Download PDF by Richard M Barnhart, John P. O'Neill & Joan S. Ohrstrom,: Along the Border of Heaven

By Richard M Barnhart, John P. O'Neill & Joan S. Ohrstrom, WalterJ.F Yee, Gerald Pryor

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Henry Ford could not sell his Model T—today! However, we tried to make the loss worthwhile. When a basket wasn’t selling, we made it a practice to ask customers what they didn’t like about it. We solicited their ideas and redesigned accordingly. The idea for a number of our baskets came from someone with a particular need. We had designed a jewelry tray that we thought was very pretty. It didn’t sell. Then one day a customer picked it up and pointed out that slightly enlarged and with two dividers it would make a beautiful utensil tray for outdoor picnics and barbecues.

The inability of so many craftspeople to part with their creations, and continue to sell the exact same product year after year, explains why so many of them either go out of business or just eke out a living. Are there exceptions? Definitely! A good friend has been making large women’s purses for twenty years. She has varied the basic style, pattern, or color very little. However, they are practical, durable, and washable. Nobody makes a purse the way she does and nobody has tried. Since all women have numerous purses for various occasions, Jessie’s purses will always be desired and useful.

How long do I generate enthusiasm? Am I quickly bored? Knowing the honest answers to these questions is vital to marketing yourself as well as your product. As acknowledged in the introduction, Judy and I just stumbled into the business and never considered these questions in relation to selling. Most craftspeople we met never did until they were deeply involved in the business. Sometimes, by then it is too late. We were simply lucky, as we were older, had experienced other professions, and knew our capabilities.

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