Customer Appreciation Weekend 2017
We at Ed Hoy’s had a blast during the Customer Appreciation Weekend. Thanks for joining us. There were classes on mirrors, cabochons, frit, weaving and more to check out, as well as vendors to visit with and many opportunities to buy glass and supplies during the special event sale.
We chatted with people at tables for Kokomo, Covington Engineering, Glass Galleria, Creative Paradise Glass and others. Amongst all the glass grinding and chatter, we heard from vendors and customers about what brings them out to the event. Vendors came to engage with customers and hear from them directly. By and large, the most heard response to our question of “What brings you guys out here for this?” was a desire to hear from customers directly.
“There’s a disconnect between manufacturing and customers,” said Jeff Simmons at the Kokomo table, “We come out to this event to bridge that.”
Over at Covington Engineering, Dan Drouault said that it’s also about giving people a chance to try things out and to teach.
“Not a lot of folks are gonna pick up our equipment at a show like this so we don’t come to make direct sales. We like to set up our stuff for people to play with.” He was standing beside a large lapidary grinder as a glass fan practiced grinding with a nameplate from the Oceanside Glass & Tile table.
“See, you’re famous now,” he chuckled as I took a few photos.
It was also about checking out what the industry as a whole was doing. Cheryl Gondek at the Techniglass table thought it was really nice to see such a large cross section of the glass industry in one room. “You’ve got manufacturers, to distributors, to artists and end users in here. It’s really cool to see and a chance to bounce ideas off one another.”
The courtyard featured a live boro demonstration by Josh, an Ed Hoy’s volunteer and borosilicate glass artist. It was pretty windy, but he gamely worked a rod of boro into an implosion marble, creating interesting swirls in the interior of the glass. Then he shaped another rod into a pendant, casually shaping the glass while chatting amiably with people watching.
“I do this ‘cause I love making something from nothing, really. I’m self-taught, mostly from watching Youtube videos.” Josh blows into the rod, a bulb swelling at the end of the rod which he’ll snip off and shape into a marble.
“I always make something and I look at it it like, ‘Eh, I could do better.’ I show it to people and they’re like ‘Oh my gosh! You made this!?’” Josh snips off the bulb and drops excess into a waiting bucket of water.
“That’s really what pushes me, hearing people say that they like it.”
The Saturday Sneak preview back at Ed Hoy’s was a great opportunity for Premium Wholesale members to get an early shot at glass direct from the warehouse. Dozens of folks lined up at the loading dock door waiting for the signal to head inside. Once they were waved in, a stream of people made a beeline for the limited run glass. We stayed a respectful distance from folks as they pulled beautiful glass out of crates and gazed at them through the light of the warehouse halogens. Other staff had learned to give people space as they excitedly peered into the swirls and patterns of the glass. For over an hour, people had the run of a large chunk of the warehouse and loaded up carts with a resplendent array of colors and textures. And they made efficient use of that hour, gathering dozens of sheets of glass to be taken into home studios, workshops and kilns to be fused, cut and slumped into vibrant glass art.