Some weeks back, I took part in a discussion about quality. Even though the discussion was between friends and family, it was a tough one and all we agreed on disagreeing. You see quality is not an easy subject to come around, especially if the money issue is brought up as part the hard-heated discussion. We are kind of the same audience, same buying power and equally same wish to be surrounded by good stuff. But right here the similarities ended! Some, like myself, wanted to buy into hand-made and solid craftsmanship others into super brands. Others didn’t see sound reason to go for anything but the cheap solution – the claim here was that ‘eventually it will somehow break anyway. In other words some of us bought in to a story, others into safety and the rest voted for the cheapest solution.
The truth is that there is a little of all 3 choices in most of us but the focus varies.
Now, one could argue that spending more was a wise solution. One could also argue from a sustainable point of view or from ‘everything grows out of fashion anyway’ and all desire is short lived.
Long-term arguments vs. short term!
As part of my argumentation I brought two product examples to the table from different categories. One bought from one of our members in the CPHmade network, and another one from a larger international brand. A chopping board from Monomade and a bow tie, from a brand that I will not mention since the brand itself is of no relevance here. Both products were ridiculously expensive compared to the cheap no-branded solutions around.
Was my extravaganza worth it? Yes and absolutely NO!
I love cooking and take pride in surrounding myself with quality in just about every category out in kitchenware. This means that something like a chopping board needs to be able to take quite a beating and survive the numerous washing and cleaning rituals, which by the way is why most professional chefs choose plastic boards instead of the wooden opponent. But I’m not a professional chef so I went for the wooden solution, also because you now and then need to put the board on the dinner table – so it needs to able to present itself beautifully too. I used it for almost a year, and yes some of the base colour has been washed off, but other than that I have nothing but positive recommendations for this chopping board. This board is among my favorites and will stay so for many years to come because as you can see it nearly hasn’t received any scratches or knife mark. To me this is a perfect example on how important it is to choose a craftsman’s handmade quality instead of you usual cheap chopping boards. In this case quality is secured through the craftsman and his passionate skill about wood. See for yourself!
On another note I’m kind of old fashioned, and I have a passion for the bow tie. These days I can’t call it a selfie any longer but in the old days that were what you would call the real bow tie – the one you had to tie yourself! I can just as well admit to the fetish since I over the years have collected more than 100 colourful versions. Here again you can buy a lot cheaper versions, but most of us learned quite quickly how difficult and how stiff and foolish they present themselves. If you buy one you will not have spend you money wisely. If you on the other hand found a good quality version it is a rather different experience all together – easy to tie not looking like a first timer! But it will cost you! I choose a safe pick – a high end brand! This is not the first time I stood disappointed. Because we all know that a superbrand spend a lot, to let us into believe that they supply the best quality – but what they spend on marketing and brand they don’t always spend on product! This bow tie is sadly a great example. Yes my beard certainly is also to blame – but this bow tie was used only twice!!! No way worth the money!
Product is king and quality does matter!
The safest way to make sure that you vote for product and quality? Find a craftsman and lean up against his or her skills and passion – and experience how much more you will gain from making a better choice.