I went to Williams-Sonoma this week and was very disappointed in what I saw. I went all the way out to Manhattan Beach because for some reason I believed the Manhattan Beach location to be a very large store. But it is a very small store. It’s nothing like the Beverly Hills location was before it closed permanently years ago.
Now, Calah and I had gone to Crate & Barrel to see their stuff as we’re continuing to finalize our registry, but there were some items that were too expensive for too poor quality.
I had expected Williams-Sonoma to be better. And some things were slightly better quality. But all things were higher prices.
There were some wooden salad tongs on clearance for $15 reduced from $25. I would have paid maybe $5?
Then there were things that were worse quality. Like an olivewood salad bowl–a salad bowl priced at $150. For comparison, that is $150 more than the amount of salad I want to eat.
Hmm, if were were to buy it, we might not have money for salad. Oh, wait, this would be for wedding registry, so we would still have money for salad. Damn.
The salad bowl was splitting before ever being sold. Right on the shelf. Split.
I asked a clerk what happens with this type of item if it’s purchased off the registry and then cracks after a single use.
“You have 30 days to return it,” she said.
“Is that in new condition with the labels still on and everything?”
“But you see it’s cracked just on the shelf.”
“Yes, but they would consider cracking like this normal wear and tear.”
“That’s weird. This is broken already.”
“Oh, I have the bigger [$200(!)] one, and the cracks are much larger. And that happened very quickly. I just don’t let the salad dressing go so high so it doesn’t get stuck in the cracks because then I wouldn’t be able to clean it out.”
“That doesn’t sound very good.”
“I went to a woodworker who told me to take epoxy and squirt it into the cracks to seal it up. But how am I supposed to get a needle that small?”
“So I guess I won’t be putting this on the registry.”
“That’s your decision, but these bowls crack. That’s part of what they do. Maybe it’s the type of wood they use.”
“Yeah, not putting this on the registry.”
“That one is too small, anyway. The one I have at home is larger. And that one fits enough salad just for me.”
“I mean I guess it would hold more if you could fill it all the way, but since the cracking…”
“I suppose so.”
“I guess I’ll go ahead and put this back.”
So it’s back on the shelf. Cracked. But out there for sale.
Now, I’ve encountered many issues in my woodworking projects, but I’ve not tried to sell broken things for hundreds of dollars. Scruples or something. Annoying.
And not everyone is happy about buying broken things or things that break quickly. They make that known in reviews!
But the reviews don’t start off bad.
Will last a lifetime (*****)
This is a large, beautiful olive wood salad bowl that is made by hand. As such there are minor imperfections which are typical with artisan works and (for me anyway) add to the value of the design. For this however, I would recommend that you go to a WS store so that you can choose the one that suits you—As each one is different. Beautiful piece and highly recommend.
Wow! Sounds amazing! Hey, wait a second!
Seems a little premature to have Will last a lifetime as the title. You know, unless someone is coming to kill him.
Wood putty filler too visible (***)
We recently received the largest of these bowls. I was a little reluctant to spend that much for a bowl but based on the previous review of lasting beauty I went for it. I understand that this is pieces of wood glued together to form the bowl. I didn’t however expect the putty that is used as a filler to be so visible. Especially around the top rim of the bowl. It is a very light color and doesn’t look even. I echo the previous review to go in and look at them before buying. That being said no one wants a bowl they would serve at a party to show this much putty right on top. I’m trying to be balanced with a three star rating. It’s hard to find a large salad bowl. I could live with imperfections inside the bowl. The one I received just doesn’t look finished. We’ll return and see if there is a better one. Too much money for this type of imperfection.
“First bowl cracked 3 weeks in. Got a replacement. This bowl also cracked about 1 week in. Have not washed it, have not used it. Save your time and get a different bowl.”
Welp! Looks like that’s not the salad bowl for us!