HOW TO DEVELOP NOVEL * GOODS and UNIQUE MERCHANDISE LINES *
The PEACE CORPS used to have SECTION 20 WORKERS who went into the third world and developed local aRTISANRY as industries to create products that city-dwellers in the NORTHERN HEMISPHERE would pay big bucks for. It used to be that UNESCO (part of the United Nations,) had the BAZAARS in every big city. Both quit doing the artisanry thing. Peace Corps now vaccinate goats and teach you how to use Terminator seeds. i tell you the Sixties were somethin', man. So now, you gotta combine it and be Peace Corps and UNESCO BAZAARS yourself, No government grands. All you need is two feet, one in the third world, one in NYC, LA, MONTREAL, PARIS, LONDON and WEST HOLLYWOOD. But hey, with the INTERNET, that's doable. You can also deputize team members in many cities for on site ateliers, their management even the distribution.
I just read about some student ARTISTS who did a design INTERNSHIP in the PHILIPPINES to develop weavers and left tracks ONLINE which I just read, and among the products some BAMBOO furniture lines of merchandise. If you did this, and lived in the third world and developed products, you'd want to search out BOUTIQUES in Paris, New York, and in the DESIGN CENTER in every American city, where all the architects and FURNITURE LINE STORES have display rooms and have member agents in those cities to run around contacting buyers, who'd take so many pieces per month.
MEET WISTERIA out of DALLAS. (below) They buy antique originals all over the world and copy some of them, have a sideline of good looking accessories. I saw them on the Nate show. He loves their stuff. I would take any antique bureau that exists and give it their camel bone insets as an applique but in paint.
I would use ultramarine blue for the back paint and then opaque primer to do the designs by hand, not stencil, then a second coat of something platinum, it would look like shiny abalone or seashell, on top of the white. Unless you have a vet handy and can get camel bones and set them in by hand. The Wisteria shop gets 2500$ for this Moorish bureau. A replica would be worth a grand easily.. But if you find some old bureau and remake it into a thousand dollar piece of designer furniture, that's not too shabby a price. Nor is it HIGH for a hand made work of art.
MEET the BARON an MBA from COLUMBIA University in NYC now living in gorgeous THAILAND, with his new heroes exporting biz. He's American, was corresponding with oldest member of our trade studies group: I put him on our list anyway, though he's never heard from me. He writes to STEVE, another member who maybe sent him stuff. He discovered the metal bookmark I mentioned yesterday in LIST.
STEVE: Sorry for delay in response ....have my hands full with a distribution company in Penn that sells one of my lines....many mistakes.....seems to be the order of the day these times....people are just not thinking like they should....mistakes all over the place.....oh well....will resolve but annoying and eats up precious time....
In regards to 10,000 village website: http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/
...it is nice site....but things are little pricey ...even at the retail level....at least to me they are.....it's a good idea and concept. GO SEE THIS SITE. IT IS FAB! Only thing wrong is high prices. Possibly they really wholesale to depart. stores at half price, in bulk, use that website as a guide to what retail should be. But hey, what if we GUYS CREATE same site, huge spread of merchandise, with more REASONABLE prices and also wholesale to dept.stores. Love what they did featuring artisans, ours would also offer pictures of the starving villagers weaving those pillow covers or serapes! Making the wire jewelry. Tumbling those semi precious gems in little tumblers that we bought for them! Grinding and faceting on our grinders. The concept is, start natives at their businesses, doing it as a charity, using charity status maybe. Website designer gets paid, webmaster gets paid out of charity coffers. We just need about l00 agents in foreign countries and l00 members in USA. When I was doing the LUCK IN LOVE WEBSITE http://www.luckinlove.com "publicity" with daily ads at craigs list, inside of a few months, I had 400 girls as members, all who'd seen ad at craigs list. This note by Anita)
About the bookmark people (that I found).....it is a family that makes these and many other things with wire only....Harley motorcycles by wire....statues of indians...etc.....incredible work and extremely good prices for what they are....all hand made and very good quality..... I am working with the son.....and have developed a good working relationship with him.....regarding production...prices etc.....if you have more interest in this line ...can scan some more bookmarks for you with many other themes.......he does some great bicycle key chains ....all kinds of neat stuff.....
The shampoo...conditioner....face cream ...soap line etc.....is made by a woman in a village up country in northern Thailand.....the packaging is excellent and all labels in English......will be talking to her this week.....about some ideas I have and asking her production capabilities.....Whole Foods is rather large chain and they will want to know this for sure. (WHY WHOLE FOODS? is it free of chemicals? Made the old way with castile? There used to be only one manuf. who did castile shampoo, OGILVE SISTERS.
Just a point of information for you ...the Thai's are similar to Hispanics in that they do not like to be rushed and to make things "rapido" like the States are use to and do all the time.....so I would not get my heart set on having things by Christmas....retail stores are pretty much all ready committed "open to buys" by now......and don't have much budget left for straggling items......besides the health and beauty stuff is a year around market....so we
should be OK......I also need to work a pricing plan for the lines .....what are you looking to make on your end if you infact get any of the items I am trading in to stores through your efforts.....you obviously deserve something
$$$ wise if you help me get lines in stores and start selling product.....I am open to any reasonable suggestions......
