I was blocking Montecristi hats in my workshop in Kailua, Hawaii, when the phone rang. It was a sales
person in a shop at the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui.
“Arnold Schwarzenegger is here. He wants to buy one of those antique frames you put the weaver photos in. What’s the price?”
The shop offered my hats. A lot of celebrities bought them. Oscar winners. Rock stars. Sports legends. That sort. Even some plain ordinary rich people on vacation.
The picture frames weren’t antique. Faux antique. But they were very nice. They looked good.
Sell one? I wasn’t in the picture frame business. I couldn’t even remember what I paid for the frames. I’d have to make another print of the photo, order another frame, frame the photo again, and ship it to Maui. Seemed like a lot of bother for – what? – fifty bucks profit?
I’m not a sharp business guy. It never occurred to me to pretend it really was an antique frame, jack the price way up, and gouge Mr. Schwarzenegger. Not my style.
As an apprentice once scolded me, “You are honest to a fault. Do you hear me? To a fault!”
Is that possible? Can one be too honest? I honestly don’t think so. But I’ve never been what one might call normal. In fact, I have never even aspired to be normal.
So there were no cunning business gears turning in my head. I was not working to figure out how I could be the Separator and separate the Terminator from some cash. Never. Not how I think.
Then the light bulb came on over my head. I may not have cunning business gears, but I do have good marketing gears, sometimes.
So I suggested, “Tell Mr. Schwarzenegger,if he will buy a hat, I’ll give him the frame.”
How nice it is when intelligence fights its way out of one’s day-to-day paths of well-worn synapses to emerge with an actual idea.
I had finally realized that being able tosay Arnold Schwarzenegger wore my hats would have far more value than whatever the faux antique picture frame had cost me. Duh.
He was good with that. He bought more than one.And he took the frame.
I’ve always wondered what he put in the frame.
I’ve always hoped it was a photo of him wearing one of my hats.