I am drawn to small, craftsmanship oriented companies in any area. For example, I love watches, and the last fine watch I bought was a Dubey & Schaldenbrand, a small and personal company, not owned by any luxury group. Most people have never heard of them. Partly it is the pleasure to find something unusual. And partly to support small companies like D & S, so that they can continue to employ skilled artisans and make very personal and outstanding items. I find that it is the smaller companies that deliver the most interesting ideas. They do not have huge market research departments, no focus-groups, they make what they believe in and are passionate about. It’s not all about return-on-equity.
Why small is better can be illustrated by this story about wine. I am a Francophile and I seek the up and coming winemakers with unorthodox ideas, making organic wines with personality, small family-owned wineries in southern France. This time I had found a delicious red Cotes du Rhone wine. It did not sell much, I had to special order it through the Swedish wine merchant. Then one day wine magazines and other people caught on, ”this is a bargain!”, and it started selling a lot, shops were stocking it. What happened then was that the winemaker could not deliver the quantity required, there was not enough grapes growing on the little field this wine was based on. Here they could chose to continue like before with a small production, or they could hurrily purchase grapes from other growers and put it in the same bottle, which is what they did. But the wine was different. Although the label stayed the same what was inside the bottle had lost it’s unique character, it was massproduced and bland. Needless to say, no more of that in my Orrefors crystal glass. When you look around, you can see this principle everywhere..