Re: an artist's thoughts

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Posted by Maureen on October 11, 2002 at 17:32:11:

In reply to: an artist's thoughts posted by Zimra on October 11, 2002 at 15:49:37:

Hi Zirma,

It seems to me from your quote below that you use what I believe to
be one for the most effective ways to assure quality control. It is
the one that I use. Please allow me the same freedoms and ability to
go about making choices in my business that your exercise. That is
what I want and what I pretty much insist upon. I am sure if that
method did not work for you that you would abandon it just as I would
if it did not work for me.

: I have used the same henna & supplier for years, and I have no
: intention of switching. There have been problems in the past, with
: some batches needing a bit more sifting than others, or some
: suspicious greenness... and I rest assured that when I call my
: supplier and bring these points to his or her attention, these
: concerns will be repeated to the source in India/Pakistan/wherever,
: and changes/improvements will be made. I trust my supplier and
: his/her product and integrity, which is why I keep my business

As you have not done business with me and perhaps Noli before, I am
sure that you have made the decision to do business with us or to not
do business with us based upon something else already. That is
alright. I believe in people deciding where to purchase or not based
upon what feels right for them.

: I would like to try. The reactions of some of the suppliers *have*
: changed my mind about wanting do business with them.

There is no "group think" required here. When everyone thinks in the
same way about everything and are all walking in lockstep...well that
is a pretty scary thing to me. When dessention is cause and reason
for rejection...not the issues stated...but the dessention...well
that means that something very wrong is taking place. Each person on
this forum comes with a brain, a point of view and the freedom to
express it. I implore you and anyone else to continue to make your
best decisions based upon your best thinking. But when one responds
negatively to opposing views because they are opposing views, the it
seems to me that what is needed is perhaps more opposing views.
There must always be room for that.

: I can understand wanting your product to be fairly represented...

Yes, that is what I want. It is a reasonable enough request.

: you feel it is not, get your own microscope and post the results.
: you are reluctant to do that, it makes me suspicious.

No one has to choose this one way to assure the quality of their
henna powder. When did that happen...that every supplier now has to
choose this one way? What is with this microscope thing? What if I
have another way? When and how did there become a requirement to do
it this way because Catherine does it? And if my selecting another
way makes you or anyone else suspicious, I have to wonder about
that. Every transaction is out of necessity built upon some measure
of trust that either party is not being hoodwinked. If that trust is
absent then there will be no transaction...microscope or no
microscope. The people who will choose me as their supplier will do
so because they trust me as a supplier...not because I ran out and
bought a microscope that will in the end fail to deliver to me the
answers to all of questions that are important to me and hopefully to

It seems that
: many people who are in an uproar because their product has
: been "misrepresented" have product that could use some improvements.
: It makes me wonder how they’d react if the results came out the
: way, and their hennas looked to be the finest and cleanest. I
: doubt they would be complaining if the current batch wasn’t
: represented (or that they’d even mention it at all).

Careful review of that list will show that it doesn't indicate
anything about my henna powders that should cause me alarm. For you
to go there is to miss the point entirely. My point remains that
steps are needed in this exercise to control for custody of those
samples and for reliability of those samples. If that is not done,
then don't represent the list as representing anything with any
degree of certainty. It doesn't matter to me what the list
indicates...positive or negative...the point is that if the samples
were not collected in a way that there is certainty absolute that
they represent the powders they are said to represent, then no
conclusion can be drawn based upon those samples collected that have
any validity. Now, can people wish to believe whatever they wish to
believe and draw conclusions they wish to draw from the list. They
can, but just let's not call it science. Lets not go running back to
people asking for absolute change from data that is not absolutely
valid with absolute certainty. If this is just some fun list for
people to go off and use any way they wish...fine. But when
suppliers are expected to take data back to exporters then provide me
with something without obvious flaws in methodology. Then I can use
that as a tool. Until then I can't and won't. Until then I continue
to use my own method for collecting and providing feedback to
exporters who supply me.

Since when did we start thinking that suppliers here have something
to hide or are so dishonorable and sleazy as to be cheats. Since
when did we start to thinking that only one person can and should
determine the one way that accountability can be established? Since
when did it become established that suppliers do not have a right to
continue to use their own methods and relationships with their
exporters to impact change when needed with their product. If I deal
with an exporter who does not listen to my desires and expectation
for my henna powder, I not sending them a picture of anything. I am
not going to work with them.

: I think the reaction to these tests *should* fall under the
: of constructive criticism.

There is a huge difference between constructive criticism and
publishing and dessiminating information touted as research, testing
and analysis. The one thing that most people say about constructive
criticism is..."This is my point of view...take it or leave it!"
That is not what this list has been presented to be...constructive
criticism. It is being touted as objective, emperical data. In
fact, there has been lots of language used to take it totally out of
the range of constructive criticism. People need to decide what this
list is. Is it just constructive criticism? Is it a tool with
absolute validity sufficient to be offered up to an exporter
that "this is what is in your henna powder?" Is the list...just a
beginning...the middle...the end? And if it were offered up to be
constructive criticism, my constructive criticism is that more valid
controls need to be in place in this study before I can support the

We all can offer up constructive criticism. Or have we reached a
point that that is not allowed. That one is suspect if one does. If
that is where we are...then we are in a very sad place. Perhaps we
need to ask some questions about that.

It’s not always what we want to hear, but
: how else are we to improve?

There are lots of paths to the same place. There is a problem when
no one is allowed to get there except on the one chosen path. It is
fair to appreciate what Catherine is doing. It is also fair to
appreciate what others are doing and their views about how they wish
to be dealt with.



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