What does a design firm do when the sluggish economy forces clients to cut back and spend less? We crank up a studio store and create cool stuff to sell to the general public! One nice thing about downsizing is getting more free space to do creative things (like turning your conference area into a retail boutique!) Since we have extra space in our building, and we have created a plethora of cool prints & gifts, retail seemed like an easy way to “make lemonade out of economic lemons.” Retail is actually fun—we have enjoyed talking to people who walk in off the street to browse and shop our Spirit of Nashville and Art & Soul of America creations. In between creating logos, brochures, book covers, etc., we find ourselves chatting it up with folks who are looking for art to decorate homes and offices. Or advising shoppers as to the perfect gift for co-workers, parents, graduating kids, friends or lovers! That’s the cool thing about design—you can sell your art on everything from note cards, posters, and tote bags to t-shirts, mugs and magnets.
Anyway, most folks don’t know we have a retail store inside our design firm, so we printed some of our most popular designs onto metal signs and mounted them to the outside of our building. Now everyone who drives by can see the place where all of those Nashville prints come from. Only problem is, retail customers expect us to be open during retail hours! So we are looking into how we can keep the studio store open past 5:00 and on Saturday.