Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I made $$$$'s making pottery, you can too!

If you've read this blog for a while, you all know I've mastered the art of the scathing email. The problem with the perfect scathing email is that the person who you are targeting is usually something of an innocent bystander, unaware that they have just set off one of your touchy little buttons, and sending them the scather you just composed will probably just confuse them and wonder why you are such an angry person.

That's why I have you guys. You understand my touchy little buttons. And you know why I am angry, and you think it's funny when I get mad, unlike some people, who just think I'm bitter and maybe even psychotic.

Dear Whitney,

I'm the owner of a new website called www.makeshitloadsofmoneyfrom pottery.com*. I'm developing a series of products and services to help pottery hobbyists turn their passion for pottery into a money-making business. I was wondering if you would be kind enough to do an interview for me, answering questions about how you started and grew your business to what it is today. The benefits of working with us are that we will be producing a product you can use in your own business, and within the interview we will promote you and your accomplishments. Thank you!

(*This is not the actual name of the site. While some people get a charge out of publicly crapping on people's dreams, I like to crap on people's dreams behind their back.)

Well, I love being interviewed, because I love to talk about myself, so I click the link to check it out. The headline on the site screams, "Learn How to Discover the Stacks of $100 Bills Hidden in Your Pottery Wheel!" I honestly cannot think of a better title for my own how-to guide, and I'm ripping it off right now and replacing my current title, which is, "Never Give Up: A Potter's Guide to the 30% Profit Margin." I did not realize how dull that title is until just now.

The bullet points are many, one of which promised to show potters how to "simply" and "easily" make extra money by spending "blissful hours enjoying your pottery craft". There are more entreaties stating that starting and running a pottery business can fit into any lifestyle, despite any other work or family commitments one may have. That made me think about my pal Sara Paloma, who works at 2 in the morning so she can make pots without her two children asking her to make them a peanut butter sandwich. Has she read this? Does she know she's living the dream? The site actually says that it is possible to become fulfilled and happy while making a huge profit that could end all your financial worries. The words came in bold, just like that. Somehow, that just made it seem truer.

I'm wondering how someone got the idea of hawking the potter's life as a late night infomercial? Because I am jumping on that shit right away. With a little make-up, a push up bra, some clay-splattered low-rise jeans, and my cell phone camera, I think I can sell it even better than this site can. They ask me to close my eyes and "imagine" being called by "Martha Stewart for a feature," and "cash-loaded buyers flocking to buy [my] creations", selling my pieces for "thousands of dollars per piece" so I can "purchase a new car" or go on that "island holiday I've been fantasizing about!" Screw cars and island vacations, I'm talking about going out and being able to buy any kind of beer I want without even considering that gigantic utility bill I just got, because I can pay for both. I can, because I just sold the hell out of some cupcake stands and sugar bowls.

Dear____
Thank you for your email and interest in my work. I'm currently not available for interviews due to my overwhelming obligations at work and home. Good luck with your project.
--Whitney

27 comments:

  1. Damn, I needed a laugh today. Thank you. Awesome.

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  2. Last night at 3AM I said to myself "I'm living the dream" this morning at 8 I repeated it. Packed the orders. Ready to go make more. Wondering just why I have never had a vacation as an adult beyond my honeymoon.

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  3. You kill me. Thanks for brightening my day. :)

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  4. I am heading out right now to check my wheel for those hundred dollar bills- that where the hell they are hiding!And here I thought they came with real customers- silly me....

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  5. If you are a hand builder are the hundred dollar bills tucked in the slab roller, hold on, I'm going to run out to the studio and check for mine right now!

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  6. hmmm...while checking under my wheel in the studio for hundred dollar bills...all I found was a bunch of clay trimmings...which explains the strange hum that has been drowning out the radio while I trimmed, late at night, trying in vain to get an order out on time. I will try the push-up bra though, if I can't be a millionaire at least the girls will look good....

