Commerical Considerations Outweigh Seasonality

By , May 11, 2015

Readers of this blog know that we place heavy emphasis on living and celebrating seasonally. I feel that much of our success in this somewhat unusual lifestyle comes from recognizing the qualities of each portion of the year and celebrating them, rather than trying to stretch the pleasure of one season into the others. We don’t aspire to eat strawberries in winter; we don’t play Christmas music until its season comes around again; we don’t dream of snowshoeing in August.

I’ve always been a little bit bothered when I encounter seasonal merchandise out of season. I cringe when a large greeting card franchise displays its elaborate Christmas ornaments in the summer. I remember a Juneau store devoted entirely to Christmas ornaments, that only opened for the summer tourist season—locals couldn’t purchase ornaments from the shop at Christmastime!

However I may dislike it, I have to acknowledge that retailers need to market to the masses when the masses are ready to shop, and that this inevitably includes seasonal merchandise.

Specifically, we find ourselves making our new Russian tea soap, originally meant to be an autumn and winter seasonal offering, in May. Originally, we planned to offer it only around Alaska Day (see October 18—Alaska Day), through the Christmas season.

We can’t help it. We’ve got pre-orders waiting to be filled. Haines’s first major cruise ship of the year visits later this month, so we need to offer the soap, along with our other “flavors” at the consignment tourist shop in town. It’s gotten popular with locals, who are asking for more.

So, ideals go out the window in this case, and the Law of Supply and Demand holds sway. Next year we’ll try to make it in the spring, before the fish start running, and the firewood needs to be cut and hauled, and all the other jobs of late spring and early summer demand attention!

Since we’re making it anyway, we’ll list the Russian tea soap on our store link when it’s cured, wrapped, and available for shipment. Whether customers decide to use it right away, or save it for its proper season is totally up to them.

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