Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Morning After...

Good Morning All,

And herein lies the reason that Nightblooming suggested I maintain a blog to begin with.  It would have been so much easier to answer all of the questions on the forum in a discussion format, but history has taught me that anything I say beyond Good Morning is considered inappropriate by the moderator's and as such deleted.  I find it to be a somewhat lopsided set of rules, but I digress. 

What's even more surprising to me than the price was to you, is that it took almost 6 hours before the discussion began, I think you all are slipping, typically it would have begun much sooner :)

Just for the record, I would have been sticker shocked also, because as many of you know, I rarely creep north of $200, it's outside of my comfort zone.  I only read the thread once, so if I miss something, feel free to ask a follow up question here, I don't have that many secrets, but then again, I'm not wild about the notion of teaching my various techniques to our competitors, as I don't think it wouldn't be prudent. 

*  Yes, the price was agreed upon well in advance, and although she offered to pay more, I charged less. 

*  While I will never tell anyone how to spend their money, I don't recommend running a stick through a bandsaw to see the cross section, you're more than welcome to do so, but I think it will largely be a waste of money, and resulting in very few answers.  If you should choose to slice it down the middle, please send me pictures, as I'd be curious to see it also.

*  If you would like for me to recreate this stick for you, I'll be happy to do so, but the price is $225.  No, I will never intentionally rip the original designers head off, and then sell it for less on reproductions, as that would be wrong on way too many levels.  Have I ever done so, probably, but it was due to a poor memory, nothing else.  Believe it or not, I don't actually remember the individual specifics of 5,000 some odd sticks.

*  We began discussing this design on December 29th, and have had ongoing discussions for the past 3 and a half months.  While you may not see it, this is what I refer to as a "Create it from scratch" design, and if you look at the custom order guidelines page, the minimum price for said design is $150.  I assure you, we haven't raised our prices, in fact, they've gone down if you're looking closely.

*  Yes, I've made similar style sticks for much less, but it was for 2 insets (holly) typically bordered in a crushed gemstone, but this particular stick has 6 insets, 2 holly and 4 paua insets.  This was my 3rd attempt, and as I explained to the customer after the 2nd failure, I can't do it because it's too complex, and she would have paid nothing.  Even though I had already purchased 2 new sets of artwork for the dragons.  I've never charged, nor will I ever charge a customer for my failures.  After thinking about it for a few days, my stubborn persistence kicked in and I thought through a new technique, as I wasn't wild about the idea of losing 3 and a half months of discussions and the expense of new artwork.  This was my 3rd and final attempt before I was going to just write it all off as a failure, as I have done several times in the past, it was familiar territory.  As Kenny Rogers so eloquently sung, you've got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em... and I was ready to walk away from the table if the 3rd one failed also.

*  I know nothing about the decals are that were mentioned, so I can't comment either way on this point.  I only have one laser, and it's the old one.  Many of you may recall that the new laser never worked, and I ultimately made them take it back.  There are literally thousands of settings that I can program and I've just learned to work with the finer intricacies of an old and weak laser, and no, I still can't engrave ebony.

So there you have it, I'm sure I probably missed something, and if so, feel free to ask it again here. 

Have a great Sunday!


  1. You're quite the artist Doug, I always love seeing what's new in the shop!

  2. Maybe it's just me, but I think it's silly that you should have to explain yourself to us. We're not stick artists; what do we know?

    However, it WOULD be interesting to see a stick cross sectioned. I'm not volunteering, though.

  3. Thank you for sharing this information, Doug. I hope the new owner thoroughly enjoys her new stick. She always comes up with amazing ideas. I know it's going to be stunning in action <3

  4. Glad to see you back on the blog. Thanks for the background! As far as I'm concerned, you had me at "Yes, the price was agreed upon well in advance, and although she offered to pay more, I charged less." It is not, therefore, indicative of an overall increase, especially since your prices have generally been a bit lower.
    Glad to see some new fans out here. I personally am at hairtoy overload, and not purchasing much at the moment, but I'm enjoying all the new pretties - especially when some of the older styles pop up!

  5. Thanks so much for the very eloquent clarification, Doug. I can't find the proper words to tell you how much I LOVED that stick. Sheer perfection!!! So glad you did not give up :)

  6. I simply never question the cost of an item. To me, someone who makes things from hand has a right to charge whatever they want. It's a gorgeous stick and I'm sure the owner will be thrilled with it! :)

  7. Good Morning Ladies,

    Thank you all for your comments, I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

    I just wanted to get out in front of it, as I've seen (as many of you have also) where this thread was headed. Pricing discussions on LHC in the past have never been a good thing, especially once the non-supporters jump in, as that's when the discussion typically get's really spicy.

    So there was that, plus I wanted to reassure everyone that there is actually some rationale behind the way that we price things.

    Thanks again, and I hope you all have a great week!