Made up to a standard and not down to a price

The above statement while not unique has been coined by myself John Campbell to describe the principles applied when making our products. The intention of this statement is to try to appeal to the more discerning people in society, for these are our target market.

JA Campbell’s only retail outlet is its website and the studio workshop in Brentwood, England. With almost no other high street presence this makes it difficult for potential buyers to “touch and feel” Because of this we have to try and get our message across using the written word, photography and word of mouth backed up by the real comments on both the home page and individual product pages of our website.

We also get numerous phone calls (about one per sale) from people asking questions about the product and/or delivery. These calls I suspect are also being used to ascertain more about JA Campbell, such as do they actually answer the phone?, do they sound as if they know their subject?, can they answer technical questions?, can it be engraved on time and where is the best position?, could it be a bit taller/decorated?, could 50 be delivered in 3 weeks?. How well these questions are answered gives the questioner confidence – or not.

We all get caught occasionally buying something which turns out to be poor quality, often using the internet. Even me. A few weeks ago I thought I did not have time to go shopping for a new colander for the kitchen so I ordered one on the internet. Before even opening the packet I realised by the weight, or lack of it, that the article inside must be thinly made. Exactly right. It was so cheap it went straight to the charity shop. I did not want it in our kitchen.

Back to the JA Campbell case: my general business principal is to make an article as good as I can, one which will not break in use but last a lifetime or even many lifetimes. A product that will not cause me personally or my company any embarrassment. We then try to make a profit out of it.

The same cannot be said however for many other manufacturers. Modern house builders are a prime example. Most new houses and apartments today are made as cheaply as possible to maximise profit using the smart bathroom and kitchen to woo the potential buyer. Many are built on a flood plane or in a poor part of town or near a busy main road or railway. These builders or developers, as they prefer to be called, should use the moto “built poor in quality and high in price”

When making a batch of square decanters last week I realised they were taking far too long to make for several reasons and that profitability was probably suffering. So be it I thought! They had been made up to a standard. I am proud to have the name JA Campbell stamped on this item. It will not just please but will delight any recipient. A word of warning though, if you have a bad head the morning after it is probably the contents to blame – not my decanter!