Diary of a Demented Store Owner
Monday, 28 September 2009
Sunday, 27 September 2009
Fantasy In Glass is now carrying out clinical trials to see how exactly music affects the brain and the body on behalf of poorer cutting glass manufacturers. Mikey is hopeful that "We are approaching the point where a glass store owner would legitimately be negligent not to actually recommend music as a therapeutic intervention. And even more so should he not obtain said music from mymusic.com, a tremendously great on-line music store. It was actually mymusic.com that turned Mikey on to Little Axe, a group's music that has been instrumental in increasing the cutability of Bullseye fusible opals, and has even lessened the incidence of devitrification when slumping this glass!”
Saturday, 26 September 2009
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Monday, 21 September 2009
Apparently it's not just any rodents, but the "highly social, intelligent" figus- a small caviomorph rodent that is native to Toronto. And while they don't use tools in their natural habitats, they were taught by researchers as well as the staff of Fantasy In Glass to do so in captivity.
After several months of training and practice, researchers say, the figus can move a rake as smoothly and efficiently as croupiers in any Las Vegas casino- a handy skill when mixing the mud-like slurry that these molds for slumping glass are made of.
“This is first time rodents have been trained to wield tools”, said Gary Brownosley, a psydoscientist, who led the experiments at the Laboratory for Really Cool Science in Toronto. He elaborated about how they are so efficient and quality conscious that the Teamsters’ union has petitioned the mold manufacturer to either stop using these poor little helpless animals or to certify them to unionize the shop.
While these figus rodents are best at manufacturing molds 14” or smaller in diameter (a size that is easily accommodated by most of the kilns sold at FIG) scientists from the LRCS are considering training baboons in the manufacture of larger molds-1a specialty of Brownosley’s.
While it has long been thought that tool use is a hallmark of higher intelligence, Dr. Brownosley said, the brain structures that underlie such abilities may lie dormant in many animals with good hand-and-eye or paw-and-eye coordination. Training these figus to make molds in captivity provides insights into the plasticity of their brains, he said, and may even shed light on how early humans evolved tool use in the first place.
In separate studies, Dr. Brownosley notes they are examining gene expression in the brains of macaques and marmosets trained to check the coefficients of expansion in Bullseye glass.
To see the handiwork of these figus rodents, and the well over 600 molds we have in inventory, check out this video.
Sunday, 20 September 2009
Thursday, 17 September 2009
Monday, 14 September 2009
Saturday, 12 September 2009
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
‘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.’
That’s the start of a post I wrote on July 28, 2009.
Rereading my thoughts from that post, and reflecting on these interesting times, I find myself reconsidering and deciding on our dealership of Bullseye Glass…
Oh, the horror you say.
But Mikey, you’ve been one of their biggest boosters, I hear. Carried the entire line for years. The only one in Canada with a full line inventory. Told us how they have five times the selection of Sys96. That they actually make solid reds and pinks. They even make Aventurine Green in two shades. All their glass amazingly is even available in two thicknesses.
Yes, it’s true, they are great, but sadly, and frustratingly, things have changed significantly in Canada over the past four years.
Let me explain…
Fantasy In Glass is the only retailer in Canada that carries the full Bullseye sheet glass line. We also carry a substantial amount of their curious fusible glass, their frits and powders, confetti, Hot Rodz rods for torchwork (even though my sales rep seems unaware that we do), chemicals and their great fusing paper (2500 sheets and rolls due in September 1). Heck, we even bring in their great Tekta Clear by the case.
Why then, if Bullseye is such an amazing product, does no one else carry it?
Well, as most retailers can’t bring in Bullseye themselves their only option then is to get it from the nearest Bullseye distributor- that’s right, in Canada, there’s only one. That means then you’d be dependant upon our sole Canadian distributor to supply the entire line for you.
You guessed it- he doesn’t carry the entire line. Not even close.
And if that supplier doesn’t carry an acceptable selection of inventory, what would you do as a retailer?
Of course. You just wouldn’t bother with Bullseye. Only carry the Spectrum Sys96 line.
So since Spectrum 96 is available more consistently than Bullseye and there is no alternate source for Bullseye in Canada, retailers choose not to even consider Bullseye, and invest only in Spectrum.
So, how does this affect us you ask? Wouldn’t that mean that we’d have a lock on Bullseye in Canada?
Yes and no.
Because other stores don’t carry Bullseye, and we seem to be the only one carrying the torch at the retail level, this greatly limits our ability to grow Bullseye.
Well, as while we attract customers from elsewhere, they won't consider our Bullseye because they've 'already started with Spectrum' and when they return to their regular retailer that’s all he carries.
So, Bullseye, by not assuring that their distributor is doing his job, has hurt our and their potential for growth. And frankly, we’re getting a little frustrated trying to grow Bullseye here alone, without much support.
So are we dropping Bullseye?
No we’re not. The product is way too good.
But we are dropping our dealership at this time, and hope our distributor can fulfill our needs.
Monday, 7 September 2009
Tonight is the start of a flurry of postings. We start with the revival of our Monthly Sale.