I guess now we can talk maybe more candidly about how we can structure this to be amicable for every one
concerned.......agree... (Meaning he is looking for stateside sales agents) I have an MBA from Columbia (NYC/ upper west side, great great historical campus) and have been self employed most my life......I have been involved in sales, manufacturing, marketing, importing etc for many years.....primarily in the equestrian trade..wholesale to...tack shops ...race tracks etc........got divorced about two years ago and the business got split along with everything else.....no children.....and walked away financially rather well....minus my business as it was......sold a large home and property in California during the height of the market....got lucky in that regard...thank God.... I am in Thailand semi retiring.....but also still need to continue to work for financial reasons and to keep my mind active....love the action of buying and selling.....always have and always will.....have a girl here so which was initially a big part of why I came....but have discovered a Mecca of opportunties in many arenas.....although my number one focus will always be the equestrian trade....having developed a good reputation with a strong client base.....I will always know where my bread is buttered sort of speak....... I am forming a would be "trading company" ...to help find sources for clients I already have and new ones as well.....my Thai girlfriend ...wife to be....is a solid asset in many ways.....she is college educated in marketing...BA....and speaks enough English to help me navigate around Bangkok....making good deals....this is super....so there you have a small bit about me..... Let me know what your goals.....agendas ...etc are and we can go from there.......am always open to working with people of like minds and integrity.......as I am the same...Thanks Sincerely The Baron
----- Original Message -----
To:Baron International Inc.
What do you know of the people that make the bookmarks. if you have the time look at 10000 villages website and get a feel for what they are doing with marketing. Glad you liked them.....I sent you 3 more in separate
scan...did you get yet??....Let me know...I think they are quite cute and useful...... What has your aunt found?? I am finding many things have been going to a variety of trade shows held here Bangkok in September past.....you name it I have found it..... I am going directly to the source when I go to trade show rather than middle men in
stores etc.....Thailand is a Mecca of many interesting products.....have found some good health and beauty lines from u....they want distibution in USA...and am making some good relationships to do this here.....herbal is very
big here.....found a wonderful line of herbal natural shampoo ...conditioner....from up country Thailand... soaps etc.....this is a lucrative market for us back in the states.............reasonable prices.....if you are intersted in something like this for the Houston market let me know as have several people in place for
this but no one in your area yet.....I think you have good client base for this.....where you are..
Keep in touch
Sent: Friday, October 06, 2006 6:45 AM
Subject: Re: Progress in Bangkok....
This looks great, my aunt is in thailand and will be writing me as of where she is staying. will be in touch as i know. i will be forwarding the picture to Anita Sands also.
Have been hard at work sourcing products for other customers in the states and have been looking for
things for you as well .....you mentioned religious items....have stumbled on a very simple ....but hand crafted wire
cross bookmarks ...perfect for a bible...etc....will attempt to scan a few of them.... the wire is hand bent and
the plasitic on the hearts come in many colors.....your cost FOB Bangkok would be about 50 cents each....certainly room to make money there.........take a look and let me know please what you think....shipping from here is really quite reasonable.....Thai Postal Air ...about one week to the states......
Primer on internat'l trade.Lesson l0
One of our international trade list members is communicating with the Baron who is living in Thailand andl found plastic/metallic looking bookmarks shaped like CHristian cross for 50c. each which would turn around & sell
for a buck here, tops.
HOWEVER, let me say here, that there are so many CHRISTIAN BOOKSHOPS and CHRISTIAN SUPPLY OUTLETS in every city of USA that it would be easy to target buyers. You could also get a popular religious ICON to let you license them with his name and his words.....like BILLY GRAHAM, though there is a mystico phrase I love and would put on a FOUNTAIN RIM in my garden in a minute. "ALL YOUR LOVES HAVE COME AND GONE BUT I WILL ALWAYS BE." That makes my heart throb and my imagination soar. Me and God. (sigh) You could sell THAT cross maybe! Cuz Christians would think it meant JESUS not GOD! Then the touring pal found a line of herbal THAI shampoo/conditioner. HMMMM. that got my interest! No price given. I believe that all soap items have to pass FDA tests so they're not as easy to get into the USA as one might think but it's worth a try! WHO DOESN't GO THRU A GALLON OF THAT STUFF A MONTH!
So I wrote my stateside pal back: i saw bookmarks made of shiny metal. do not feel they are useful to americans as 3% of us read and we prefer to use utility bills as bookmarks, being that there's dual use. IT REMINDS US TO PAY THEM! THE SOAP/CONDITIONER might be a good idea. Get prices by the carton. CARTON has 48 8 oz. bottles conditioner, it costs what? But remember the FDA makes it hard!
It is wise to contain yourself to the objects that reflect a million years of thai or balinese ARTISTRY and handicrafts......hopefully translated to some object that is utilitarian. Don't know if SOAP is that. I can now get THAT GREEN SOAP IRISH SPRING 2 big bars for a buck at 99c store AND NO THAI stuff could smell better. Here's what I use in an average day. Probably most gals are the same:
Sheer, very soft, cotton nightie, no itchy seams, must use softest thread.
cotton scarf to tie around my eyes while i sleep late!
teacup and strainer. tea. Coffee
breakfast plate. cotton napkin
soap, shampoo conditioner.
tablets of writing paper, envelopes with patterned LINING. Elegant!
vases for flowers in the office
rings on my fingers for going out to town
sun hat for being in garden. Soft straw wide brim but not floppy
pillows for my chaise lounge in yard and for the liv.rm.
sofa. washable, cotton covers that can be opened easily. Washed, replaced.
tablecloths and again, cotton napkins.
pictures to hang on my wall, semi-utilitarian but hey, man doesn't eat by bread alone.
oddball kitchen accoutrements, strainers n' stuff
a fresh, cotton dress for going to market
sandals of leather
shawls, jorongos, ponchos, rebozos
SILK or linen frocks for going out to dinner, maybe a silk BLOUSE, a necklace, more rings.
Belts, sashes with folklorico qualities. PURSE.
Nowhere there will you find metallic HOLY CROSS bookmarks. of course if you wrote something cute on it like HOLY CHRIST!! then it has a certain fun, shock value like the PET ROCK. Or put the phone numbers of A.A. local chapters on back, well, wholesale them to the AA and let them do it.
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