ong time ago - well 7 months ago - roughly - I did an article in relation to the anniversary of the Dalaran Trade nights. As part of that I interviewed Jack Silver and Jack Skinner about their experiences running a shop in Dalaran. Neither was entirely happy with how they were represented in that article, so I offered them a new interview, and a new article. This is that article. It took a while due to scheduling issues - but in a way that only makes it more interesting. Longer time has passed which perhaps makes the reflections more interesting.

Pancake Jack

Jack Skinner: "you want food first or after?" Hardhy Lester: "After I think. Gotta stay unbiased" Not that a pancake really colours my opinion on things, but I like to adhere to the same standards so I don't suddenly slip, and maybe the fact I am so sure a pancake wouldn't sway my opinion a sign that it is good I don't let myself get tempted. Hardhy Lester: "If you recall then I did an article awhile back - The tale of Two Jacks, where I interviewed both you and Jack Silver. Both you felt a little slighted by it, so I offered to do an updated version where you get to talk a bit more about it" Jack Skinner: "I remember, all the way back in January" Back then I accused Jack of overpricing his pancakes - paying in the gold range to get pancakes back then was not uncommon, and as someone who cares a lot about the less fortunate it really troubled me. Even great pancakes are still just mainly eggs, milk and flour - since then Jack has regularly informed me about changes to his menu, and yes, also lowered prices. Hardhy Lester: "So I understand you changed your menu quite a lot since then?" Jack Skinner: "Almost constantly updating, aye" Hardhy Lester: "What are the main changes since January?" Jack Skinner: "Prices for one, most orders only cost a few silver. We're always adding new toppings, and we have seasonal specials" Jack Skinner: "Plus with me and Joelyn becoming business partners, we've changed the name to Fox and Hound Pancakes, to suit both of us" Hardhy Lester: "How many toppings do you have now?" Jack Skinner: "Phew...to be honest i haven’t counted. A lot. Sweet, savoury, vegan ones as well" Hardhy Lester: "And you also moved from the streets to a regular shop?" Jack Skinner: "Yeah a few months ago. Managed to get the paperwork sorted, plus this place works well as a building for guild use. Though we still have a street stall for the Booty Bay markets" Hardhy Lester: "You open each week here? I seem to remember it was every second week back in January?" Jack Skinner: "Still every other week, plus once a month at booty bay" Hardhy Lester: "You mentioned vegan options, is that something people ask for a lot?" Jack Skinner: "Not that often, but we like to keep options open. They're especially good for people that want a healthier option, so they feel less guilty about having sweet toppings. In fact it's Deedi that's been the main inspiration for me to get more vegetarian and vegan options" I'll have to suggest Jack adds broccoli to the toppings one can pick and have him suggest it do Deedi. That should be fun! (Hi Deedi!). Hardhy Lester: "Part of the article I did back then raised some questions about the Dalaran Market Night as a whole, some thoughts about the community and if it had changed during the year it had existed. What are your thoughts on running a business in Dalaran now?" Jack Skinner: "Honestly I really like it here. We've had a few businesses come and go but we've never been more popular" Hardhy Lester: "How many customers do you think you get on average when you are open?" Jack Skinner: "Phew er...maybe somewhere between 30 and 60" Hardhy Lester: "Would you say there is more or less than when you started?" Jack Skinner: "Oh definitely more. Word has spread well. We have a lot of regular customers as well, which is nice" Hardhy Lester: "Do you feel there is a bond between the business owners? or is the competition more... cutthroat?" Jack Skinner: "Between some owners, yes. Many of us are on good terms with each other. There's been a few wobbles, but overall, we co-exist well" Hardhy Lester: "You think it depends on how much competition there is on what you sell?" Jack Skinner: "Mm perhaps." This was not really a surprise, back in January Jack was also very positive and happy about the Dalaran trade night, so I really didn't expect that to have changed. Jack's opinion asides then there have been consistent rumours that not every is well in the floating city and division has been growing behind the scenes, if it ever spills over into the public eye is anyone’s guess, but to think it is the paradise of wholesomeness and inclusion