Monday, January 5, 2009

Ireland's Waterford In Demise? Please Say It's Not So.....

First of all, you should know that I'm a huge Waterford crystal fan and I have a fairly nice collection of their lovely crystal, numbering well over 60 pieces. These pictures just show some of it, and yes, I realize I need to clean out my china cabinet. (I live in the desert of West Texas... give me a break!) I also inherited my mother-in-law's Waterford pieces and I cherish every piece that I own. I've always taken the utmost care with my Waterford, in hopes of someday passing it on to my daughter.

Frankly, I am in shock over this recent news about the company. I've just read several articles written about Ireland's most famous crystal maker, Waterford, who is seemingly in demise. I read insatiably as I searched for a reason why this hugely popular company would go under. One article states it is because of increasing lack of interest in good crystal. What?! That's crazy! The article states that Waterford has been LOSING money for the past five years, largely due to sales going down every year, which I just find difficult to believe. Waterford has been in business in Ireland since 1783, for crying out loud. Waterford is still among the most desired crystal chosen by young brides and is still considered a status symbol of sorts.

I will admit I thought Waterford made a huge mistake by creating the cheaper Marquis line, saturating the market with cheap crystal, along with cheap crystal made by much lesser known (for their lack of quality) companies. I felt that W dropped their standards, which they did. Obviously, many others have felt the same way.



Even on eBay, used, original Waterford has always sold for top dollar, and still does. The Marquis line is not included in that statement. When I speak of Waterford, I expect the listener to think of quality, which is not the case with Marquis.

I honestly believe that more often than not, companies who merge with several other companies eventually die a slow death. We've seen it time and time again, haven't we? When companies seem to get too big for their britches, something almost always seems to go awry. I'm thinking this must be the case here. Waterford has been in cahoots with some of the finest names in good china. Namely, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, and Rosenthal. How could any of those companies ever go under? They are the finest of their kind and have been in existence for more than 100 years. Really. How could this have possibly happened?

Ireland stands to lose one of its largest tourist attractions as well (not to mention thousands of jobs). I've always dreamed of being able to go to Ireland and tour the factory there. Right now, it looks as though my dream might never be fulfilled.

So, I am very sad today, about this. It means I might never be able to finish out my m-i-l's crystal glassware, which I had to split with my sister-in-law. Which means she probably won't ever be able complete hers either (unless I relinquish mine to her or vice verse). Alright, I know this isn't a tragedy, but I really thought that someday I would be able to finish out the part of her set that I had to share. Wah! Wah!

So, perhaps *The Almighty Buck* doesn't always turn out to be the winner. Sometimes caring more about the quantity (money) rather than the quality of the product can bring a company to an end. However, the employees of Waterford have always worked very closely with the management to maintain their standards, which makes this case even more perplexing. There are many generations of families that have and do work there, so this is surely a devastating blow to that particular corner of Ireland. It's possible that this co-mingling turned out to be their demise. Well, only time can tell us now, as they await some sort of buyout or takeover. Or immediate death. (Ooops! There's that bad word!) Being of some Irish descent, I wish them the best and pray that it doesn't get out-sourced to someplace like India or China.

15 comments:

TSannie said...

hadn't heard about that. It IS sad!

Living on the Spit said...

We are losing greats everyday and out sourcing seems to be one of the biggest problems.

This is really sad news...really sad.

I love Waterford Crystal.

Marlene

brneyedgal967 said...

Very sad news. I toured the Waterford Crystal factory when I was in Ireland in 1985. It was amazing - the crystal is handblown, handcut and each piece is personally inspected before it passes approval to be sold.

Lovely crystal you have there though, even if the set is incomplete.

asthmagirl said...

That is sad. I don't own any, but it was on my list of must see when I do get to Ireland... someday.

Mental P Mama said...

Very sad news. Makes what we have all the more precious...unfortunately, this may just be the tip of the iceberg for our favorite luxury companies.

Cathy M said...

I was shocked when I heard the news. Makes me want to go out and buy more while it's available.

herMomsometimes said...

Also the Wedgewood Co, When I was reading about this it was Waterford/Wedgewood. That they had filed for bankruptcy. I do hope the company can be saved.

I've always loved buying both at auctions. Sometimes you can get really good deals. I don't want them to go out of business. I have always loved their product. Plus they have been in business for a couple of hundred years. Maybe they need to go back and check their records to see how they survived in other hard times.

I had much rather pay more and have quality,the best,than some cheap imitation.

My Paternal Great Grandparents are from Ireland. You can't get much more Irish than Doyle and Murphy.

The Incredible Woody said...

How very sad. Better get to shopping while it's still around!!!

Flea said...

How horrid! I don't own any Waterford, and I guess I can forget about it now. Prices will shoot through the roof.

Pam said...

Say it ain't so! We went to the Waterford Factory on our trip to Ireland in 2004. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. We saw them blowing the glass and cutting it. Did you know there are no "seconds" of Waterford? If a piece doesn't meet the standards, it is broken and the glass shards remelted to try again. This is sad, sad news for me. Hope you get across the pond before it closes, Snooty. It is one of my favorite memories of our trip.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for you, but I think crystal is old-fashioned and that the trends are a-changing.

Janie said...

I love Waterford, too! I've even taken to collecting some of their blown glass items.

I don't like the Marquis line, I wish they'd never stooped to that.

I hope Waterford doesn't go under.

noble pig said...

I hadn't heard. That Marquis line is for the birds and made no sense to me. Sorry about it all!

BJ Roan said...

Another casualty of the times. I hate to hear about such a wonderful product being diluted by another company.

The wife said...

I hadn't heard about that! I toured their facility when I went to Ireland in 1996 at the ripe age of 20. My grandmother gave me money to buy her a vase and I was drawn to a piece in the Lismore collection. Three years later I opened it at my wedding! I had forgotten what collection I had chosen for her and imagine my surprise when it was the same as what I had chosen for my stemware! I still have a lot more pieces to collect before my collection is complete. I hope they last that long!

 

Blog Designed by: NW Designs