Traditions can keep a family business grounded and provide it with a sense of identity, but a willingness to branch out is necessary in any industry.
For several decades, the products of North Country Wind Bells® have nearly always drawn inspiration directly from the ocean and wilderness native to the rugged coast of Maine. However, with its newest offering, the company is looking to introduce an exotic flair to its catalogue.
"We're inspired by the beauty that we live in, with the lighthouses, the traditional buoy bells and the trees, but we've also just designed and introduced to the market a new bell in the shape of a temple,” says owner Connie Davidson. “We call it the Utau Meditation Bell. It has a gold circle with a bonsai tree cut out within it. It's just to cater to yet another market."
The Utau [Japanese for “to sing”] Meditation Bell represents a minor departure from the norm for Davidson, but she says it’s important to be able to experiment with new designs.
"It is deviating a little bit from our other designs, but then again, you can't remain stagnant,” she says. “You need to keep on growing and broaden your line, so it's important for us to do that. We wanted to seek something that was a little bit different and that would cater to a different market of people. People like the meditation factor and the peace and tranquility in their gardens and to hear the soft sound of the bells.”
Currently, there is only one version of the Utau Meditation Bell, but Davidson says it’s possible that there may be more in the future, depending on interest. The new bell will be on display and available for purchase at several upcoming trade shows.
“We sell to a lot of different types of shops, and this will be a nice addition for people maybe more in the west and southwest,” Davidson adds.