BEDA #7: Andrew McDonald the Shoemaker

One week into BEDA and I’m find­ing blog­ging every day to be eas­ier than I thought it would be. It cer­tainly helps when I’m sent arti­cles like this one about my name­sake Andrew McDon­ald the Shoe­maker from Sydney.


That’s a photo of Andrew above, taken from the inter­view in today’s small busi­ness sec­tion of the Age. I already have to com­pete with Andrew McDon­ald the Vic­to­rian crick­eter now I have to com­pete with Andrew McDon­ald the Shoe­maker get­ting all this media atten­tion too.

To try to coun­ter­act all the atten­tion Shoe-Andrew is get­ting I have taken the Q&A he did with the Age, removed his answers and inserted my own answers:

The Age: How is bespoke retail­ing far­ing right at the moment? Are you find­ing cus­tomers are being more economical?

Me: I would say that bespoke retail­ing is most likely doing less busi­ness than usual at the moment. I say this because I have cer­tainly not pur­chased any bespoke or custom-made items in the past year or so. Exclud­ing that suit I got in Vietnam.

What changes have you had to make to the way you run your busi­ness to accom­mo­date the cur­rent eco­nomic climate?

I wouldn’t exactly call being a writer a busi­ness. But if I did run a busi­ness I would prob­a­bly cut back on all mar­ket­ing, fire most of my staff and spend my week­ends just gen­er­ally panicking.

How has the down­turn impacted on your busi­ness plans for the next 12 months?

It means that I can no longer afford to pay my busi­ness plan­ner Joseph to plan my busi­ness. Although I think he was work­ing on a five-year plan not a 12-month plan.

What things would you never com­pro­mise on and what things are ok to scale back on?

Writ­ers should try scal­ing back on com­pound verbs — they take up too much space and as money gets tighter, books are going to have fewer pages.

Is lux­ury retail­ing fac­ing the need to re-invent itself? Oro­ton mar­kets itself as ‘afford­able lux­ury’. Can this work for others?

Afford­able lux­ury is when you break into a rich person’s back­yard and swim in their pool. Or when you attend a wed­ding with the inside of your jacket lined with plas­tic bags to put caviar into. I’m not sure that Oro­ton counts.

If you had a crys­tal ball, what would you pic­ture for the next 12 months?

I don’t think this ques­tion makes gram­mat­i­cal sense. I mean, are you ask­ing what do I pic­ture hap­pen­ing in the forth­com­ing 12 months or what would I see if I stared at a crys­tal ball for 12 months in a row? The answer to that last ques­tion is…crystal ball. I would prob­a­bly just see a whole lot of crys­tal ball.

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[…] like the last time this hap­pened I have been left feel­ing despon­dent and deter­mined to reclaim my fair share of atten­tion. So again […]