it may appear to would be naive. Hardhy Lester: "Is there something you would want to change in the way the Dalaran trade nights work if you could?" Jack Skinner: "Hmm....no, not really. We're looking forward to seeing how Theolain Nor'danel and the new Legerdemain Lounge crew handle business" Hardhy Lester: "What is the best thing about the Dalaran trade nights in your opinion?" Jack Skinner: "Seeing happy customers." Hardhy Lester: "Okay, here at the end, is there something you want to tell the readers?" Jack Skinner: "I'd like to commend many of the vendors here, especially TK-Studios and Silver's Oddities. They've served Dalaran well and i wish them the best for the future" Jack Skinner: "And a great commendation to Joelyn. She really earns every silver that she gets paid" I had a brief talk with Joelyn who assured me Jack was treating her well and giving a good pay. I had assumed from what Jack said earlier that she was part owner, and not a regular employee, but maybe I misunderstood that part. Either way, speaking of Silver's Oddities and Jack Silver, time to delve into the new interview with him.

Plushie Jack

First off, a disclaimer. This interview was conducted 4 months ago, which is also reflected by the fact Gaedryel took part in it as it was before she left the Roar. That said, I reckon most of the content is still an accurate description of how Jack sees things. Hardhy Lester: "Alright. So you read my last article and thought to yourself "Huh... that is not quite what I expected"?" Jack Silver: "Too a degree. Most of what I said myself was true, Times have changed and Dalaran has gotten much quieter than when we first started well over a year ago. Though that is to be expected with much more options around nowadays with Stormwind getting a revival of stores and Boralus opening new stores as well. Though it’s not to say Dalaran is dead, just fewer daily people than when we first started it off." Hardhy Lester: "I remember you was not too happy with the decline of sales, is there something you think the people in charge could do to improve traffic and boost sales?" Jack Silver: "There’s not too much as even though foot traffic has dropped it is just the beginning of the year.. Though it would be nice to see a few monthly shows or special events that perks peoples interests to come round. I certainly did enjoy the last two events that happened here this year. which is a great start to perk something new" Hardhy Lester: "I heard a bit of talk about too much competition and how people would prefer each shop being more specialized, any thoughts on that?" As mentioned above in the section about Jack Skinner then there has been some rumours and talk about how the real-estate is divided, how active the shop keepers are, and who sells what. I won't put names here, but it was something I also heard back when I did the last article, and it has only grown since. Jack Silver: "While competition is good in business as it helps to lower prices down between traders and companies. Here in Dalaran it’s a bit more of a pat on the back. I don’t mind when someone else makes some plushies and sells them for instance... But if they take a multitude of stock from a lot of traders who work hard to make them and sells them all in one place in the same city as the other traders... then it feels more like an undercut." Hardhy Lester: "So shops who sell a lot of different things is your main concern?" Jack Silver: "Indeed. You have general stores which are fine. Sell the essentials and cover a wide angle of stock for everyone to get what they need. You know like bread. Basic clothes and tools... But when you start taking a lot of specialized items and put them under one roof. Its only for the profits and making as much as possible in one sitting..." Jack Silver: "Best example is my store. I make and sell food and drinks... are they the same league as Jacks pancakes... Hell no. But they are there in case anyone feels they want a snack or if i get hungry making them." Hardhy Lester: "How many of them do you end up eating?" Jack Silver: "About half the stock.. Its literally only cheese and chocolate twists. Odd and unique items themselves which is why i sell them... but they are tasty" Hardhy Lester: "The cheese ones where great." Jack also sold snacks are the recent Roaring Days music festival, one amongst a few amazing vendors who really helped make the festival a... -sorry- roaring success. Jack Silver: "Oh indeed they are. Five blended cheese types to make a perfect balance of strength and texture." Hardhy Lester: "You ever thought weekly is too often for trade nights? or you think people are already slacking by only