Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Restaurants in Houston and Atlanta, Georgia were the final destination of this first trip. It was a hoot! Nothing to me was more exciting then finding a source for a needed item. The way we found the "factories", which in US terms are usually only a few rooms with a gazillion people working in them, was a hunt! To find
the glass factories one drove up and down the streets looking for piles of broken glass outside. Not a sign was to be seen back in those days - just the rubble of items that couldn't be sold. On the other hand, to find a paper mache factory, one looked for examples to be hung in the doorways. No one had phones then so they hung their merchandise like that so people would know what they made.
On the first glass factory trip, glassware needed to be manufactured to meet TABC standards - that's the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission. They come in to a restaurant and measure the glassware to make sure that drinks are not being made stronger then allowed! This first order was all the blue rimmed glasses that were so popular thirty years ago. I came armed with Tupperwear measuring cups, a baby bottle I think and that was about it. It would be hilarious now to see photos of that first episode and our measuring water over and over to get each order of glassware correct.
It felt good to feel those creative juices moving around again. Great stuff.
Then the other day, when a friend was staying at the Quinta Loreto Hotel in San Miguel, I ran into an old friend from Houston who has had a retail store there for probably thirty years. He used to import from Turkey, Afghanistan and distant places. Now he's down here looking for things since it is so expensive and difficult to import from those faraway places. There is still plenty of stuff down here, but, not at the prices we used to get it for. Those were the golden days, to put it mildly.
You can tell I was never a designer who ordered from a catalog, but rather was ALWAYS looking for the unique and different or designing it and having it made. What fun it all was......
The challenges of finding freight consolidators, shipping companies, craters and border agents was just that, a challenge and not something that couldn't be overcome. Now it is so much easier with NAFTA to ship. But finding the items and having them made still takes someone willing and interested in doing so.
Someone once said, "It gets in your blood". I guess that was so........