People, customers, friends, enemies, frenemies - have all warned me about my sales. "You can't keep giving customers discounts" they'll say in various forms and anecdotes. One arrived yesterday from someone close to me who said "I was having coffee with Nicholas SoandSo and he told me he never likes to go to any coffee shop where they have a loyalty card 'buy ten coffees get one free', because in his mind, if the coffee is good enough he's happy to pay each time and it cheapens the brand if they offer it" .
The thing is, probably everyone that speaks to me is right. I am not denying that giving discounts continuously is probably harming my 'brand' but to be honest, I don't care. Every time we get stock out of the store and cash into the account I am free to explore new silks, new designs, new energy. If it weren't for cash none of our recent Yuzen bow ties customers would have received the 18k rose gold plated 925 sterling silver clips - mostly because I would have been too tight to throw money at a new project like that. You probably wouldn't have seen any Yuzen silks on the website either because who would explore Yuzen when the only bow ties that sell are black ones and polka dots - if you believe your detractors.
If I believed my detractors I wouldn't be making bow ties - that's for sure. "It's such a small market", "who buys your stuff", "I never knew you could make money out of bow ties" .
Let me tell you something, I've had a gut full of my detractors - the real, the barely perceptible and the wholly fictional that you create in your own head. Negative thinking has it's merits but if you want to step outside of the confines of what is 'de rigeur' you need to keep exploring and pushing yourself long after everyone has told you to stop. You have to stay fresh and curious and really you can't do that sitting still.
We are all just going around the one time - I do believe that in my current state of knowledge and experience (unless my maker will reveal himself and assure me there is life after death). And who is to say whether the way I have carved out my niche is right or wrong. When my bow ties sell at their RRP I figure I must have done something right. And when others eventually sell at a discounted rate I know they mustn't be as wonderful as I first thought or at the very least, not in customer's consideration on that day. But it forces all parties to play their part and it frees me up to get on with the show. Perhaps I am the biggest idiot in the menswear accessories business - perhaps I will have to learn a hard lesson in life at some point - but for now, I just want to keep moving.
Enjoy the end of the sale. You are allowing silk to be converted to cash to be converted into more silk and the exploration of more designs.