My How Time Flies...Quacks...Clucks and Meows...

   I tend to live in my own little bubble of a world where shopping and trends have not been given much breathing space which means I have not always been cognizant of what the latest "trend" might be. So back in the early 1980's on a rare visit to a local mall I happened to wander into a store filled with the scent of cinnamon and dried flowers, "potpourri" I was later to find out.
   All through the store there were display cases made from Hoosier Cabinets and walls and shelves loaded with hand painted wooden cutouts of farm animals; geese, cows, pigs and chickens all of varying sizes and demeanor.  Interspersed with them were gaily decorated wooden bird houses of all sizes and shapes. Patchwork quilts like those lovingly made by pioneer women from flour sacks and out grown clothing, sat in neatly folded stacks or draped across wooden racks. Everywhere I looked and everything I saw quietly screamed "Made in America"!!!
   Curious as to what one of these carefully crafted "primitive wooden" farm animal cutouts might cost I picked one up and was immediately taken aback..."WHAT?!" I thought. "Someone is charging THIS MUCH for something that just stands or hangs there and does nothing?" I could almost hear the wheel cogs of my brain click into place begin to turn...
   I had been looking for something I could design/create that would add a bit of income to bridge the gaps between my free lance illustration jobs. So, (wheel cog clicking into wheel cog) what if I were to design something like this, but better. What if...(another wheel cog clicked into place) a wooden cutout did something more that just look cute and trendy standing on Ms./Mrs./Miss. American Homemaker's bookcase, shelf or oak trestle table? What if...(all brain wheel cogs now spinning smoothly) the wooden cutout was... a clock?!?
   And so it began...Merry Clocks was born or hatched or whatever... and took over my life.
   It was a great adventure. I learned so many "how to" things like: use a bandsaw, silk screen, design new product, advertise product, complete massive Christmas orders on time, package clocks to ship without damage and ship boxes and boxes, and boxes of clocks. When a challenge arose their was always someone there to help, family, friends and strangers too, thank you!!! It was a wild and crazy ride until, suddenly it stopped.
   The economy had shifted. The trend had ended. And all the little country cottage type stores were closing.  I was burnt out and I yearned to paint. I wanted to use colors, real colors not milky blues and hazy mauves. And so when the next opportunity presented itself another adventure began and I will tell you that tale later.

Merry Clocks Brochure/MaryAnita Winklea/1985


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