I want to work with artisans. People who care dearly about what they create, whatever product or service it is. Artisans exist well beyond the world of art – fine art or commercial art. They repair and maintain motorcycles, [1] they open independent cafes beside Starbucks stores and they package their commercial printing for delivery like it was fine art.

Michael Stadtländer, 2006For some reason, it has taken me a long time to articulate this feeling. It’s not what they teach you to aspire to in business school. And I get that we can’t all be genius-artisans like Michael Stadtländer, whose Eigensinn Farm in the backwoods of southern Georgian Bay has been ranked as one of the top 10 restaurants in the world by the New York Times. [2] Since I don’t want to be a backwoods marketing business, what I really need to do is build a collaborative network of artisans. Maybe a genius or two thrown in there for good measure. A network, internal and external, which will motivate me to contribute my best work, every day. This network can be facilitated by the Internet for a wonderfully human use of the most powerful integrated technology application on Earth today.

While you are considering how this applies to marketing, over a truly wonderful coffee, you should try:

  1. Ezra’s Pound, 238 Dupont St & 913 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON
  2. Hank’s, 9 1/2 Church St, Toronto, ON (has since evolved out of cafe greatness)
  3. Espresso Post, 139 Hurontario St, Collingwood, ON
  4. Caffé Artigiano, 1101 West Pender St, Vancouver, BC

You might also contribute to this list of remarkable everyday artisans, from any walk of life.

Notes and references:

  1. PIRSIG, Robert M. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values. New York: William Morrow & Company, 1974. 418 p.
  2. New York Times, Nov 12, 1997