Thursday, July 2, 2015

Curated by? Not.

Every now and then the misuse of a word becomes extremely popular... and terribly annoying. My big beef right now is with the two words: curated by.

Wow. That sounds really important doesn't it? It used to have significance relating to museums and fine art. A curator is someone well schooled in their specialty, after years of higher education and work in the field. Now it seems that anyone who selects content or a product is suddenly a curator.

I choose the products that I sell on my website and at consumer shows. Does that make me a curator? Hardly. Do I need to put the words, "Curated by Catherine Goetz" to sound important or for people to know I chose them? I don't think so.

So no, I am not a curator of fabrics and neither are all those 'sewing celebrities' who claim to be. I am pretty sure that none of them has a PhD in textiles nor have they spent years in the field studying fibres, textile manufacturing, printing, design, dyes and so forth. They do what any business person does; choose products, buy them and resell them.

Instead of curators, they are experts. They have a great deal of knowledge about sewing. They also have a particular style and taste that influences their choices. Do they carefully select the fabrics that they sell? Most likely.

So don't be overly impressed by the words "curated by". Think instead about the person who has chosen the products, and whether or not you like their choices and trust their judgment. It's that simple.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Consumer Show Etiquette Revisited... Again!

I have posted at least twice now about customer etiquette at a consumer show. If you need a refresher you can catch up by clicking here. But there's more.

Last year I had placed two chairs in my booth to display product on. A customer removed the product and sat on a chair, for more than 10 minutes. When politely asked if I could help her make a purchase she said no. She just wanted to rest. Then two of her friends showed up and they camped out chatting for several minutes. Again, I asked if they required help. They said no, they were just chatting. I politely said there were designated rest areas throughout the show and I needed the space for serving customers. They looked at me like I had two heads.

This time, I removed all chairs but I do have a table for cutting fabrics. That I can't remove. Now people are leaning on my table to rest. When people do that they are blocking me from serving customers. Just don't.

People, exhibitors pay $200 per square foot to be at a major consumer show. If you're not buying or considering buying or even looking, just move on.

Also, don't take up a lot of a vendor's time if you have no intention of making a purchase, or you are going to buy the product somewhere else. It's simply poor manners.
I know that I am talking about the very few inconsiderate or thoughtless people. But they detract from the experience of everyone else.

I would like to thank the hundreds of people who come to the show and are polite, thoughtful and considerate. You are the majority and you are appreciated beyond words.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Taking a Sewing Class? Listen to Your Instructor.

I have seen it time and again. And I am at a loss to understand why people insist on jeopardizing the opportunity to try something new, enjoy the experience, and learn from it.

Think you know better than your instructor? Maybe you do, but why not try it her way first, in a low risk environment and where you can get help and feedback. At the end of it all, if you still think your way is the better one, then fine. It's still a learning experience.

If you are going to deviate from the instructions, be prepared for the consequences. Don't expect the instructor to take the time to get you out of the mess you created for yourself. That instructor has many other students (who did as asked) to deliver a lesson to in a limited amount of time. Be prepared to become an observer and take notes. It is a humbling experience, so be gracious about it. Complaining, whining, moodiness and disruption are unfair to everyone. Leave the classroom to compose yourself if you must.