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I finally opened my store. I type this with breathless excitement, yet I know it’s really a very common thing in Second Life, and that so far the things I’m offering aren’t likely to make a big splash, but I’ve been full of unwarranted excitement about these tops I’ve made. Women’s shirts, really. OK, t-shirts. Admittedly refined enough to possibly look like an adornment instead of a billboard, but t-shirts. We’re calling spades spades here.

The store is called Kate Tease, on Vixen’s Isle, and the idea is to have women’s tops that say completely inappropriate things on them, for instance:

or

For some reason the idea of offering these for people to walk around with amused me a lot, and so I learned how to make clothing not long after I joined and slowly built up the first dozen or so shirts. They’ve been selling very, very modestly on SLBoutique.com for some time, and I keep meaning to get them up on SLExchange, but I’ve known from the first that I wanted a store-and a store you could want into and be amused.

Kate Tease, on Vixen’s Isle

Not all of the shirts are amusing, though. One’s simply the Kate Tease logo, and it’s a freebie, hopefully a freebie that feels like attractive clothing instead of, again, a billboard. Other shirts were supposed to be amusing but don’t seem to amuse anyone but me. For instance, I was initially delighted at the idea of buxom SL nymphs on the prowl wearing tops that say “Hooray! My abbey finally got broadband”, but nobody I’ve shown that top too was too taken by it. (I’ve had more luck with “In RL, I’m kissing your girlfriend right now.” Admittedly, that one is enjoyably wrong on so many levels …) Maybe the reason is that I (as in my avi) don’t have the huge breasts and wear the escort-style clothing that would really bring the irony to bear. Maybe “abbey” just isn’t a funny word. But it’s always fun to see what humor works for people and what doesn’t!

My initial store idea was clear and specific, these tops. But now I’m branching out. First, I made my first unisex tee, which has a Second life hand holding a leash leading to the shirt’s collar, which is tricked up to look like a studded BDSM slave collar. Some versions of this shirt have a logo on the back that says “I am SL’s bitch,” but this was left off for those who wish to make the statement more subtly.

So already when I make a unisex shirt I’m departing from my core brand concept. But over the past weeks I’ve been learning a lot about building and scripting, starting with the faerie couch I posted about a while back, moving on to faerie gear like an attachment that lets you shake your head prettily and throw off sparkles and a glow attachment that surrounds you in a faint aura of colored light, and most recently some more serious building, like bar stools with built-in poses, a sky house with multiple-level platforms and a three-stage waterfall, and a spa. Ooh, I have to show you this spa. Oh, and a dance floor that has sun and moon images that fade from one to the other while spinning in alternate directions. Last night I made some particle wings for a friend, and now I’m thinking I need to make some that flap. I made self-programming pose balls that work as soon as you drop an animation on them. This is all enormously fun for me! Goddess-like power just because I’m comfortable with Photoshop, 3-D modelling, and some programming!

A not very good picture of the spa. Eris helped deck it out with plants and so on and with
the design and some of the building. This is about 120-130 prims (primitive shapes,
the basic Second Life building blocks, for anyone who isn’t in Second life)

So these have to go into my store in some form, because I’m too smugly excited about them to keep them to myself (no, Kate, nobody’s ever made a pretty dance floor before. Really!). But the Vixen’s store is fairly small, and anyway our sky house would never fit into a store anyway … it will probably have to be a picture you buy from instead, even if I do what I’ve been threatening and buy some mainland land for a “main store”.

But in branching out in these directions I lose my marketing identity. Right now if someone asks me what I sell, I can say “Elegant women’s t-shirts with extremely inappropriate remarks on them.” In a while it will be “Oh, t-shirts with catty comments and faerie gear and furniture and a sky house and a spa and … um, I guess a lot of stuff.” McDonald’s was not built on selling burgers, faerie gear, and spas. The Gap does not sell middle class Gen X clothing plus particle wings and dance floors.

But I don’t care. If I come up with some sort of brilliant marketing concept that ties it all together, then wonderful. Failing that, I’ll have a weird and unprofitable store that is like a scrapbook for me (here’s the bar I built for that party!) and that people can wander through laughing at the shirt slogans. And that’s good enough for me.

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