When I was a senior in college, I worked at Seagull Book and Tape, an LDS book and trinket store across the street from the LA Temple. (The pay was lousy, but working with books was fun. So it turned out to be a decent job.) I was amazed by all the stuff that Mormons buy just because it has some sort of Mormon reference or connection. There were stripling warriors t-shirts, iron rod key chains, temple recommend card holders, choose the right pencils, and much, much more.
As a social commentator, Iâ€™m disgusted by the unashamed use of Mormon ideals and images for profit. As a devout Mormon, I appreciate why people might feel so strongly about the Church that they want it more in their lives, even if it means wearing it on their t-shirts. As an economist, I understand this phenomenon as simply the market forces of supply and demand at work. Yet, as an opportunist, I have my own idea to make money:
Have you ever come in late into sacrament meeting and had to sit in the overflow area on cold, hard, uncomfortable, metal folding chairs? If you have, then this product is for youâ€¦ I present to you the Sacrament Meeting butt-pads. Made of a plastic outer shell with an inch or two of foam padding on the outside, the Sacrament Meeting butt-pads come in many designs and colors. Choose from one of two Joseph Smith padsâ€”one of him with raised sword in front of the Nauvoo Legion and one of him with his face buried in the hat translating the gold platesâ€¦ Collect them all!
You get the idea. Iâ€™d start with famous dead Mormons, like JS, BY, Emma, Eliza, etc. If I did it this year then Iâ€™d be sure to have WW since weâ€™re studying his teachings. Iâ€™d also add non-humans, such as the SL Temple or other local temples, one with a CTR logo, one with a cigarette with line drawn through it, etc. Maybe even use different materials. A cloth and cross-stitched pad with lace for the older RS sister, perhaps. Whoâ€™s face do you want to sit on–wait, that didnâ€™t come out right.
I really think this product would sell because I actually got the idea one Sunday after my sore and benumbed rear end sat through a way too long Sacrament meeting. I admit Iâ€™d need a better name. Maybe â€œCelestial Seat Cushionsâ€? or just plain olâ€™ â€œOverflow Pads,â€? although that name might have an unintended interpretation.
Whatâ€™s your take on making money off the Mormons? Disgust? Intrigue? Market capitalism at work? Please explain in 50 words or more. Do you have an idea that can make more money than my idea?