In case you’re wondering what’s going on with that, this post is for you. Now, I’ll elaborate. I knew from the beginning that designing would be the easy part. Over two decades’ worth of miniaturizing has left me with an extremely clear idea of which products stores are missing. Within about ten minutes, I’m not kidding, I had over 50 designs for windows I wanted–for me! Yes, I really hope you want these things, too, both because I do genuinely love this industry and because I have a son who’s dreaming of medical school. I can create anything is a heady thought but one that quickly overwhelms when you’re seated at your battle station and staring into a blank screen on Maya.
Which leads me to my (other) challenges:
Production is expensive. Creating something on Shapeways, the actual fabrication process, is easy. I’m not going to lie to you and pretend that I’m creating these fireplaces I’ve been posting on Instagram with wizardry. Anyone who thinks designing on a computer is “cheating” has never tried. I wouldn’t have ever grasped Photoshop, let alone something so much more complicated, if I weren’t already a classically trained artist. The true talent, however expressed, is always in the artist–not the material. That all being said, no method of fabrication is cheap. I purchased three of that first fireplace so I could examine, in person, the differences in finishes in their signature nylon. That cost me over 250 USD. Let’s all be grateful my husband’s a tech bro! If, however, I’d gone about first sculpting the fireplace at my workbench and then pursued a traditional casting process, I wouldn’t have spent less. In other words: yes, of course, I could list this thing for sale on Shapeways but no, I wouldn’t as there’d be no point. I can’t revolutionize the industry with a product line that’s prohibitively expensive. Part of the draw in this, for me, is selling things that I could’ve realistically saved up for, myself, back when I was eight and paying for my hobby with my blueberry money.
Getting a decent production deal means getting a decent contract, which means leverage. But…today? My Instagram, while awesome, is tiny. I’m nowhere near achieving my apex goal of appearing in a Buzzfeed listicle. I need people to know who I am, and that means producing my prototypes on my own measly nickel and then, most vitally of all, displaying their awesomeness in my own finished dollhouses. In so doing, you see, the idea is that–even more, equally awesome–people will take notice. I need the kind of people who help people like me produce things in mass quantities to know who I am. Which brings me to my last point, which is….
Going back to my original point, I have no idea what anyone wants to buy. I mean, I suppose I could, just, try to create everything and hope something sticks? But why not just ask you what you, as a fellow mini enthusiast, wish you could buy? Feedback is everything and I’m optimistic that, as I share my own initial ideas, you’ll favor me with your thoughts! Then again, though, why wait? Tell me: what’s missing from the market? A certain door, or window, piece of furniture or, indeed, entire house? What bothers you most about the (yes, of course, supremely awesome in every other way) kits on the market today?