Archive for the ‘Business’ Tag
Does anyone need a good-sized store? Not my store, Harper’s Fine Art and Photographs, but my neighbor’s store. Attend….
My store’s landlord, Tegg Bode of Austech Rentals, has a large anchor store (8,892 m2) that he needs to get rented out soon. The previous tenant appears to have decamped, and this store was Tegg’s main source of rental revenue in his shopping center (Desire region on the Mainland). He hasn’t thrown out the old tenant’s stuff yet, but the rent box is open for the taking, and I’d like to see Tegg’s space filled; not just because that will keep my current store in place, but because Tegg has always helped me, rebuilt my older stores in the same mall, and is an all-around good egg (even if he goes around as a steel kangaroo). If anyone’s interested, the rent box says it’s 2 weeks/L$15,000, with 3918 prims.
Why am I, an assured American citizen, writing about Australia Day (which is, technically, January 26)? Because my store, Harper’s Fine Arts and Photographs, is owned by Tegg Bode, who is an Aussie in real life. The Aussies have a grand country in many ways, and a proud tradition that dates from the Aborigines’ settling of the Southern Continent some 40,000 years ago, and more recently the original European settlers’ arrival as transported convicts in the late 18th Century. The country has its problems — race relations between the original and the later colonizers, tangled politics, and all the other ills of a modern society. But the Australian spirit is still there, and the average person on the street, from Perth to Darwin to Melbourne to Brisbane, is proud to call themselves Australian.
As a salute to Australia Day and a gift to customers, anyone who comes to my store at the SLurl link above and clicks on this sign will receive a free copy of the 1930s Sydney Bridge Celebration poster you see in the background. This will last until 10:00 p.m. SLT on Sunday, so make sure to stop in. (Also make sure to click on the graphic, not the area around the colors, as this box is mostly alpha. Anything not part of the graphic will shoot through to the floor or wall — and one of the posters there. If it asks you to pay something, you’ve missed!)
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It first struck the writer how things were when she materialized at the old, familiar landing point. Except that it wasn’t the same place anymore.
Oh, sure, it was the familiar large hall with the pink stairs and the magenta runway and the familiar, long-respected logo reading Bliss Couture at the top of it all. But the room itself was empty. There wasn’t another soul in the entire sim. That was bizarre to say the least; she recalled how, when she had come here in the past, the region had been busy at the very least, and a lag hell when a popular new release or a collection showing was going on. It wasn’t that now; it was lonely, and a touch eerie, and maybe a little depressing. She had known for some time that Amutey Decuir was closing the doors on one of the venerable fashion houses, had seen group announcements about closeout sales, all the way down to 90% off all stock.
That had been a while back. Apparently, just as at the famous Last Sale in 2008, the fashionistas had finally stuffed themselves full of purchases, and had departed for newer couturières, leaving nothing but memories and virtual cobwebs. She could almost feel the chilly wind of the virtual autumn circulating through the empty halls of the building. All that remained was for someone to notify Linden Lab to shut down the sim server.
Well, I guess I can indulge as long as I want, as long as my wallet holds out, she thought ruefully to herself. Doesn’t look like it’ll be a fight to get to any of the vendors. And, as was usual for her, she turned and made for the gowns first. But a vague sense of guilt washed through her as she went ahead and shopped her way across the building. Somehow it just didn’t seem right this time to be buying stuff from such a quality designer at 10 cents on the linden, essentially. Bliss had always been one of the best designers on the Grid, branching out into hair and furs and casual wear as time went on. And Amutey had certainly known how to charge for her work. But she had also kept the prices below L$1,000 for most individual dresses, and even the fatpacks were affordable if you didn’t go on a massive splurge. This felt…wrong in a way it was hard to explain; almost as if she were picking over carrion like a vulture.
That didn’t stop the writer from going through and stocking up, though. As she moved everything into a specially-marked Inventory folder for later examination, she decided that, if Amutey was willing, then so be it. It might be worth a few more lookovers before the sim closes for good. But, as she sat down to begin writing her thoughts and feelings down, she paused and raised the wine glass on her desk up in a silent toast to Amutey Decuir and her business team, thinking, Thanks much, my lady. It’s been a hell of a ride.
I regularly go through new photos from my contacts on Flickr and Koinup — the chief source for my Contact Sheet articles. A few days ago, I laid eyes on a piece that got me interested, an intriguingly designed avant-garde dress, and so I shot off to the store the first chance I found and hunted until I found the gown.
The price was — wait for it — L$5,350. You read that right — over five grand for this dress. Over $20 USD. That’s close to half of what I usually purchase for my work and amusement each week, nearly as much as my monthly rent for my land! Things have improved financially for me, to where I could afford this somewhat, but I still balked. I walked away from this fabulous dress.
Now I’m all for just and sufficient compensation for an artist’s work, never purchasing knockoffs at a copybottist; and, admittedly, a good design in Second Life is as much artwork as anything. Avant-garde gowns such as the one I’m ranting about are time consuming and intricate to create, often involving the hanging of many prims to achieve the desired effect. But when you start charging on an equivalent line to the prices asked for a real-world gown at the top Paris or Milan couturièrs, that takes all the affordability out of it for the people who you’re trying to sell your work to. I can’t see this designer selling their work to anyone but other successful designers who are making money in world, often selling for perhaps L$1,200 tops.
Anyone have another take on this?
To credit, or not to credit: that is the question…. I think you should credit everything that you possibly can. The only thing I don’t, usually, is the poses, since I don’t normally use only one set of poses in my fashion shoots, and I have no easy way of tracking which ones I do with the HUDs I employ. I can take, if I’m really driven, perhaps 25-30 shots that I will winnow through for the best 5-6, and so I lose any relation to the pose creators in the process. I apologize to them here and now, because I know they put in as much hard work as do the clothing or hair or makeup designers to create something special.
But it is a good idea to credit everything you can; and Cajsa Lilliehook offers a suggestion here on how to do it fairly easily:
Giving Credit Where It Is Due | Its Only Fashion
Harper’s Fine Art has moved into a larger store on the other end of the mall I was already in! The move gives me more prims to work with, which means I can have more of my collection out. It also gives me room for a second floor, which will have lots of stained glass as soon as I can build it — I’m already in the process on that — and a larger Secret (Public) Photo Studio, now with a changing room! With as much room as I now have on the (effective) 4th floor, I am willing to offer temporary rental space to anyone who wants to build a more elaborate set for their own photos, limited to one-day setups if over my maximum of about 125 prims.
Along with the move comes a more unified look to my signage, including what will be a species of actual logo for Harper’s Art (though if someone can do me an original piece of artwork at a good price, I’ll be quite willing to consider it). What hasn’t changed is my commitment to offer the finest in both reproduction and original art at affordable prices, along with occasional sideline items that may tickle your fancy.
Come “join me in Desire.” I think you’ll find something you like!
Just in case you haven’t heard, one of the looked-for events of the year is coming in December to Second Life: the fifth annual Peace On Earth Gridwide Hunt. This is a time when many of the Grid’s designers offer some very nice goodies to customers as a thank you for their patronage during the past year.
Shoppers: the hunt begins on December 1, and will run through the close of Epiphany (January 6, 2013), the traditional end of the season of Christmas. If it’s anything like past years, all you need to do is find the globe with a dove. The goodies can be cunningly hidden, so pay attention to the clues.
Vendors: participation, according to the blog, will be by invitation only this year. The hunt organizers have created such a popular monster that requests to participate is strong.
Be sure to watch the hunt blog for information. I’ll see you on the hunt!