Recently, I witnessed one of the best examples of persistence ever from a woman who makes one of the humblest products ever: a tea cozy. She likened it to the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” and I agree.
It all started simply enough on Twitter. GinghamgrlVA would regularly tweet about the oh-so-cute tea cozies she makes and sells on her online shop. At one point she came up with a very special design — one that featured a very special Little Yellow Teapot on a black-and-white gingham background. As the owner of that teapot, I just had to have one. Actually, that little teapot (my buddy and the star of my tea review blog) refused to steep until I promised to get one.
But there was a problem. The tea cozy she had made was sized to fit a 6-cup teapot, not my little 2-cup yellow teapot. I asked if a smaller size was available. Well, a lot of people would have responded, “That’s the size it is.” Frankly, that was also what I expected here, based on past experience. GinghamgrlVA’s answer to this dilemma, though, was to produce a prototype and send it to me. Wow! That was not only unexpected but very wise for, alas, it was like the Papa Bear’s bowl of porridge — except that it was too BIG instead of too hot. Back to the drawing board.
To be helpful and not have GinghamgrlVA be working in the dark, I actually sent measurements of Little Yellow Teapot: 7 inches tall, 5 inches from the spout tip to the handle edge, and 4 inches across his widest part. Diligently, she set to work creating a smaller cozy. Another prototype arrived in the mail.
This time, “Goldilocks” declared: “This one is too small!” Fear not, though, for this size is perfect to fit over your mug — a mini-cozy and unique in the world of tea cozies as far as I’ve seen. She now presents these on her online shop as a new product line.
At this point, I was getting concerned about the time and effort GinghamgrlVA was spending on this supposedly simple item. She, however, was not. (Some people just seem to buckle down and try even harder when faced with such a situation.) When I emailed her that the latest cozy was too small, I expected her to say, “Sorry, I’m stopping here.” On the contrary, she insisted on another try, going for that “just right” bowl of porridge. A third prototype arrived.
I opened the envelope with trembling hands. Each package had been carefully put together, consisting of a padded envelope, an inner package wrapped in white tissue paper and tied with a thin ribbon, and a personal note attached to the ribbon. So caring and refreshing in our age of automation and factory-made products. This package, however, had a huge dose of an extra ingredient: anticipation!
The prototype cozy I pulled out of this third envelope looked right and was made of a very attractive plaid material. I was hopeful. Time to give it a try. I lifted the Little Yellow Teapot carefully off the shelf and set him on the kitchen counter, then gently lifted the cozy up — up — up and then lowered it down — down — down over him, paying special attention to his spout and handle, the two parts that had been the real issue in getting a proper fit. Ta da! — it was, as Goldilocks would say, “Just right!”
Goldilocks had it. So does GinghamgrlVA.
As a result, the little teapot has a cozy fit for a teapot king (the properly sized real cozy arrived a few days later). As for those prototypes, I heard a noise one night, tiptoed downstairs, and caught them all in the middle of a tea party.
Or was that just a dream? Enjoy!
Don’t miss A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!