Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

An Open Letter From Mikey In The First Person

I hadn’t planned to drone on about problems and changes in our industry as it might seem self-serving and of no interest to our blog followers.

But I started this blog not only to promote, but to provoke and give insight into the workings of a glass store owner. Hence the title 'Diary of a Demented Store Owner'.

Yes, we do tell you what’s new, give suggestions and promote stuff that’s appearing. We've even been accused of trying to inject a little humour into our industry now and then. But that’s something you might get elsewhere (excluding Mikey's bad sense of humour...Tina).

Something you can’t get anywhere else is how things are done, the behind-the-scene inner workings, the graft and corruption, the sex, drugs and women- namely, the trials and tribulations we as retailers face.

That’s maybe why this blog is a little different.

It hasn’t made us popular with some, but has hopefully caused some changes to occur for the betterment of our industry. I have stories- some I can share today, some best left for another day.

Here’s one for today...

You might have thought that I was here these past few weeks.

Sorry, but I wasn’t.

I was away, hard at work as the above picture clearly shows.

The great thing about writing a blog is that you can schedule entries to appear even when you aren’t here.

I wish I was here.

It has been a very ‘interesting’ time these past few weeks.

Upon my return I find myself reflecting on many of the ‘cornerstones’ of our business and reviewing the status of all our inventory, the importance of our suppliers and our product mix- all relevant and important to our continuing success.

Manufacturers have disappointed us.

So has our supplier.

The traditional manufacturer/distributor/retail supply chain no longer seems to be important to most players leaving the retailer to wonder why this distribution system continues to exist.

You see, a mainstream manufacturer sells only to a protected set of distributors. That’s okay. There is merit to this system. Or was.

That protected distributor in return receives best pricing so long as they promise to carry the manufacturer’s full line and carry a substantial quantity in inventory to adequately supply the retailer (and studios).

This is important, why?

Well, FIG as your retailer depends on the distributor (and the due diligence of the manufacturer) to make sure he upholds his end of the deal, does his job and actually has inventory for us to draw from.

As you know (ad nauseam), over the past four years we have had a progressively worsening time procuring supplies from these manufacturers’ distributor. Some to such an extent that once proud mainstream suppliers such as Spectrum are now viewed here in Canada as a minor boutique manufacturer that is unable to provide a consistent and reliable product.

While we have a lesser problem supplying Bullseye glass because we are a dealer and buy direct, there are sundry, and slow moving items that we won’t buy direct expecting our distributor in their role to provide this for us.

Not happening.

So, where am I going with all this?

I’m not sure.

It used to be that everyone in the supply chain knew their role.

It used to be that everyone followed the rules, provided product in a timely, accessible manner, at a reasonable cost. And for all that effort, of course, were entitled to and realized a reasonable profit.

Everything is changing. Loyalties are being tested and reevaluated. I think we must do so as well.

Keep tuned as I anticipate some big changes occurring at FIG.

Nicole Richie To Name Baby After Michael Jackson, Stained Glass Store Owner Comments

Nicole Richie has announced that she will name her baby after pop-star Michael Jackson. This is contrary to initial reports that she was intending to name it after famed store owner Mikey of Fantasy In Glass Inc).
"Nicole is devastated by Michael Jackson's death," a source tells Star magazine. "She loved him and it happened so suddenly. She was originally planning on naming the baby after Mikey of FIG fame, but he's still alive. Richie felt it's fitting now that Michael's gone (not Mikey- he's still here... Ed)".
"Besides there can only be one Mikey!" she added.
Not to be outdone, Fantasy In Glass Glassworks president, Mikey considers renaming his pet llama Gary in honour of Gary Brown...

Monday, 20 July 2009

Microwave Kilns Again

Kilns are just too slow. Capturing the futility of technology in the face of superheroics, Superman doesn't have time to waste while Lois messes around with the microwave- he decides that all glass fusing will be fast and friendly, by using the household microwave and Mikey's DTI microwave kiln. What the picture does not show, however, is the less charming, more grotesque result of the morning that Lois "took too long" shaving her legs. Needless to say, she's a pants-wearer now and Superman will be doing all the fusing for many years to come.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

An Actual Unedited Email Received By FIG Looking For A Job

English. Rush fan.24 years stained glass experience seeks work.
(person not quite as pictured, but maybe...)

Friday, 10 July 2009

Star Lamp Pattern

We have had a lot of requests recently for the pattern for a three dimensional lamp in a star shape. It was a pattern that we had gotten in awhile ago. One that sat lonely and unwanted, wallowing in self pity, distraught and dejected. One that sold so slowly that we had initially decided to let it die a quiet and dignified death. But now, today, it is rejuvenated and alive and it seems that everyone wants it again. While it took uncanny skill and devotion on Mikey's part, we now have the pattern back in stock- at only $13.99!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

New Spectrum Glass

Use it for stained glass, or use it for fusing or don't use it for anything.
If you use it for fusing, here's a cool little project here.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Jen's Jewelry or Mike's Feeble Attempt at Alliteration

It's always so rewarding when we see one of our students strike out and become successful. And then there's Jen...
Check out her work at www.urbanfusions.ca