You might want to take a look at my recent piece on Catalog Shopping. There are large and small, general and specialized, black-and-white and color-illustrated, those produced on cheap, plain paper and those done on glossy, magazine weight bond. This particular catalog, “The Music Stand,” is smaller than most (10.5″ x 6″), illustrated with good quality photos on magazine grade paper and entirely focused on items related to music.
Clothing of many styles and varieties, art work, nick-knacks, dishware, small furniture, bedding, collectible signed photos and CDs, Christmas ornaments, door mats, music stands, jewelry, signs of various kinds and wrist watches, each portraying musical symbols and instruments, of course, are among the hundreds of items offered in each edition. Additionally, and unusually, there are actual instruments – generally uncommon ones, included for sale as well. In the most recent edition, for example, there is a small but fully playable (10″ diameter) steel drum (à la Caribbean.). There are other items you are not apt to easily find elsewhere – like a wall-mounted coat rack in the shape of a banjo or a wall clock designed into a fluorescently lit trumpet. You just don’t find things like this everywhere – perhaps even anywhere!
For any lover of music, player of music or lover of a music lover or player, this catalog adds something special and unique to the catalog shopping experience. On the downside, its physical size – so much smaller than the catalogs we regard as being ‘full size,’ makes it rather easy to lose sight of – especially when it comes delivered along with a dozen others. You have to be ready to find an off-sized item or you might not even realize that it is there. I suppose this saves the company some money on both production and mailing costs – but I would venture to speculate that it gets lost or goes unnoticed so often that their ‘savings’ are in the penny-wise pound-foolish department.
I have made several purchases from it and their delivery times are as promised and, unlike many other catalogs, their shipping charges do not cause last minute reneging on an order. There is also a limited number of discounted clearance items featured in each issue (or at their online site, www.themusicstand.com.)
If you are frustrated not being able to find that roll of toilet tissue illustrated to look like an endless piano keyboard, cookie cutters in the shapes of musical sharps, flats and notes, camp shirts covered with guitars (either electric or acoustic) or drummers gloves for that special percussionist in your life, check out The Music Stand catalog. You can order one or subscribe to receive them regularly on their web site.
I love it.