(Thanks, Tammie – I’m totally stealing your idea!)
What’s my dilemma? Well, I was going to skip doing a Beastie calendar this year. And I was dead set on the idea, until a couple of people asked me if I was planning to make one… putting me squarely back on the fence about the whole thing!
So, why the no-show?
At the top of the list – AAAAARGH! They’ve always been a bit of a logistical nightmare. As you all know, the Beasties and I live on the beautiful island of Ireland. Unfortunately for us, pretty much every big online printing company is based in the UK. So we start off our order with hefty shipping charges and a non-market Sterling conversion rate… Then there’s the inevitable missed courier delivery, the 20 minutes on hold on their “helpline” only to find that they actually can’t help you, and the eventual arrival of the parcel which looks like it’s been trodden on by a particularly hefty horse. Last year I got additionally burned by a long lead time, non-delivery of the envelopes I requested and paid for (they showed up 2 months later, but only after I sent a stinker of an email to the printer’s customer service department) and two calendars which were damaged when I opened the box. So you can maybe see why I’m a little reluctant to join the line for THAT merry-go-round again!
By giving the 2018 calendar a miss, I was hoping to spend some quality time tracking down a good, local supplier for my 2019 relaunch. I’d love to work with someone a little closer to home, who can put a more “Beastie” stamp on the calendars, rather than having to plop for the best out-of-the-box template from a host of super-cheesy options. Plus it would give me a whole year to take twelve awesome, season-appropriate photos! NICE!
Of course, I am also troubled by the bigger question of whether people actually still USE calendars. I know I do, but I’m the kind of throwback who likes nothing better than popping a cassette into my tape deck and settling down to read a good, old-fashioned, made-out-of-paper book. Perhaps the rest of the world has moved on, and I should be focusing my attention on making a Beastie app instead? This is why I need your help, people!
Now, the case for the defence. I know that I have regulars out there who, once the leaves start to turn and Christmas music is blaring from every shop door, come looking for Beastie calendars. And yes, I am worried that they’ll be disappointed by my (albeit brief) hiatus from distributing timekeeping materials.
I also like the fact that the calendar is a more affordable Beastie product – think about it, you get 12 Beasties for under €15! You wouldn’t even have got a bargain like that at my first market, when I had no clue about pricing! Plus, there’s a bit of a warm fuzzy aspect to them as well – I send these pictures out into the world, where they end up in homes all over the globe. How cool is that? And people use them to make plans, organise their activities and keep track of the big days in their own lives, plus those of their families and friends, for a whole year! I also like to imagine that at least a few of these good folks look forward to turning the page at the beginning of the month to see which Beastie is there waiting to greet them.
So, there you have it… And now it’s your call! What should I do next? Your polling card is here:
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Now, do your worst! And please feel free to share any other thoughts or suggestions you have in the comments! Thank you in advance… the polls close at midnight GMT this Sunday night (that’s the 17th) and the results will be announced in next week’s post. See you then!