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Amarsir

S06.E04: Ben's Garden

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Ben started designing and selling home decor at 8 years old. Several decades later, his company's revenue is dropping, and employees are jumping ship.

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Well that was different. We've seen product rotations before but not so frequently that this felt like a retread. I'm not completely convinced that's why they had a loss last year, but it's plausible enough.

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My biggest takeaway from this episode is that Marcus believes wallpaper is a hot market it get into.

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I didn't watch, because it seemed like a boring episode, about a product I don't care about.   However, the Profit Update site links to yelp reviews about two of the stores that apparently are closed, but one seems to be the workshop location, and the yelp reviews are awful about delays on custom orders, and damages to custom orders.     

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I liked this episode! More than I have any episode in awhile! Ben was sweet and creative, he just had some struggles that Marcus could help with. I was glad that things didn't blow up by the end of the episode. I was really pleasantly surprised in beginning at how nice the shop looked and was ready to see something other than a horrible shop with horrible owners and I wasn't disappointed.

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Ben is 34 and obviously has some hints of autism.  What's surprising to me is that he received the Asperger's diagnosis only eight years ago.  I would love to see an interview with his mother--what difficulties Ben had growing up.  What difficulties she and the family (siblings) had.  WHY it took so long to get a diagnosis.  

P.S.  If Ben's still carries wallpaper, it IS a hot item...especially (in a shop of this type) if it's "re-stickable."

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I liked Ben's stuff!  His shop is one of the places I'd go to get inspiration for decor and gifts.  Then I would go to Michael's/Hobby Lobby/AC Moore and make my own because his price points are way too high for me. Decoupaging already existing quotes or images onto a glass dish is NOT difficult.  I've done decoupage for years...on melamine trays, glass dishes, wicker baskets, old frames, mason jars, wooden mirrors...it's not hard, and it sure shouldn't cost $68 for a 4 x 6 tchotchke.  In the late 90's, before kids and marriage, I made & sold my stuff  at a few consignment shops or local craft fairs.  My largest piece was an old mirror from a 1920's vanity and I sold it for $35!  I still made money on everything I sold, but I was working out of my apartment so I didn't have "overhead costs". I still do some "crafting" for fundraisers at my kids' school, but I've never done coasters.  I may try it now because I have a friend who is a landscaper and always has small pieces of granite and slate at his yard.

The wrapping paper was very pretty, and I can see wall paper being a hit too.  High end looking, unique wall coverings are back in vogue again, so he's "on trend".  I hope Ben and his core staff do well.  His merchandise is very pretty and current, and he has a cool style.

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16 hours ago, johanna101 said:

I was really pleasantly surprised in beginning at how nice the shop looked and was ready to see something other than a horrible shop with horrible owners and I wasn't disappointed.

I was very disappointed in the store.  It looked like it had somewhat of a warehouse-y feel, rather than an inviting, creative feel to match the inviting, creative products they were selling.  It was all just product placed on shelves, without varying types of interesting displays.

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His store looked like a Kirkland's.

Even when Marcus shook hands with Ben he put his left hand on his Ben's arm. What part of NO Touching did he NOT understand?

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53 minutes ago, Jesse said:

I was kind of horrified that Marcus kept making Ben hug him, after Ben said he didn't like hugging!

 

48 minutes ago, sadtvjunkie said:

Even when Marcus shook hands with Ben he put his left hand on his Ben's arm. What part of NO Touching did he NOT understand?

Marcus was trying to 'teach' Ben to be more comfortable with hugging.  He said something to that effect (not those exact words, but that gist) when they were discussing the hugging issue.  But it's soo not Marcus' place to do that, especially since some with Asperger's have a very hard time with sensory overload, which is exactly what hugging does with touch, smell, sight and hearing.

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16 hours ago, Jesse said:

I was kind of horrified that Marcus kept making Ben hug him, after Ben said he didn't like hugging!

 

15 hours ago, LuvMyShows said:

 

Marcus was trying to 'teach' Ben to be more comfortable with hugging.  He said something to that effect (not those exact words, but that gist) when they were discussing the hugging issue.  But it's soo not Marcus' place to do that, especially since some with Asperger's have a very hard time with sensory overload, which is exactly what hugging does with touch, smell, sight and hearing.

