It's a dazed & somewhat shell-shocked Big Chief Barclay, looking back, and, even more-so than usual, wondering "Where in the happy hell did the year go?" I don't know if it's just me getting older & more burnt out, or if it's just the world in general, with its accelerated clocks & sense of time, but this year absolutely slid by me, and the Christmas Chaos was here (and gone) by the time I knew it!
In the 25 years I've been doing this, this past season was, far and away, the most hectic one I can recall. Almost 850 orders since Halloween alone! And, speaking of alone, I flew this past season solo, literally a one man show. My wife, who usually helps out, has her hands full, helping her mother & family, so much of the labor force was MIA this year. I still haven't tallied the actual sales numbers, hopefully, the income matches the craziness, seems like there were a lot of small sales this year, I guess, despite what the "powers that be" keep telling us, people are feeling the pinch caused by them printing money like it's toilet paper. I can tell you for a fact, my costs have had off the charts increases in certain areas (paint, in particular - some colors are now running 20 bucks for a quarter of a pint!!)
There were MANY items that were out of stock this season, and I apologize for not getting the blank spots filled in in time. Don't worry, "out of stock" doesn't mean "discontinued", most of the out of stock pieces will be back in due time. They're unavailable, mostly because the molds have finally worn out, and I need to re-make them. That requires time, the one precious commodity I just can't seem to find!
You will notice I said "most" of the out of stock pieces will be back. There's only so much that I can do, and with the way costs have been increasing, I don't want to tie up valuable time & resources cutting new molds & running off batches of stuff that will sit on the shelves seemingly forever, so, I have made the difficult decision to phase out the Dimestore Doughboy line. It was never a particularly strong seller, I made them mostly as a diversion from the other stuff, and also because I liked them. They've been trending downward over the past few years, to the point where now, on a good year, they might account for 10% of the income...and I'm being generous in my estimate, it's probably closer to 5%....what was a diversion, has now become a true nuisance, as any order for them more or less disrupts everything, as I have to create them mostly from scratch. Anything that's out of stock will not be replenished, I simply don't have the time anymore. Maybe, down the line, I might run off a few here & there, but I'm NOT promising anything, so for now, let's just consider the line discontinued, and whatever's still in stock, will be the last of it.
So, with something lost, there's also something gained.... I'm working on adding another nostalgic brand-name to my "portfolio", I can't go into details right now, but keep you eyes open, because when it happens, it may be its own website!
The hunt for a new GHQ/Storefront continues, but, with the way real estate's been going, especially commercial/mixed use properties, I don't know if the actual store/Barclay museum I want, will actually happen. Too much to think about right now, with everything that's going on behind the scenes here, there's a load of stuff that needs tending to....but, I guess it's like that old jag my dad used to tell me....How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time....
So, to all of my customers & friends out there, I wish you a Happy & Healthy New Year, and hopefully, I can again start providing the kind of service you've come to expect from us!....... Now, if you'll pardon me, I have an elephant to eat........