One Thing Leads to Another

This is part of Stitches South Debriefing and Spring Mad Dash. Weird that I can combine them into a single thought of which I have mixed emotions.  The ugly term is lifestyle creep. The more pleasant term is aspirational lifestyle.  I think of it as upgrades. 

Example A:

We finished the outside home improvements, doors and windows. Yeah!  The practical justifications of better sound and weather insulation, security and easier long-term maintainence was worth the expense.  But…but…NOW the entry areas connected to the doors look really shabby.  

Which lead to:

I HAVE to the clean and organize the breezeway (as if Martha Stewart is coming for a photo shoot. Not really.  Just so it’s no longer a dump site and frustrating).  Got rid of 3 old door mats and runner. Replacing it with the one in the front hall. (Now I need a runner for the front hall.)

I HAVE to spruce up the front entry and the adjacent dining room. And maybe the stairway. Paint is the easiest solution here. And maybe….the list could go on and on. 

Creep, creep, creep

 

Dishwasher in repair starts a new upgrade creep

 
Example B:

Then the dishwasher leaked. The runner had to be dried outside. 

Which lead to:

Clean the runner while it’s outside. 

May as well replace the runners, so more of the floor is protected. Two longer and wider runners for under $100. Worth it. 

I can use the old cleaned kitchen runner in the front hall. It was a scrap from the dining room rug. 

The bare stone floors now look really dirty, so need to a deep cleaning and seal. 

Yeah, sisal will make a great background for summer settings. You might see sisal and stone floors as photo background.

Creep, creep, creep

Back to example A, I’m looking at paint swatches for the entries. And dreaming of fresher walls and ceiling. My version of the upgrade multiplier. Elbow grease, a couple of cans of paint and two new runners. 

Dreaming of clean white and sky blue ceiling contrasting existing wall colors

Creep, creep, creep

Backtrack to Stitches South:

Stepping into these vendor booths was like walking into a yarnie version West Elm or Anthroplogie or your dream LYS. 

  • Plucky is luxury color (bright colored walls, vignetted shelves, cashmere). Too much of a feeding frienzy. Too crowded for me. 
  • YOTH is subtle luxury (barn wood panel walls and floor, black metal fixture, tonals). Also to crowded and sold out of many items. 
  • Fringe is simple, clean, fresh, earthy & natural (cotton muslin, natural woods). I did by souvenirs there. 

Hmm….I understand the social media buzz around them now. They also were the most popular vendors at the market. 

Then I read this: Where Are We Heading? Knitting as Lifestyle Brand?  Karie laments the transition of the knitting world being tainted by the commercial world of marketing and branding. She sites Gweneth Paltrow’s Goop and Blake Lively’s Preserve as the celebrities lifestyle setters.  

I thought I was immune to this idea of lifestyle creep.  No such thing. My triggers would be Eileen Fisher and Alabama Chanin with a touch of Issae Miyaki. What can I say, I like it a little simple, funky, & asymmetrical. 

Even though those vendor booths were crowded, I enjoyed being there. I can imagine each as a wonderful ideal upscale local yarn shop. A great place to meet friends, visit, discover something new, spend money…

Seems inevitable, as more vendors enter the fiber business, how else to standout when everyone has similar products?  You have to distinguish yourself by something, a unique product, limited quantities, higher price, a luxury item…. conveying your intent by the atmosphere you are creating quickly send a message to the customer. 

The CreativeLive workshops definitely stress the idea of knowing your customer, focusing your brand, & creating an experience. None of what I do right now with the Etsy shop. But since I am the chief cook and bottle washer, priority was on the product itself. 

It wasn’t that I was fighting this whole idea of branding and focus.  Keeping things simple and easy has been for my sanity. 

The easiest thing I can start with is the photography. It’s time to start playing around with the background. Now, I need the lights and reflectors. Almost everything else, I can borrow from around the house. 

Now that the house is starting to look better. 

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