Monday, August 25, 2008

confuseybaby

There's this shopping center in my town. It's pretty standard in that there's a Gap store and a Barnes and Noble and you can't spit without hitting a Starbucks (seriously, enough with the Starbucks, you crazy coffee drinkers), but there are a few little local independent shops there too, which is much groovier. A few months ago, a new store opened up. The storefront was pretty tiny, and the window had a display of little colored votive candle holders. All different colors. Pretty. I thought it was probably a candle/incense type store, like Illuminations. Or maybe a little home decor store. Something like that.

The next time I went to that shopping center, (which was weeks after the first time), I walked by there, and the window display was pretty much the same. Votive candle holders. Arranged a little differently than the first time, but still.

Then, I went in. And you know what? That store is ALL votive candle holders. That's it. Nothing else. Rows and rows of the SAME THING. No different sizes, even. No different shapes. Just different colors. THAT'S IT.

I walked around the store, peering around the corners. What else is there? I wanted to ask. You can't have a whole store full of just glass votive candle holders. That's nuts. That's like having a whole entire store of just Ticonderoga No. 2 pencils. Or something. You have got to have something else. A tapered candle holder maybe? Or a tealight candle holder? A different size? Anything?

Nope. Nothing. Just votive candle holders. All exactly the same. In any color you want them. And you know how much each of them costs?

Forty bucks.

FORTY FRICKIN' BUCKS.

Some of them are fifty bucks, although I couldn't tell why the extra ten dollars on the same exact votive candle holder. Are some colors ritzier?

Lookit, I am not trying to hate. This is an independently owned, local business, and the people who make these things make them by hand. These are all things that I love. Things I want to support. These are precisely the reasons that I am dangerously addicted to the Etsy website.

But really? Does this sound weird to anyone else?

First of all, how is this business even sustainable? How many forty-dollar votive candle holders is one person really going to buy? And how many people are going to drop a Benjamin on a pair of these puppies? A Benjamin! A whole Benjamin!

Apparently a lot of people. Because I looked it up (librarian!) and these things have got lots of media attention. They were featured on Martha Stewart. And many other places. There is hella hype about the votive candle holders. People love these things. And are buying them.

Another thing? They are not votive candle holders. They are "glassybaby." That, according to the website, is both the singular and the plural title of what these things are. So, you can buy one glassybaby. Or you can buy ten glassybaby (goodbye four hundred smackers). That's what they are. Don't call them candle holders.

I'm sorry that I am going on and on about this but isn't it FASCINATING?

Also! In the store, they had a display. The display was like, all these candle holders (or glassybaby, but I feel like a dumbass calling them that) doing different things. Like, one of them had a candle in it. Duh. Another one had a couple of pencils in it. Another one had some jewelry in it. Another one had some pennies in it. It was as if the person who put together the display was saying "look! So innovative! You can use it as a pencil cup! And a candle holder! And a change jar! And a place to keep your jewelry!"

Come ON. Glassybaby cannot possibly be saying that they invented the idea that a cup is something you use to PUT THINGS IN. Are people really not smart enough to know that a cup can be used in such a manner?

Again, I don't mean to hate. The website looks very lovely and I am sure the person who owns this is very nice indeed. And so I mean this in the nicest way possible:

That shit is WEIRD.

Am I wrong?

I'm out,
Librarian Girl

21 comments:

Rachel said...

Halfway through this post, I had to ask myself if I was dreaming. Because in real life, the words "Glassy" and "Baby" would not be consciously combined to describe anything other than a sick/deceased child.

HORRIFYING.

shell said...

Dude. You can RENT them. Candle holders so expensive that you have to RENT them for your next party? For five bucks a pop I can spray paint the inside of a glass candle holder from Michael's and keep the damn thing.

TMC said...

Officially weird.

Me and a Benjamin are fair-weather friends at best so if anybody needs some guidance on where they can find miscellaneous bowls and glasses for candles, trinkets, or otherwise, I can point you in the direction of these neat-o places called Thrift Stores.

