Have you been to the store lately? I mean, have you visited Highland Woodworking lately? I realize many of you who might be reading this live far away and may have to buy a plane ticket to get to Atlanta, but come on, do you really like woodworking tools or not? I happen to live near Atlanta and I go by now and then just for the pure pleasure of it.
I was in last week and I can tell you, it is quite an experience. First of all, it is truly a community of woodworkers. While I was waiting to check out, a lady came in and asked for a “bung hole cutter“. Now I happen to know what that is, particularly as it applies to wine barrels, but what was really neat was that two clerks immediately took off to go get one for her. How many stores do you know of where you could walk in and announce you need a bung hole cutter and not get blank stares all around. I mean I was in the grocery store last week and they could not find the bouillon cubes.
You need to see the new displays around the store. For instance, there is a whole wall of hand made axes imported from Sweden. When have you ever seen that? There are also video monitors hanging from the ceiling all over the store running tool demos plus some of the various videos available for sale.
Another lady was checking out and mentioned she wanted to learn to carve a bird. Try telling that to someone in the big box store — you would certainly get some strange looks, if indeed you ever got the courage to announce such a thing. The bung hole cutter customer went immediately and pulled a magazine off the shelf and turned to an article about bird carving and the customer bought the magazine on the spot. A Highland clerk suggested that he had just gotten back from a class at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and she might want to call them for a class schedule. Someone else in line suggested she look up John C. Campbell Folk School, also in North Carolina about two hours north of Atlanta, and see what classes they have. I got the feeling she left very satisfied and is probably carving that bird already.
The point of all this is that Highland Woodworking is not just a trade name, it is a community of woodworkers who love what they do and go to huge efforts to make your woodworking more enjoyable. Stop by the store and you will see what I mean.