NaBloPoMo: Friday 5

Friday5.Com: November 2

If you suddenly received a ton of money and could open up some kind of store or service just for the pleasure of having it (assume it wouldn’t have to be too financially successful!), what would it be? Hmm.  Probably an art store. A proper one, with paints and pencils and Copic markers, plus really good quality paint brushes and the hard to get paper. No crap – no glitter glue or face paint or any of that filler garbage for scrapbookers and children (my local art shops have been taken over by these products – I cannot get ANY decent drawing paper, but they have every single Cristina Re product ever released.)

It would be all wood, with polished concrete floors, and the signage would be brass letters in lowercase. I’d even have a few Macs and Wacom products set up for testing out and for classes I’d run. I’d keep tons of art books – the big, heavy ones – and would encourage all types of art – from manga and graffiti-style, to oil portraits and watercolour scenery. The uniform would be a t-shirt. probably in a deep blue or green, with my logo on the front and a famous quote by an artist on the back. Oh, that just sounds amazing – I haven’t quite put aside this dream yet; maybe one day I will be able to open it! :)

What service or store that no longer exists do you miss most? I really, really miss Borders and Angus & Robertson in Australia. There are now only three book stores I can get to (not including the second-hand book store, but that’s luck-of-the-draw, when it comes to availability); one of them is privately own and insanely expensive, with a very small range. One of them is new chain, and they are totally clueless (Fifty Shades… was in the Young Adult section. Talk about not knowing your product) and the third is just weird. It’s half discount books, so super odd and limited-interest stuff, and half normal-book store, so the wider-interest stuff is expensive.

With Borders and Angus & Robertson gone, there’s no big competition making sure the other stores are keeping up-to-date with new releases or making their prices competitive. It’s so bad that I’ve turned to swiping any Kindle books that happen to be on sale (thank GOD my mother has an iPad!), and buying discounted books from Fishpond.

What local business do you think you could make better if you were to take it over? And if you don’t mind sharing, what changes would you make? My local art store! I’d make sure the customers were comfortable to ask me as many questions as they wanted. I’d definitely turn the focus back to art supplies, rather than craft and scrapbooking, because we have a lot of cheaper alternatives for craft and scrapbooking in this town. I’d bring back the classes and demonstration mornings. And I’d move all the stacks of product out of the window and do super fun displays incorporating both the products and any art skills all the employees had.

What spot nearby seems to be impossible for businesses to survive in? Our local CBD, an open-air mall, is totally dead since a few big businesses pulled out. At least two thirds of the shop fronts are empty, and what is left (that appear to be surviving) are discount or warehouse shops. Anything else is gone within months. It’s very sad, but our council desperately need to invest some money in tidying it up (like actually marking the road and the walkways properly; there is very little distinction at the moment, and I’ve see many people almost get hit.)

We’ve all seen stores that combined books and records, beer and laundry, or coffee and whatever. One of my favorite places to get coffee in Honolulu is a cafe and florist, and there is a car garage that’s also a diner in a town nearby. What would be a cool hybrid of two disparate ideas for somewhere you’d like to hang out? A hairdresser and a bookshop. That would be completely amazing; nab a new release and read whilst you get your hair done!

NanoWrimo Daily Word Count: 8,074/50,000