Armed with a friendly smile, a laptop and a huge bag I greeted every store-owner and was ready to make my speech and answer their questions.
Overall the response was good: most are willing to give Sophie a chance but with only small amounts to start with because they do not know how it will sell. Fair enough! Sophie Hagirafa is not an household name. I give all of them cute brochures to help them remember what is so special about Sophie and her 3 mushroom cousins and a poster to put in their window. This is how we concluded our meeting both sides happy ( I hope!)
But I must say that a couple of store-owners really stand out in my mind. And not to their benefit. It reminds me of the teacher who always says he remembers the very best and the very worse of his students. Well I have not had the pleasure of meeting my "very best" customer yet but I certainly did meet the very worse so to speak.
They had a similar attitude: borderline arrogance mixed with a narrow mind. You must understand, I know some store-owners will never be interested in Sophie & co for various reasons such as costs, appeal of the toys, similar toy range etc...and that is totally legitimate and we will part our ways in very polite even friendly terms... like Mister M. who wrecked his mind to find more stores for me to visit as his was not suitable. I will always remember him fondly and one day hopefully will drop by to say hi!
But those .... well I even wondered why they wanted me to come!!!!!!! Clearly a waste of time for them... less for me because that is part of the job.
Basically they were not interested in my presentation, they had decided from the start, as soon as I held up Sophie that I am bringing pure plastic that can be found in the shouk ( for those of you who are not sure what shouk is, I found this great description: A place of mystery and smells and spices and mess and noise and movement...maybe irritation.. BUT DONT MISS IT...and dont rush it ! Flea market, fruit market, shouk, souk, shuk.. personnally I love going to the Shouk too! It is full of life, smell, colors, shouts, it is fun!)
So they saw Sophie, they decided it is pure plastic and who am I to say otherwise and that it is not right for their customers , not to mention it is sooooo overpriced.
Sophie overpriced? I heard that a lot and started asking around.
How many teethers does a mother usually buy for the baby? Answer: usually 3 or 4-- or more. Anything to make Baby less fussy during teething! One is kept in the fridge, one is bought because of the shape and color, another one because baby "ruined" it , some are very cheap , some are more expensive etc.
One Sophie Teether ---- Bisphenol A or BPA free --- costs the price of 2 "regular" teethers or two packs of Eco-Friendly Diapers. So yes the initial cost is higher. It is reality that she does not suit nor interest everyone too.
Sophie Ha Girafa is not cheap because we pay for the quality (no Baby can ruin Sophie), for the fact that she is made of natural rubber and non-toxic mineral paint (she is completely safe) and *sigh* for all the taxes to get her in the country, to have her checked and approved (how I wish we did not have to pay those all the time!).
So on one hand I feel sorry for those persons who were not able to listen and discover a new product, but on the other hand why would I want Sophie ha girafa or the cute Chan, Pie and Gnon sold among other toxic baby products and be treated as one of the common toy?
Between you and me, believe-me: she is not! *wink*
Shouk Ha Carmel