Ed Pfeifer: Don’t be so adverse to change that you miss the next great thing
Friday, March 6, 2020 | 11:00 PM
The world is always changing, this much we know. Some of us treat change like it’s poison ivy, always trying to see it before contacting it and then, once it’s spotted, hastily moving in another direction.
But, unlike poison ivy, change comes at us aggressively and is impervious to our resistance.
As a hardware retailer I am forever on the lookout for change but, unlike rash inducing vegetation, I want to embrace and nurture it. I want to be hip to change, relevant and timely.
Those things being said, there are times when changes in the desires of the do-it-yourselfer leave me scratching my head, especially when those desires don’t make financial sense to me. That might be because I am, admittedly, a minimalist or, according to those closest to me, a cheapskate.
I do, in fact, endorse the basics and, when stuff works, I usually let it alone to avoid change or big-time financial commitment. Sure my easy chair is old enough to vote and my last brand new car was purchased — never. But, in my estimation, those things represent a certain level of frugality not an aversion to change.
A while back some family friends did a complete kitchen cabinet replacement for no other reason than they did not want finished wood cabinets. They wanted a change.
I cringed as they told me their plans thinking all along that they were about to invest unnecessary money. The old cabinets were serviceable and new ones were so expensive.
But they wanted the painted look — bright white instead of “early American” — and within weeks that, indeed, is what they had. When I went to see the finished product, the minimalist in me winced but the embracer of change did backflips. The kitchen was gorgeous.
With that experience fresh in my mind, I recently travelled to a hardware convention to look for the latest and greatest problem-solving widgets. My searches at these shows are always guided by my personal experiences and the requests of my customers. Additionally, they are a place where my open mindedness and frugality marry up to sniff out new stuff.
About two hours after hitting the convention floor, I stumbled upon a booth where a chemist was quietly extolling the virtues of his latest creation. Real honest-to-goodness kitchen cabinet paint. Blended and prepared especially for its namesake task, this stuff impressed me.
Unlike ordinary wall paint, cabinet paint has a highly adhesive composition especially resistant to abrasion. Therefore it sticks to the finicky surface of traditional wood finish cabinets and won’t chip off the first time it gets poked with a fork. It’s a product that may have saved my dear friends thousands of their hard earned dollars had it been available when they were so desperately seeking a change to their kitchen.
As industry technologies advance it’s important to spot ultra-functional products like cabinet paint and, rather than move away from them, embrace them — even if you’re a cheapskate like me.