So, it turns out I’m not the only one feeling the freeze from notonthehighstreet.com curation team as they attempt to purge the site of anything they deem to be un “trendy”! A short time spent on the forums shows that there are throngs of great makers spitting with fury as their cleverly executed and designed products are dismissed with an airy insult while mass-produced claptrap cram the product pages.
Their justification for rejecting my Critter Range went like this:
“Unfortunately the team felt that these designs were quite traditional and, whilst we absolutely don’t doubt the quality of your lamps, we would be looking for designs that were more contemporary and trend led.
Our curation tool not only helps us to ensure that products coming on are really innovative and are something that customers haven’t seen before but means that we can make sure that the products we bring on for partners are those that will help them grow with us and stand out against the current site offering.”
and I took some small pleasure in responding to that with this:
Thank you for getting back in touch. I tried to call a couple of times yesterday and was told a member of the curation team would call back. I would ideally like to speak to someone rather than type, so as to be able to discuss this more fully.
It is interesting that you should consider my latest designs traditional. Yes, they are on a form, the drum shade, which could now be considered traditional – but it could equally be considered timeless and practical. However, I am somewhat confused as to how your team can interpret a stag with barber shop antlers, a 24 carat gilt crow on a black sheep’s back, a hare with tweed inserts in its ears, blue cows and sheep in Shetland jumpers “traditional”. If you look closely you will see that my design motive was to take the traditional and turn it on its head! I chose to focus on these rural symbols (the stag, the hare, the highland cow), and parody them, warp them and conceptualise them (the black sheep and the bullies), have a laugh with them. I was looking to twist the cultural stereotypes that we apply to these animals of Scotland so as to, in a way, ridicule and undermine the aristocratic, hunting sect that creates them.
This may not be one of your seasonal “trends” but it is what innovative designers attempt to do in order to set new trends, shock and inspire.
It is unfortunate that your team were not able to see or appreciate this but perhaps now, having some insight into my design process you may respond to my latest range of designs differently.
I yesterday wrote a blog post about this event which has been shared far and wide. The post has been seen by over 3000 and I have read over 100 comments from viewers who clearly see my designs in a very different light to your team.
I am the sole breadwinner of a family of four and NOTHS is my primary selling portal. Your swift dismissal of my complete 2017 range of designs could have a profound impact on our income. I do completely understand that your company must make difficult decisions in order to maintain its design integrity and profit. However, I believe that dismissing well executed, innovative and potentially trend setting designs could do your company more harm than good.
I will resubmit the designs with revised titles, text and images that more clearly illustrate the humour and parody that I am attempting to convey and we’ll see how it goes.
With best wishes
I also took great pleasure in making a calming commission of a pair of Mussel cushions. The perfect antidote to all this NOTHS silliness!