I've never heard of this GlassyBaby place but I'll be sure to check it out when one finally finds its way into the midwest. I'm thinking 2, maybe 3 years out.
: )

Barb said...

Okay so I had to check them out (online) Looks like a doctored resume ~ "glassybaby serve as a metaphor to symbolize hope and are humble in spirit but not beauty."
Oh Puleeze!

Fianna said...

Ridiculously weird.

leah said...

Totally wierd!

Wilma said...

From the website "But their real use is lifting bad moods & loneliness".

You're right. That shit is weird.

cadiz12 said...

when i want to "lift bad moods and loneliness" i call up a friend and have a good old bitch session. no votive glassbaby is going to tell me to stop whining and get a grip.

Mrs. Who said...

I checked the glassybaby site (librarian also!) and find this to be another ridiculous example of how gullible people really are. You can find similar votive candle holders in any Goodwill store. Given, they are hand-blow, but still!!

marty said...

These must be intended for people who have way too much disposable income.

Jen Robinson said...

So glad, once again, to not be the only one. I also encountered glassbaby a few weeks ago and didn't know what to do with it (the store). Their blog makes for some good reading: apparently glassbaby may bring about world peace. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

WOW--I hope those people are making some good investments because I can't imagine this trend lasting more than another six months at the outside. And when are the hand-molded votive CANDLE people going to get in on the action?

Sauntering Soul said...

Odd indeed.

I was reading this post with horror. Each one of them is handmade? As someone who paints, I cannot begin to imagine how boring it would be to paint the same picture over and over and over and over again. Even if I changed colors every now and then. Gah. Can't glassybaby be a little more creative?

donna said...

they do look quite lovely on the tray on their "about" page, but $40 a piece? i guess rich people will buy anything. note to self: market ridiculous stuff to rich people. hey! they even have a glassybaby of the month club! if these people offered "success in business" classes i'd be the first one to sign up. they are truly geniuses!

Srcsmgrl said...

I loved the page long description of "glassybaby" written by a 12 year old. He must be a genius to write so eloquently at that age... I am totally going to run out and buy 100 of them (and that would be $4000!?!), right.

Kaijsa said...

I own a glassybaby. It was a gift from my bff, and I love it. It's beautiful, and I'd buy a few more. Seriously, I've never found simple, heavy glass votive holders in those great colors before. So, I'm in the minority around here.

Darlene said...

$40-$50 for a votive holder? Are they insane? You should have taken a picture - I've gotta see these things.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you mentioned this as I've always been perplexed about these excessively specific retail stores in high-price markets. Are they money laundering operations for the bored spouses of financial whiz-types? I've never worked in the retail industry, which may explain my ignorance. But in my town, there's a "mystery bookstore" in a very, very expensive row of shops, on which even highly mainstream national chains like "The Limited" gave up. This is less than 1/2 block from 1) a Borders; 2) a Barnes & Noble; 3) a great used bookstore; and 4) a wonderful library. How on earth does this niche business STAY in business? Is it the occult factor?

Yvonne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dharmamama said...

I wasn't familiar with glassybaby, either, so I went to the site. These aren't just votive holders that you can find anywhere - they are handblown glass, not painted.

I think it's the intention behind the cups that makes the difference, and the founder's history.
http://www.glassybaby.com/leebio.html

She has stories of people buying the cups for friends who are fighting cancer - I can see how a strong, sturdy, individually made glass cup can be a metaphor for staying strong! They *are* beautiful. I think this is a case of the intention and energy behind the piece being more important than the piece itself. Although the piece is pretty fantastic, too.

ashley said...

Haha! This is hysterical. I first heard about these about a year ago from some blog or another. I saw a picture and they were very pretty and cute so I went to the website to see what "else" they had. Answer: nothing. Choose from 20 or so creatively named colors of glass votives for $40 dollars a piece. No other sizes, no other shapes, and certainly no better price points. Ridiculous.

FYI, I just got some verrrry similar looking, yet mass-produced votive holders at Homegoods for $3.