People publicly stoned upscale retailer Nordstrom for selling an $85 rock in a leather pouch.
They were so, uh, confused by it.
“This is a rock. It has leather knickers. It costs $85 at Nordstrom. This is entirely normal,” tweeted one man.
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Even Nordstrom seemed a little confused, too, about what the “Wrapped Stone” is all about, noting that its purpose is “up to you.”
Maybe it’s a paperweight, a conversation starter or art, the department store suggests.
The rocks had a pedigree. They came from California’s San Bernardino valley and are polished to make them shiny.
A company called Made Solid created the vegetable-tanned leather pocket — cut, sewn and finished by hand using vintage leather-making tools and traditional saddle-stitching techniques in the studio of artist Peter Maxwell.
If $85 was too much for your budget and common sense, Nordstrom also offered a $65 “Small Leather Wrapped Stone.”
“We’re not the first brand to wrap a stone in leather,” Maxwell said on the Nordstrom blog “The Thread.”
“Leather-wrapped objects became pretty popular with Danish Modern designers back in the day. But a lot of people laugh. People say, ‘Oh, a pocket for your rock.’ Or, ‘What is it? What do you do with it? Why?’ Our approach is to ask, ‘What would you do with it?’
“I want to leave it up to the user as far as the use and the concept. If I say, ‘This is a paperweight, then it’s going to be a paperweight for all time.’ That’s not the intent. We think of them as objects that are cool and tactile and unique.”
Made Solid told BuzzFeed News that the rock was “not a joke” and was one of the company’s most popular items. Apparently this wasn’t the first time Nordstrom has offered them, because the company told BuzzFeed “they sold out at most stores” the last time the upscale retailer sold them.
But people left so many blistering comments on the Nordstrom website that the company reportedly deleted some of the more unkind.
“Choose this over food,” wrote one reviewer. “As a single mother, it is often difficult to put food on the table for my 5 children. However, when I saw this piece of rock, I couldn’t help it but to purchase this item. Yes, no one in my family will eat this month, however I have a piece of rock ...”
Twitter mocked it, too.
As of Wednesday, the rock was listed as “product not available” on Nordstrom’s website.
Well, that was fun while it lasted.