Our coat rack sales have been growing over the last three years; they’ve now become our leading product. So I spend a lot of time hammering pegs into their deep and close fitting sockets. Heaps strong even without the glue.
Small detail — the grain on the pegs is always vertical which is the strongest axis in timber… these things are important to us! (you have time to reflect doing this kind of work!)
Surprisingly the repetition is OK due to the direct relationship we have with customers: I’m making a useful thing that someone needs, this is a very real connection and not a production-line nightmare where the maker is disassociated from the customer, (along with being de-skilled, exploited, etc…).
Although they are simple we are proud of our coat rack and pleased more and more are going out into the world.
I’ve come to the realisation that as a maker and a small business we tend not to carry much stock so the things we make are more like a repertoire: the designs are resolved along with the supply, production, and distribution so we make things up on demand. Making it up as we go along kind of covers a lot about usethings!
We do keep stock of materials so this is possible, and we can run this fine line as most off our suppliers are responsive — the just-in-time method! Though there is the occasional hiccup but we still manage to beat the times of major retailers, and our clients are patient when we contact them personally to let them know what is going on. Good things come out of this scale of business.
So we don’t have container loads of stuff and our showroom is not your usual retail experience. This does free us from the cycle of stocking and moving heaps of high turnover stuff; the mode of retail being one brief step on the road to landfill.
The occasional supply breakdown can push us out to four or five weeks but this is rare; like the recent case of a manufacturer changing their local agent which held up drying rack dispatches while we waited for cord. Mostly we get stuff done within a week and have occasionally pulled off a next day delivery.
Stocking in this way also accounts for the many items we produce from a few basic materials: plantation hoop pine plywood, plantation sugar gum, and recycled hardwood. These materials pass our test for a renewable or recycled material and are also native species, some quite local, so a few ticks there. Also ticks for reducing our waste by designing around production off-cuts.
Repertoire feels kind of right for our range of designs: the word has a sense of art — and there is also the drama when it unravels a bit!