Well, if you read my previous post, you'll know the answer to the following question. Where did I go at 9am this morning (Friday)?
BINGO!!! I was at Artesa at 9am precisely so I could be one of the first people to get into the 2nds room...where all the pottery/dishes exist that have some minor flaw that didn't pass inspection, but are perfectly fine for the non-discerning person. I expected there to be several people waiting for the same thing and I didn't want someone to get something I wanted ahead of me. Sounds like a 50% off ladies lingerie sale at Macy's, huh? And, I envisioned this to be just a room with a small assortment of items to choose from...a room that remains unaccessible all but for 3 hours on Fridays only.
I was wrong. Maria, the sole person who runs the front store said 'follow me'. Out the door we went, Maria locking the store behind her, then into an adjacent large warehouse where all the pottery is made. Thousands of items were stacked on pallets, all white, waiting to be hand-painted, and cooked in huge kilns. A handful of artists were at their workstations dutifully painting. Artesa exports their art all over the world, so maybe you've seen some in stores? No, you can order anything online. Through some doors, and more doors, we finally came to the 2nds 'room'. It must've been 50 ft long and stuffed with hundreds and hundreds of items of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Mugs, vases, plates, coffee cups, salt/pepper shakers, platters, bowls, tureens, pitchers, creamers...the list goes on and on. Maria informed me most of the items were 70% of retail price. For example, she said, a coffee cup normally going for $5 would be $2. I thought about her math later and realized it was neither 70% of retail, nor 70% discounted. Oh well.
I arrived at 9am. I left at 10:30am!! I shared this vast room with a couple pouring over the shelves over and over and over....each time spotting something new. The couple was there before I was, and was still ensconced when I left.
I gradually eliminated the items I didn't want and styles I wasn't crazy about. That narrowed the choices down from a thousand to, ohhh, several hundred. There were stacks of dishes everywhere and it was quite a tight space. I kept fearing my big ass was going to hit something and the whole thing would go down like dominos!!! Finally, I picked my pattern and rummaged through all the stacks to find a complete set of 6 matching plates, for example. Some had a chip or the color wasn't as vibrant, etc and those were rejected. When I was done I had TWENTY SIX items!!! I called Maria in to give me the total price so I could tell whether I was over/under budget (like I had one!). We took everything into the shipping room where she wrote down the items and went back to her office to run the totals. While she was gone, a packer was packing everything up and boxing it for me. I thought...great...what if I don't want to pay the price and want to put something back on the shelf? And, during this time, I was crunching numbers in my head. Let's figure $10 per plate, so much for this, $30 for the tureen, and so on until I roughly guestimated $300 retail price. 70% of $300 is $210. Hmmmm....not great....but okay. I only had $150 cash on me. I asked Maria if she took debit cards? No...cash only. But, she said, don't worry...it'll be cheap!!!
Maria returned. The time had come. She showed me the invoice. WHAT!!!!!
You gotta be kidding me!!! Maria speaks broken English, so when she said 70% of retail price...she meant 70% OFF retail price!!! OMG!!!
I felt like rushing back in to get some more!! But, there's always next Friday!!
Christmas orders anyone?
Enjoy the pics.
|Waiting to be painted.|
|Darn!! My camera lense must've been dirty.|
|Welcome to the 2nds Room!!!|
|Young man wrapping up my stash...even before I knew what it was going to cost.|
|One of my favorite tables in the retail store.|
|My stash laid out at home! Includes 6 dinner plates and 6 bowls. I paid less for all this than I did for one mural plaque shown in a previous post!!!|