working one day a week?" Jack Silver: "I’m... well a bit on the fence about that... Weekly has been a great thing for the traders here compared to when we had it monthly. More sales over the long term and more regular customers like Viv... Though I do feel for customers having it weekly they can then choose when to visit and come round... So, I would say weekly has shown to be better for traders, even if it means the city has its activity spread out." Gaedryel Ravenshade: "What about the opposite? With so many stores, it can happen that there's no time to do all the shopping one intends, does it help to open other days or is it not so worth it in terms of sales? " Jack Silver: "Some stores used to do multiple days. Like TK-studios... Though in the end we found it was more beneficial to all open on the same day. Then people can spend a night of it. If the stores are open different nights, then we tend to find that customers won’t know what each stores opening hours and days were before checking ahead of time... And then it meant less customers traveling between stores." Gaedryel Ravenshade: "You have a very interesting and wide catalogue, how did it evolve to what it is now? " Jack Silver: "Well to be honest I started off at the very beginning selling wooden carvings on the streets of Stormwind. I would carve people, animals, and items for a few silvers... Over time i went to work for my companies store and... well they investigated what everyone could bring forward to the table..." Jack Silver: "I decided to try and bring my creative side out and well... the plushies were born so to speak. When I opened my own store i simply built on the idea of odd and unique items... So I worked, Tinkered and built up everything in my store... for the magical items is just... well outsourced the magic from a mage I know... Though in the end its all built up to what I sell now... I don’t seek to copy or use other people’s ideas... Though i do like the idea of people selling me stuff so i can bring forth more unique items to the table for people to enjoy... so long as someone is smiling when they leave... I’m happy" Gaedryel Ravenshade: "So the carvings and plushies are your oldest items, are they also the most popular ones or is it balanced among all the options?" Jack Silver: "Well they were my oldest but my plushies are my main staple of my store. I haven’t made a carving in well over a year now. Even though i still sell it. " Gaedryel Ravenshade: "So, what about the objects people sell you, any curious ones?" Jack Silver: "Oh I’ve only had one.. It seems to be a too recent thing for people to have any knowledge of but so far I’ve had sold to me a old Porcelain Music box. All works and even has a small little bird inside that moves around with the song..." Gaedryel Ravenshade: "You also sell Petimon Cards, is there a big interest on them? Have you considered organising a tournament, or have you done it before?" Jack Silver: "Well I have been updating them since i made them but this instalment is the last update on the cards... I’ve sold a few individual and only two packs fully... Not too many seem interested though if people did start to take an interest i was thinking of a tournament for the title of Petimon master as well as the prize trophy." Gaedryel Ravenshade: "Would you say is it a hard game to understand for new players?" Jack Silver: "It does take a bit of time to get used too. Though it’s not too hard. Even made a nice little instruction book with every pack." Gaedryel Ravenshade: "And finally, I might be wrong but for what I have seen your store is one of the few, if not the only that includes gift cards on their catalogue, how did you come up with this idea? Does it help people to make gifts? " Jack Silver: "Well it isn’t a popular item on my catalogue as you can just make a plushie for a friend.. Though i came up with it more so because of the events happening around where prizes are needed. I originally gave out gift cards for prizes so they can redeem them in my store... Thus, I though i should sell them as well as give them away. just in case someone doesn’t know what to get for a birthday or party." Gaedryel Ravenshade: "Thank you, that's all from me" Hardhy Lester: "You have anything you want to add Jack?" Jack Silver: "Hmmm then only thing i would like to say is i hope more unique and wonderful people Enjoy the Dalaran trade nights as much as I enjoy selling at it." Not a huge difference in the outlook on things since January from either of the Jacks, but at least Jack Skinner has lower prices now and a more expansive menu. Go visit both next time you are in Dalaran on a Tuesday, and they are there.