This was my biggest take-away.  When Marcus hugged Ben the first time he said "That wasn't so bad, was it?" but Ben looked visibly uncomfortable.  Marcus needed to respect Ben's boundaries and not keep forcing hugging on him.  Regardless of WHY Ben didn't like it, the fact was that he said right from the beginning he didn't like it and there was no reason for Marcus to keep pushing it.  I saw one very genuine hug from Ben at the very end with a woman (I don't know who), so it seems to be more of a comfort level with the person rather than the sensory overload, but it really doesn't matter why. 

 

I personally didn't like Ben's stuff.  Not my aesthetic.  It seemed, for the most part, very generic.  When Marcus asked Ben if he came up with all the sayings and Ben said yes, I was like "What?!?" especially since it was panning over the wall and one of the plaques read "Love me, Love my Dog" which a quick google search brings up literally thousands of plaques, posters, tshirts, mugs, etc of this "saying" which is super generic.  The only thing I liked was the wrapping paper but I guarantee it's more than the $1-$3 I spend on wrapping paper.   

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8 hours ago, Whimsy said:

 

This was my biggest take-away.  When Marcus hugged Ben the first time he said "That wasn't so bad, was it?" but Ben looked visibly uncomfortable.  Marcus needed to respect Ben's boundaries and not keep forcing hugging on him.  Regardless of WHY Ben didn't like it, the fact was that he said right from the beginning he didn't like it and there was no reason for Marcus to keep pushing it.  I saw one very genuine hug from Ben at the very end with a woman (I don't know who), so it seems to be more of a comfort level with the person rather than the sensory overload, but it really doesn't matter why. 

 

I personally didn't like Ben's stuff.  Not my aesthetic.  It seemed, for the most part, very generic.  When Marcus asked Ben if he came up with all the sayings and Ben said yes, I was like "What?!?" especially since it was panning over the wall and one of the plaques read "Love me, Love my Dog" which a quick google search brings up literally thousands of plaques, posters, tshirts, mugs, etc of this "saying" which is super generic.  The only thing I liked was the wrapping paper but I guarantee it's more than the $1-$3 I spend on wrapping paper.   

 

On 1/17/2019 at 7:37 PM, LuvMyShows said:

 

Marcus was trying to 'teach' Ben to be more comfortable with hugging.  He said something to that effect (not those exact words, but that gist) when they were discussing the hugging issue.  But it's soo not Marcus' place to do that, especially since some with Asperger's have a very hard time with sensory overload, which is exactly what hugging does with touch, smell, sight and hearing.

Exactly, Marcus is obviously very ignorant of Ben’s condition. Aspergers is not something you can just get over with more hugging. If Ben was blind would Marcus say he just needed to try harder to see?

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Well I enjoyed this episode but you all are right, Marcus needed to let up on all the hugging, God, the guy didn't like it, give him a break. Glad that they made his manager a real manager and worked it out.  It was a good thing!  Ben was creepy, but he had good ideas. 

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I think Marcus demonstrated his core belief that he can solve any problem he encounters-personal or professional.  The fact that he thought Ben had a personal problem with hugging shows Marcus' lack of awareness about Ben's very real diagnosis and indicators.  No Marcus, having someone with autism hug more people more often does not 'cure' them of their disability.  And, it is not a personal failing if someone prefers to not hug others; in fact, there are many cultures in which hugging people one does not really know is seen as disrespectful.  I also don't like to be hugged by people I don't know, so I would have resisted Marcus' hugs (and then he would have tried to 'cure' me as well).  

Having said that, I did like that Marcus did some explanations of business plans and vertical integration.  It seems like he hasn't done those as often lately, and I always enjoy them.  

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I really liked Ben.  He seemed to understand he struggled with certain behaviors and was trying to learn how to recognize them.  I always feel for people like that - they have this special talent, but it comes with the price of a disability - and some don't seem to find a way to navigate their personal situations, but Ben seemed like he could make progress on his own.

 

Marcus and those damn sweaters.  

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Was there a sign posted on the door "by appointment only"?  Somehow I got the idea this is not a retail store.

I'm glad Marcus didn't let Ben throw anyone under the bus. Keeping those employees was probably a better getting comfortable thing for Ben than the crazy hugging.

Edited by stormy
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From what I saw on their website, the one location is open only a few hours, and mostly by appointment.    The other ones are retail sites, and I bet the one location is where they build their products, do custom orders, and fulfill online orders.  

Edited by CrazyInAlabama

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