30,000 bikers to Cape Breton.  Now that sounds good…but they don’t buy a lot of pottery. Last year a few times during the summer about 500 or so bikers went by and about 2 of those bikes stopped.  However, it will be good for the economy, so that’s a great thing.  I tend to have that preconceived idea that bikers are scary, but honestly, the ones that do stop are so fun and friendly its hard to hang onto the prejudice.  But those bikes ARE loud! The name of the festival is “Thunder in the Highlands” and its a pretty apt name, I think.  He said that people in other areas where there are bike rallies put signs on their businesses that say “We Ship” and they see a large increase in sales.  That’s all well and good, but it takes me AGES to package things and shipping costs are so high I don’t like to add for my own time, which can sometimes take over 2 hours, depending on the order.  So I have this vision of shipping thousands of breakable pieces, which I can’t insure and never sleeping…Maybe I’m ok if they just keep on riding….Its fun to watch them go by.  Or maybe I could come up with some kind of biker oriented piece that I could wholesale to the organization….some sort of raku muffler? A pin that says “I Like my Bike”? A helmet that doubles as a soup bowl?  yeah, that there idea is a goldmine!

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5 thoughts on “Bears and Bikers

  1. Hi Sarah,
    Good blog entry today. A note about bikers (thought at first it was peddle bikers They are not scary) Last summer I sold two masks to a biker. He just wrapped them up in his shirts. He was so excited about them.

    Maybe if you hung a sign on your fence “I have bubble Wrap”!!

    Do you have any pictures of you rakuing?
    love Mum

  2. the Bears are wonderful!

    On the shipping issue maybe you could offer to ship but only after a certain date (like late summer when things are a bit slower) that way you could wait until you have a few extra hours do all the packing at once and only make one run to the post office. Most folks know how expensive shipping is and are willing to pay for it for a unique piece of art.

  3. Yes, shipping is difficult to get right. One thing I’d recommend is making sure you have all the proper supplies, like boxes in uniform sizes, and good wrap for the pieces, all set up somewhere in your studio. That way it’s not such a hassle every time you want to ship something.

    The place I worked in Australia has that, a whole shipping area, although mind you they work on a different scale than you do (four kilns, etc). However, I think that it’s still a good point, and something I would do if I had my own pottery business.

    Looking forward to hearing more from your blog!

  4. Like reading your blog so far! I had to chuckle at the raku pottery helmet that doubles as a soup bowl! And I especially like the story about the “wait-in-the-car kind of guy”! It must be hard to sell some of your pieces that you’ve put a lot of heart and sould (and time and energy into), but I guess the flip side is that you would get a lot of satisfaction knowing that little pieces of your imagination are ending up in all sorts of creative spaces!

  5. Hi Sarah,

    I love your new blog.
    I’d love to buy a seal or two. How can I arrange it? Can I send you a cheque? And… wait… have you ship it?

    Let me know.

    Kent
    (and hi to your mom and dad, when/if they read this)

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