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  7. That e-mail sounds a lot like what I get for my alterations business. Maybe next time I'll respond, maybe.

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  8. Wow, I'm about to be 'severed' from the corporate world....now I'm SOOOOO motivated! can't wait for the money to come rolling in.

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  9. I am laughing my ass off!! ...you need to register that web site name and have it roll over to your site!! :o)

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  10. Jeez that was a good read. But why so polite with the reply? Why even reply?
    Why not 'Rack Off - stronger email to follow' (I'd use a much stronger word). Its like this trend in pop up shops where some enterprising bod rents a short term lease shop, coaxes artists to rent shelfspace for their products, and hires some kid to run the shop. Who wins? It is just people trying to make money off your blood sweat and clay! Call me cynical but ...

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  11. UN-freakin believable.
    "Imagine never having to worry about money again or stressing about making ends meet… ever!"

    wow. just wow. you were really restrained. the part where they give away the three interviews with the potters--a $79 value! That could have been you!

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  12. I actually did not even get around to the polite reply. I started to write back but then realized I'm trying to talk sense to someone who has bottled up the pottery lifestyle into snake oil to be sold to delusional hobbyists. I just don't have time for it. But entertain myself by writing a blog post about it-- always have time for that!

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  13. What a hoot ! Thanks.

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  14. lol, I think some people just don't live in the real world...

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  15. I'm actually a little disappointed that they didn't include the "romance" and "sensuality" of this incredibly lucrative business a la Ghost. Wow, that and selling your work for thousands of dollars?? I'm quitting my day job!

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  16. Your work is lovely.

    I work in another medium. I must be in the wrong medium /wink because the money is not hidden under my PMC packet. I could so adore to own a few pieces you have made because I admire them so much but I am over and over again buying more PMC. Well, I make a bit of cash. But not the "go on an island vacation, never worry about money again" kind of thing. My Mom was fond of saying "money does not grow on trees".

    Go ahead and scathe away because those people are definitely selling an unreality.

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  17. Love, love LOVE the commentary! I must be livin' in my dream world because I did quit my day job on the hopes......but any day doing something I love is better than doing something for someone else at something that is mundane.......maybe I need to switch to printing money...hmmmmm.

    Love the scathing blog!

    Kate

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  18. Hahahahaha! Who knew there were enough potters to make us worth scamming?
    I've gotten random emails requesting interviews before also, but since they smelled fishy I never clicked the links -- plus, after a long-ago job in a financial firm, I have a strong aversion to clicking links. Now I know what was behind door number one!
    I actually feel like I AM living the dream -- but some of that $$$$$ would be nice, too.

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  19. Cracking up. I'll remember this, too, in my craft. I'm not printing invitations at 3 am as I've been "living the dream". In fact, I don't print stationery, I print dollars... Ha Ha!

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  20. Oh my goodness, thanks for making something horrifying into something hilarious. I'm just hoping my $100 bills weren't in the kiln. Oh well.

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  21. Thanks for the great post Whitney!! Looking forward to seeing your late night infomercial!

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  22. i really love your blog, have i told you that before? i wish i had the guts to say these things, because they are always going through my head, thats for sure:)

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  23. So funny Whitney. But no mention of hard work? Or skill? I'm so glad that it is easy to make $$$$$$$ from pots I was thinking of retiring from pottery and doing a spot of plumbing or brain surgery (you know I used to have an interest in biology when I was at school and I regularly joint chickens, I feel like I'm half- way there) But now..... going into the studio to make more $$$$$$$. Yipeeeee I'll be rich beyond my wildest dreams (nightmares)

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  24. omg you just made my day :) thx for sharing this ridiculous story! What are they thinking.... or not!

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  25. This is why I love reading your blog!

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  26. this is good, and i always believe that their is always money in backyard work. besides, it can just be a hobby then going into full blast as one becomes a master already in their skills.

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