The tag sale, to my mind, in many ways captures the Hayloft energy. Full of bargains; hidden treasures in every corner, stuck in the bottoms of boxes; colorful candy at the check-out counter; a system that more or less figures itself out in the process. It is 7:30 pm and I am sitting on my couch (a pink velvet settee that I recently bought at Hayloft) writing this. Something that, right now, is part of the current warehouse system is that I can't quite get done my writing there, even in my favorite book nook. And so it is on my evenings home, on the piece of Hayloft that I have with me here (not counting the pile of clothes that I brought home from the tag sale), that I put together these Hayloft musings each week.
Blythe told me something about William Doyle, the founder of Doyle Auction House, last week. She said that urban legend has it that Bill would leave "goodies" in dark corners of the Doyle Gallery, just so dealers and collectors coming through could delight in "the find" when they stumbled upon them. That was the delight that Laura Doyle, his daughter, hoped to insight when she founded Hayloft. Hayloft - the tag sale especially, I think- does inspire that kind of joy and surprise. I could see it on people's faces as they rifled through boxes and peeked around corners to look for the items they would carry home.
The tag sale, more than anything, is important because it brings Hayloft customers together in a way that would otherwise be impossible; Hayloft is an online-only auction house; and yet it doesn't feel that way to me at all. We know our customers well, and we feel close to them despite the distance that online buying can create. The tag sale provided an opportunity that was special because we got to create a true event, complete with delicious food and face-to-face bargaining; the perfect stage for a treasure hunt.