When someone buys from us, they are not only purchasing a hand-made item, but they are buying our time, our sweat and a part of our lives. For some items like you see in the picture here, it can take over an hour to carve out and fit just so to suit the needs of our customer.
On occasion we receive custom requests outside of what we normally offer and from time to time we get a request from someone asking us to 'reduce the price' as a favor to them.
Our prices are already some of the best you will find for one of a kind, hand crafted instruments anywhere on the web or otherwise. When someone asks us for a discount, it feels a little like a slap in the face. The thoughts of "Don't they know what it takes to make one of these from start to finish?" or "I wish they knew what it was like to work in 90 degree heat all day", but then we remember that most people are accustomed to the 'Instant gratification' society of today's culture and we have to forgive them for their misunderstandings about what it is that we offer.
Most people are used to hopping into their cars (or for some just a short walk) and running into their local big box store to obtain just about anything they could imagine in an instant and if they don't like it they bring it back. With our flutes and hand carved totems or hand sewn flute bags or the book that contains 30 years worth of experience, it is not as 'cheap' as the sweat shop labor produced item that was just purchased without the blink of an eye or thought of asking the store manager for a cheaper price. People understand that when they go into one of these big chain stores, the prices are set and non-negotiable. The corporations make huge markups and ridiculous profits. We don't.
What we want people to understand is that art takes time. We don't have pre-made items sitting on a shelf at the ready just waiting to be purchased and stuffed into a shipping container on a moments notice. We provide customized individual attention to each and every customer. We pay attention to the needs of each and every person that chooses to buy their first or 100th flute from us. These things take time and we like to be able to devote that time to a quality product that is made by human hands with human hearts. A lot of love and respect goes into our work and the time it takes to make these beautiful instruments is something we can never ever get back. "How long does it take to make one little totem" and comments as such are common and that needs to change. Time is gone once spent and when people don't understand that it can be very disheartening.
Blue Bear Flutes is a family owned and operated business. We make every flute, answer every email, ship every package and maintain every social media outlet and website ourselves. We don't currently have the manpower behind a big chain which allows them to quickly pull you in and shove you on your way. We also have lives outside of this endeavor, however our love for flute making and providing the world with the means to make beautiful music takes up the majority of our time. Time well spent, especially when appreciated.
On a final note, we thank you for taking a few moments of YOUR time to read this blog post and hopefully you walk away from it with a better understanding of what an artist goes through to provide a customer with something they will love and cherish for a long time to come, and that is something we are happy to give our lives to.