“The best thing you can give someone is a chance.”Unknown
For today’s post, I want to share a positive story. I think we all need something uplifting to hang on to these days. The world seems filled with more turmoil than ever, and sometimes it just seems to get us down. I have been noticing that many of even my most positive friends have been struggling lately, so I wanted to post something that would perhaps show that it isn’t all bad. There are good things in life all around us. Sometimes we just need to look a little harder to find them. Assuming the worst will certainly lead us to a place that probably isn’t a happy place for us. Sometimes we just need to give others a chance.
My story actually began several months ago. As many of you know, I like to try different mediums and types of materials to create with. While browsing through some ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube, some of the suggestions shown to me were artists that were showing how to paint and create using ink. In particular, there were several videos on Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India Ink. These immediately got my attention. Their vibrancy and beautiful color range really caught my eye. As I watched several of the videos, I thought of all the applications I could possibly use them for in my own artwork. I loved the fact that they were both lightfast and (from what the videos stated) absolutely waterproof. They would be useful in both my watercolor paintings as perhaps under-layers, as well as on their own. The ink would also be nice to use for line work and lettering on other types of projects. They really looked promising.
As I watched more videos, my ‘want’ quickly turned to ‘need.’ I checked with my usual art suppliers and found that the sets of 12 bottles were priced very reasonably – even here in Canada. I bit the bullet and ordered both of the basic sets, one of the two iridescent sets, and a couple of single bottles of iridescent colors that were included with the other set I didn’t order. (I think by not ordering ALL FOUR sets available, I was telling myself that I was behaving and showing some restraint! HA!)
The sets of 12 came in really nice packaging.
These circular trays stacked nicely and you could really see the colors in each set. (PS – I reordered my two sets so they are in chromatic order and mixed together. I numbered each bottle as to which original set it came from. 😉 )
To make a long story short, I dipped my pen/brush in a little at a time and used the ink here and there over the last year for various accents with other mediums. I was overall pleased with the ink. It was truly, absolutely, and completely waterproof, which was really one of the most important traits that I was looking for. It is also 100% lightfast, meaning it will not fade in the least. But I noticed that when I didn’t use it for several weeks and went back to it, many of the colors – especially the metallic colors seemed to separate and they were very difficult to mix thoroughly by shaking the bottle. I wondered if this was something common or meant that the ink was old or defective.
I looked online and saw little of the problem. While some complained about this and called the ink “junk”, I knew that even though this seemed to be an issue, when I did get the product to mix, it seemed to perform beautifully. I didn’t want to discard the product or stop using it when it appeared that the separation, once mixed, didn’t affect the outcome.
I decided to write to Dr. Ph. Martin’s directly and ask them if they had any thoughts on this problem. I thought I would give them a chance.
I went to their website and used the form there to contact them. Often when contacting a company through those means, the result is far from optimal. But I received a response within a few hours. This impressed me because I live in Nova Scotia and they are four-time zones to the west of me in California, USA. I had explained the issue as well as sent photos of the inks that were in the worse shape. They couldn’t have been more helpful.
Not only did they replace some of the bottles they thought could have been ‘bad’ (there were several of the brown tones that they said they had difficulty with), they also sent a jar of small glass beads to add to the other bottles to assist with mixing. The representative offered this without me asking for replacements and at no cost whatsoever to me. The package came to me very quickly too, seeing that I lived all the way on the other side of Canada. I was impressed.
By adding just two or three beads to the bottle, the ink went very easily from this:
Not only did it mix well, but the performance of the ink was perfect. It was a great ending to what would have been an issue. The representative said also that they are working on having these beads included with the bottles of ink when you purchase them. I haven’t bought any new bottles since, so I don’t know if they implemented this yet or not. But it is nice to know they care.
Fast forward another six months.
When I decided to use the Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay Ink for my recent Raven painting:
I had noticed something else about some of my inks. It seemed that some of the bottles that were stored on their sides had some dried ink in the top, rubber part of the dropper (the part you squeezed) and it ‘crunched’ as you went to squeeze ink to your palette. I didn’t know if the seal was broken in those stoppers (there was no leaking) or if I was perhaps storing them incorrectly. The full sets sit in my cupboard in their tray as shown above, and the single bottles are stored standing up (not on their sides) in a box in the same cupboard.
Once again I contacted customer service and once again I was impressed at the speed of the response. I was told that perhaps the ink was stored from the shipper incorrectly which they have no control of, or had sat on the shelf longer than optimal before being shipped. He offered to send new droppers for me and told me that if there were any further issues, they would replace any ink I felt necessary.
Yesterday I received this in the mail:
An entire bag of new stoppers.
I am very optimistic that they will be fine, as there were only a couple of bottles with this issue and the bag contained more than enough stoppers for the ink I had. I was very impressed.
I wanted to relay this story because I am just so pleased with this company. I am not one to take advantage of people or companies, as I realize as a business owner myself that by doing so we are only hurting ourselves. I really try to work with companies when I have issues with things, as I understand that in the end, we ALL pay for things that need replacing and while companies should stand by their products (I always stand by my own), people who abuse good customer service are detrimental to not only the company in question but the rest of us as well.
Mistakes can happen. Batches can be bad. Products can spoil over time. This is part of reality and part of the process of selling.
But on the other hand, things are not cheap. Supplies have been getting more expensive by the week it seems. Part of it may be the supply chain is suffering because of COVID and part may be that companies themselves are struggling. But that also means that when we spend money on our art and craft supplies, we need to do so carefully and hope that we will be getting something of quality from a company that cares about its product and customers.
I am really pleased and impressed with how both of these issues have been handled by the Dr. Ph. Martin’s company. I wouldn’t think twice about recommending their products to anyone. You can see their full line of products at their website here: https://www.docmartins.com/
I will certainly be using them more often in my creative endeavors. I hope they are around for a long while to come.
As for other things this week, I have been working diligently on repainting my North Star Village Tree Barn – the next piece in my North Star Village series.
I am using DecoArt Americana acrylic paint to create this entire series. I hope to have the patterns and kits available within another week or so. You can see the rest of the buildings in the series on my website here: https://tolepaintingdesigns.com/
I am having a great time creating this little village and watching it grow. It really is as much fun for me to design as it is for my customers to paint.
So that is about it for the week. I will be working on that pretty much most of the week ahead, besides cutting my regular orders. And I have been squeezing a little time in for some ‘Smalls’ at the end of the day. Not every day, but ‘some days’. I will show you those in a future post.
I am really happy that instead of being angry about the small issues I had with the ink, I took the time to talk to the company and ask about it and give them a chance to make it right. I believe they went above what I expected and they have a customer for life. Sometimes we just have to give others a chance.
I hope you all have a great week and find something creative to give you joy. Life is too short to do otherwise.
Until next time . . .