Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ponderings

No.. .not really an update. The $10L sale is over. I appreciate everyone who came to the store and grabbed the shoes. I 3 my customers very much.

Today.. well.. the 26th is my 2nd Rezday. As it is very much like a birthday, and I usually take stock on birthdays, I've been thinking on alot of things.

I came to SL for fun. OMG I didn't come here for sex, drugs, Gor, or to make money. I came for the chance to have fun and be someone else. Lately, I've lost the reason I came here.

I work alot in SL now. Running a business here is.... time consuming at the least. You need to be every part of the business. You are the designer, creator, marketing, Customer Service. Alot of bigger designers hire someone to do these things for them. I'm not a bigger designer. After two years of shoe making, you'd think I would be.

And here in lies the rub. Two years. 730 days. I don't think there has been a day, without it being LL's fault, that I haven't logged in. I've spent two years of my life, building, designing. I love it. I really do. I love having my creative vision made real.. well.. virtually real. But I kinda figured after two years, I'd be a bit bigger. I'm still a relatively unknown shoe maker.

Not expecting over night success. I've read all the blogs about marketing in SL. I've been doing most of those things from the beginning. Maybe I'll get some anon posts telling me what I'm doing wrong. Hey.. maybe even some NON anon posts.

I guess what I'm saying here is, I'm closing the store at the end of the month for a few days. Just gonna do a little revamp. Hopefully I'll get some great feedback and hear what people wanna see from me.

Here's to another year, hopefully. Thank you for all the support over these two years. Thank you to the bloggers who have reviewed my store. Thank you to the people who bought my first HORRIBLE shoes. Thank you to the people who drop notecards on me about how much they like my stuff. And a preThank you for the people who leave me a comment and some feedback. I appreciate it. Good or bad, nice or snarky. Tell me I suck, tell me I rock. Tell me what YOU wanna see from ME and my Brand.

Rowan Carroll

6 comments:

Millie said...

Well you know the shoe business is most affected by sculpties. Given the market at the moment, it's virtually impossible to stay in high competition without that. People are spoiled by great realistic results that sculpties can give, they don't care all that much for prim shoes anymore.
So my two cents: try going along with the flow to be the tomorrow of SL shoe scene.

Sai Pennell said...

Just the other day I was thinking about this. I thought: I wonder why Rowan hasn't dipped into sculpties yet?

I think sculpties are indeed the future of SL, and without them, it will be difficult to stay ahead of things. I love the creativity of your shoes - but I also think they could really be something incredible if a few parts of them were sculpty. ^^

Sculpties are difficult to learn, and can be intimidating, but I think for shoes - they are worth it to learn. ^^

Keep learning and keep going, Rowan, you'll get there ^^

Anonymous said...

hi Rowan...I'm just a shopper--not a fashion blogger thingy person...but I popped into your store (didn't have alot to poke about) but one thing I would suggest is to re-do your displays. I'm on of the many who go into a store and like to see one larger prim showing the outfit, shoe, design then smaller boxes underneath showing the color options I can purchase. Makes it easier to see the detail of the design and also to quickly spot what you are looking for (boots, fancy heels, flats, etc). Anything else makes my head spin and I find it hard to see details on the smaller prims or find things that I am looking for. Sorta like how ETD displays her hair is what I am thinking.

Just an idea :) and I need to go back though cause I did see a pair of shoes I wanted but didn't have time to grab LOL. Never been there before and you have an amazing selection and I am normally not a shoe shopper!

Misty harley who used anonymous

Casandra Shilova said...

Hi,
Since you asked for feedback, I went to your shop just to comment. I agree with what everyone said.

Shoes displayed on shelves is a nice touch(Shiny Things). How about shoe boxes shaped like shoe boxes? In RL they sometimes have a picture of the shoe on the ends with the color (red) on the same label. And the designer logo on the lid.

I think you could use some time working on textures, shading and reflections. Your sculptie satin shoes don't really have the shine in a convincing location. The laced up tonals etc need vertical shading on the straps, not just horizontal color change. I would recommend taking the shoes out of your closet, putting them in a good light, and studying the details very carefully. Buy shoes from people you admire and try to figure out why you picked that particular shoe.

Plus, I don't buy shoes without trying them on first - so demos please and thank you.

I hope this was helpful, and I hope none of it was hurtful. I wouldn't want to do that to you.

Sasy Scarborough said...

First off HAPPY REZZZZZZZZZDAY Rowan *huggles* Looking at my inventory of all the shoes I have from your store you know of course my all time favourites are two completely different shoe styles.

First off of course the fish platforms, because they forever will rock, secondly are of course the brown stacked wedges...I remember when you released those, the story about you were making a texture for building and it looked so good you made shoes out of them.

the style the colours the stacked wedge itself are all fabulous and I personaly would love to see you do a few more of those. Believe it or not you are up there in names with other shoe creators, but you are known for quirky shoes and you have always excelled at that.

but I also remember the collaberation you did with Popfuzz on the popdot espedrielles, again another 'normal' style shoe but with Rowan flavour.

As much as you love being creative and out there with your shoes, because I know you have so many designers you admire that do that kind of shoe RL, I have seen you mention that in the past, I think more of a mix is needed.

Make people think of you for 'shoes' not just 'Unusual Shoes' even though that is the intent of your store, and maybe look for those quirky designers out there and try some collaberations.

anyway just my ramblings, love and hugs and kisses, you are a star to many for more reasons than just shoes <3

xoxox Sasy xoxo

Quaintly Tuqiri said...

Hey Rowan, I never thought you were relatively unknown... I rezzed in-world on Dec 17 last year (that's what, less than 3 months ago) and I know both your name and your store ;)

I agree with Sasy's suggestion, perhaps you could collaborate with some designers like what Alienbear Gupte (jewellery) is doing right now with Sparkle Skye (clothing) for St. Patrick's Day and what Alchemy Angels and Alienbear did for Valentine's Day. Gotta admit that's some powerful advertising.

Also, I don't know whether you've done this, but you could have some kind of photography contest like what Bewitched or Sin & Secrets is doing -- ask people to submit photos taken wearing your shoes. To make it fun, you could specify a theme. Contests could be run maybe every quarter or every 6 months (that way it won't be too much to keep up with, I'm hoping!). The prize could be gift vouchers to your store -- Bewitched promises to design a hair named after the winner, I think that is great too.

Going further with the photo idea, I think it would be great to show off your shoes by having pictures of people wearing them with various outfits, and placing these promo pictures around your store -- something like what ETD has now done. Sometimes, you know, people might look at a shoe by itself and think, "I'd never wear that," but put it together with an outfit, and they'll see how the shoe completes the whole look, how it can work for them. I think especially because your shoes are quirky, people need to see that the quirkiness enhances the outfit and turns something 'normal' or boring into something unique and interesting.

I never thought about the store display, but I like Misty Harley's idea. Sometimes with lag, the individual boxes don't rez and I have trouble finding out what's in them lol. If I knew it was a single style in many colours that would help lots.

As for sculpties... sometimes it's tough because with lag (my Internet connection is a real pain, and my PC's not the fastest!) sculpties appear as round balls and won't rez properly. It doesn't happen often but when it does... lol. So maybe you could have a mixture of sculpties and prim shoes. I'd think there's no need to abandon prim shoes altogether. But I do agree that sculpties, when they display correctly, are pretty!

I'm looking forward to the reopening of your store. Good luck with the remodelling, and happy happy Rezday!!

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