Anti cookie-cutter could be right thing for all arts-based businesses

What would happen if we all took advice from the corporate powers on how to be a successful business? I contest that it would be a bad thing – after all, what is the ONLY goal of a corporation? – to make money. That sets aside any thoughts of moral and personal responsibilities doesn’t it? It is so prevalent, and so repulsive to me, in todays’ business world.

Success is supposedly producing a working model of success and reproducing it over and over, until we all get used to the same thing everywhere we go.¬† The McDonalds or Subway in Gary, Indiana, is virtually the same model as the one in Beijing China right? How boring and mind-numbing is that. Can I hear everyone, together now…. “mmoooooo.”

Alternatively, I propose that when creating an arts based business and community, if we want to create a unique and original experience in Tucker County, we have got to try and break whatever molds the corporate world would typically suggest.

For instance, I know that as a brand, the Purple Fiddle is getting more and more valuable. That means that our survival is largely going to hinge upon selling that brand on whatever retail gift items we can attach it to. The corporate model would say – come up with a clever, easy-recognizable logo, and put it on any and everything you can buy for cheap, from China, right? And resell them for 10 times the wholesale price.

I say forget that.

With all the talented artists we have here, why would we buy plastic or aluminum coffee mugs made in China when an artist right up the street can make a handmade ceramic mug – each one of which is unique and original? Why would we use the same artist’s designs or logos on a t-shirt when we can create a whole line of t-shirts from different artists – each with a different theme or feel?

I say, to heck with the cookie-cutter approach to art, to business, and to life. The more unique and original we keep the Canaan, Davis, and Thomas area, the more people who are tired of the same old thing, will seek us out.

Keep McDonalds and Starbucks by the highways, and keep our unique and charming small town’s and communities intact – and simultaneously reward and pay the very artists that make us original.

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About purplefiddle

Owner/booking agent for the Purple Fiddle Cafe, Brews and Stage in Thomas WV
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