Module 03: The Monastic Product
Sabrina Rota, Matthias Wagner, Karin Drda-Kühn
Before we get closer to a definition of a real monastic product, let’s have a look at the historical need for monastic goods. Monastic products started in the past as a means of monastic self-sufficiency and equipment and provisions for pilgrims. These products gained income for monastic life and for preserving it. The production of these goods created employment opportunities for secular workers – not any different from how it does today. But what exactly is a monastic product and how can it be classified?
Have you ever considered creating and developing new monastic products based on the history of your monastery? This is by no means absurd, especially if you are familiar with the own monastery story. Please have in mind that visitors to your monastery are primarily interested in products that are unique and take into account the very special atmosphere of the monastery. Therefore, with this learning unit, we would like to encourage you to think about what new products from your monastery might look like. Here you can find out what there is to consider during the development phases.
Let us have a look at your monastery shop and its typical range of products. Let’s discuss whether the monastery shop is a good sales opportunity for monastic products and what its unique selling point (USP) is. Let us ask what exactly is a monastery shop? Is it only a business part of your monastery with a commercial purpose or does it have other functions as well? Of course, the shop provides a platform for the sale of internally and externally produced products of the monastery, but maybe it can be used for additional purposes as well. Strictly speaking, monastery shops are the best example of centuries-old sustainability, because which shop can look back on 700 years of history? In this chapter, you will learn about the history of monastery shops, their spirit, and ambition. We will answer the question ‘can a monastery shop be run like any other shop?’ You will gain knowledge of why they are special and what it means for their operation. The following learning unit will sensitise you to this.