Forest Flame Millinery

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Would I throw my hats away?

I was at a craft market last weekend 'peddlaring' my hats. Sales was slow recently but I expected it. Afterall, my busy months are in August -Dec. I am hoping to sell at the same place in Dec and so now, I just need to clock in enough sessions to qualify to sell in Dec, which everyones know is THE month to make sales.

The request for ad-hoc custom order has stopped. Call it madness, but I actually made an announcement to say that I don't do custom order anymore. If you are in my profession, you will know how busy we are. We work till midnight and there's no rest for us on Sat, Sun and public holidays. It's a tough job but we do it because it's our calling. We just whinge and let go of steam when it gets too tough. And we do whinge and complain a lot :}

Back to the craft market, this seller came over to show me 2 types of hair clips. They were "made by housewives. Do you know how to make? Why don't you make these? They are very sellable". Thanks dude. But I doubt I want to make them because Daiso used to sell these hair clips at a mere $2 and they are more for children. My friend beside me said no one buys those clips. I second to that. But because he has hardly shown me his obnoxious side (just rubbed his backside on my shoulder the last time I sat behind him),  I rejected his idea politely. I will be cordial to him as long I plan to sell at the same market. He tends to encroach your space by setting tables and chairs to place his wares. So when the space gets smaller, each time he walked past, his arse rubbed against your shoulder.

Anyway, my sales was bad. I know,  I just refuse to sell my hat cheap nor do I want to make 'budget hats'. Millinery is my passion and if I don't sell any hats, I will wear them myself or be cremated with me when I did. It is so against what I believe in and that is to make sales but selling CHEAP.  I wasn't bothered at all the comments around me. Furthermore, the rent is very low - there is no lost at all for me. I still have 2 new designs that I am making for the Australian market and sales pick up from my Oz customer base every year in Sep-Oct.

So as I was packing up at the end of the day, another seller who had wanted to get a cocktail hat for an event next week but did not when she didn't expect the lowest price cocktail hat I have is a mere $48 (only 24 UK pound).  She came back when I was ready to go and said this to me, "Do you have anything you want to throw or do not want. I can buy it off from you cheap." This was her exact word.  I remember because she said trice. I didn't understand why she wanted to buy my 'throwaway' as there were only banana skin, soiled tissue from blowing my nose and the leftover chay-kway-teow in my rubbish bag. Then it hits me! This was her way of asking for a big discount. She reckoned that my sales was so poor today, I will be happy to earn a few dollars by selling her a cocktail hat. You know something, I didn't use any f-words on her and neither did I use Hokkien and Cantonese versions when I reached home.

I have improved! Nah...she was nice before and I don't feel angry by what she said.

And I am giving instructions to my daughter that should I die, all my unsold hats and supplies cannot be given away. It will be nice to cremate with them.


  1. Having had my back rubbed against Mr Arseman all weekend before, I take my hat off to you for having the heart of an angel to be so cordial. It left me nauseated and I must confess I shot a few imaginary fireballs at his thick head.
    I need to teach you the Hainanese f-words. (if you want)
    Wah, your blog has word verification.

    1. I DON"T KNOW HOW TO TURN THE BLOODY THINGS OFF! Teach me, I mean teach me how to turn word verification off first, then the Hainanese version.