2014.05.21

I’m not sure, at this moment, what I’ll end up doing. It will probably be something so far away from what I ever imagined. Or it’ll be exactly what I’ve been planning my whole life. It’ll be a tiny shop, just one big window. A narrow space on a side street, not too busy, but somewhere where people walk and ride past. We have a bike rack out front. We have a striped awning, like a French cafe. Inside, we have a rack of homemade zines. Pick one up and browse. They’re cheap, so most people end up buying one when they just came in to browse. On the other wall hang suits and ties and shirts, all handmade. Not just handmade, hand sewn. I’m behind the counter sewing something right now. We have a kitchen in the back, and cookies are baking. They’ll be ready in a minute.

I want to get it started. I don’t want to wait until it’s perfect. I don’t want to wait until we have the right space. We’ll do it in our driveway, if possible. I keep coming back to walking down the street in Halifax, and there were two girls sitting outside their house, selling drinks. Not kids. College-aged girls. That’s audacious, but it’s the kind of audaciousness I can wrap my head around. I will not sell door-to-door. But you can come to me.

Something’s wrong with the wi-fi. It just stopped connecting. It does that sometimes. The best part of this pop-up shop idea is how you can change the identity from shop to shop. It’ll all live under one big name, but each month, season, whatever measure of time we’re using (which is going to change from idea to idea. Sometimes we’ll get excited about one and want to keep doing it. Sometimes the people won’t love something we love, and we’ll have to change it out faster), there will be a new name on the door. Cameron House isn’t going anywhere. That’s still going to be my imprint for publishing (and we’re going to do zines about each of our incarnations). But you can’t have the same name for a pizza restaurant and a teahouse, a knitting group and an ice cream shop. New brands, new logos.

I love making that stuff anyway. That’s part of what I love making. Creating identities and giving things titles and names, and drawing logos is all part of my enjoyment about small business. I’ve been doing it my whole life. (I need to go reboot the modem. BRB.) Things will change as we go along, but that’s what I love, too. It’s an organic, living thing. It’s an idea that always changing because we’re always changing. When we get tired of making pizza and running a restaurant, we’ll do a month of sitting on our butts and writing. When we need to get outside in the beautiful weather, we’ll grow herbs and sell salts. When we’re stuck inside because it’s too damn cold, we’ll bake bread. We’ll make one big quilt over the course of a month and do it where everyone can see. We’ll make a zine at the end of every incarnation.

I had this thought yesterday: it’s like a food truck, except the content changes, instead of the location. People won’t know what we’re going to make next. It’ll be a grand opening every month. We’ll throw a party, like a gala for the opening of a gallery or a play. We’ll have a going away sale at the end, to clear out the products for the next idea. We’ll repeat lots. Some ideas, the best ideas, will become staples, and people will look forward to them every year. Instead of bringing back the McRib, we’ll bring back peach ice cream in August. You can’t get it any other time, and you’ll crave it. You’ll tell your friends, the anticipation will build, and as soon as we open up our ice cream shop, there’s a line of people waiting. Then it goes away for another year.

We’ll also sell online, but limited stuff. I mean, the zines, obviously. Maybe knitting patterns, sewing patterns. If you want my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, you have to come to the house. Because it’ll be like a tiny house. Like a garage. Open in the summer, but we can close it up during the winter. A side door to the kitchen where you can buy ice cream and pick up a take away lasagne and order your Sunday bread delivery. (I don’t know why the internet isn’t working. So frustrating. I’ll have to look at my phone to check.) We don’t blog; we make zines. The zines are the blog and some are free, but some you have to buy, and you can buy a subscription. You get the zine, and you also get a free thing that we did that month. You buy a subscription and get the bread zine, as well as a free loaf.