30 July 2010

When Keith Johnson Comes Knocking


I am still thinking about the most recent Man Shops Globe episode on Sundance Channel which originally aired Wednesday night. Sweden was splendid. One part of the episode is particularly haunting me. Keith visited a woman who makes gnomes, which are big in Scandinavia. He was intrigued with her but wasn't looking for gnomes. But in her workshop she also has hanging many unique, almost haunting felted wool birds she had made.

Keith asked to buy all of them, every one she had. Keith, the internationally known buyer for Anthropologie. That's Anthropologie! THE Anthropologie. This woman clearly didn't know about Anthropologie, which is not a store well known to Swedes apparently. But without doing any research or asking any other questions she said, Oh, no! I couldn't. Then I wouldn't have any for my craft fairs and markets.

I was stunned. Still am. Still thinking about it! Without knowing it, she gave up an opportunity to have her art seen on an international stage, in one of the most inventive and style-setting stores in the world. Who cares about craft fairs?!

Clear example of thinking too small when opportunity came to knock at her door. I feel sad for that lady. She missed a phenomenal opportunity. Opportunity came knocking, Keith Johnson came knocking and she  said "No thanks" to a chance to grow and expand her business and her life experiences. She could've flown to London for the gallery opening and met amazing, influential people. She could've appeared more on the Man Shops Globe episode. She could've had many new customers. So many opportunities lost.

The thing I walk away with is a promise to myself to never think SMALL when LARGE opportunity comes knocking, when a "Keith Johnson moment" comes knocking. Ask questions, do a little research, be open minded, think big picture and be ready to jump when the chance comes. Promise me you'll do the same. I couldn't bear to see you go "craft fair" when Anthopologie comes knocking!

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