Friday, May 27, 2011

Major Plot Point Revealed

I didn't want to say anything until now. Perhaps because I wasn't sure myself if I was really going to do it. But now I think it's official.

I'm opening a store.

A ribbon store.

Photo of a cute ribbon store in San Francisco. My design will be a little bit different.  More 16e arrondissement, less Paris Flea Market

How me is that?

Somewhere between building that wall, repainting, making those curtains, and relight-fixturing every ceiling in the house, I developed this strange desire to branch out beyond my own familiar environs. Thus began a few month long search for my beruft, my true professional calling. I didn't know at first. The horrible thing about being fearless and moderately capable is that you quickly find out that you can do almost anything. So what should I do with myself? Build chandeliers? Decorate houses? Plan weddings? Design stationery? Bake cakes? The mind reels. So I sat down and used the reasoning skills that I paid so much to acquire.

What do I really want?
To have a place to go and share pretty things with the world where people will get to know me and notice what I do.

How should I do it?
As cheaply as possible in case I fall flat on my face?

What do people like?
Colorful things; low cost impulse purchases that make them feel happy for a few minutes.

And who doesn't love colorful grosgrains?
So I decided. I will open a ribbon store. But not just any store. This will be the Neiman Marcus of crafts. No fabric, no sewing machine parts, nothing to intimidate the novice crafter. All the icing, none of the cake.

So I decided to do this in earnest about a month ago and the weeks have flown by as I've plunged myself into planning and construction. I have thousands of yards of ribbon in my living room. I've been buying in great bulk and selling off my excess stock on ebay to finance the venture. The thing about ribbon is that you need variety, an overwhelming and carefully selected variety. Committing $50 to a huge roll of ribbon is tough. That's where ebay comes in. I sell off 2/3 of it, and I've paid for the quantity I will sell in the store. At least this is the plan. Hopefully my sales will catch up with my purchases.

I've also been building all of the fixtures for the store. I've decided that everything has to be custom and absolutely beautiful if I am going to create this sort of ribbon wonderland that I have in mind. So about a week ago I set off building some draft ribbon racks. This was the first prototype, built last Thursday.

Not really very beautiful, but it was more a utility draft. I figured I needed to see what worked structurally first before worrying about the aesthetics. I can always use it for overflow storage in a back room or something.

Then the next morning I built this:


I think it captures the look I'm going for, although when I build the real ones I'm going to make a larger version. This one is 72"x25" and I think I should go for 84" in height at least and perhaps a bit wider.

As we speak I'm working on kind of a cool project. I decided I want to have something flashy in the center of the store, so I'm building a large hexagonal ribbon carousel. I'm going to mount it on a storage cabinet base, and hopefully hang a pretty chandelier above it. A great centerpiece I think. Construction is  still in its infancy though. You know how in school when you are learning geometry you think you will never use it? Well I did (with a refresher from google, of course). Believe me, cutting the angles for this 12-sided beast was quite tedious.