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“Fail To Fantastic!” A lesson from Van Tiki.

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YouTube sometimes suggests some absolute gems. Today’s was by a ceramic artist Henrick at VanTiki.com.  I’ve followed his technical lessons for a long while, but today’s was different. It was not so much a lesson of how to do something ceramic, as it was how to turn little imperfections into magnificent pieces.  


his inventive mug designs sell in limited editions for $150-$250.  The aftermarket for the mugs is hot.

as expected, People always ask if there’s any mistake piece they might be able to buy at a discount.  This happens to ALL of us, doesn’t it? 

his approach was to take the 5 chipped rim mugs from this run and improve the product and make a sad piece a masterpiece. He kept 1 for himself, and offered the remaining 4 for sale.  They sold instantly. The original price: $185.  The improved pieces $500. He made $2,000 on a few things he would ordinarily smash and throw away.  

how many times do we undersell ourselves by giving away or severely discounting products? I’m going to rewatch this segment a few times to remind myself that we can train our customers to always want discounts, or train them to appreciate our art in a more elevated form.



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That's a great idea he had to save them and give them another purpose. He made customers happy and still made money in the process. I love creativity that goes above and beyond.


On the topic of discounts, if you are a high-end brand or want to be a high-end brand then you don't give discounts or have sales. That's not what you do. I doubt Ansel Adams ever offered any of his photos at discount. I've never seen a Rembrandt painting on sale. You don't see fashion houses like Prada or Louis Vuitton running after Christmas sales. And what do they all have in common? Great quality first and foremost, scarcity or limited access, high value, respect and admiration of their products and the feeling that the price is worth it. Something to keep in mind when branding and setting prices. I'll just say, I hate to see good artists/creativities just basically giving away their products and not getting what their talent and hard work is actually worth.

Edited by Laura C
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