Growing a Merchandising Mind by Greenie Lane
Blending second and first lives, Greenie Lane creates an ambiance of romantic celebration. No holiday is complete without one of her themed outfits. No gowns are more elegant because, as a designer, she lives her own fantasy.
Growing a Merchandising Mind by Greenie Lane
Creating in Second Life® is easier than in real life. I can build a house in one day. But running a business in SL is harder because I must do all myself. In real life, staff can take care of your phone or administrative tasks.
Getting help with the business in-world can be risky. People can get their ass kicked when they take people on trust—so called managers. They end up with stolen designs or thrown off sims, etc., etc. There is a lot drama in SL. So I decided, from the beginning, that I must do it alone. It works out too, because I’m very picky.
But doing all myself also gives me lots of stress sometimes. Surprises can upset my momentum. Suddenly, all the items might come back from a satellite store because the sim owners there decided to move. Without warning, I might have to redo a whole store. The unexpected always happens, and I have to be flexible.
There is so much more than just ideas in my business—design may be half. The other half is marketing, retailing, keeping everything up-to-date. I need two days to put all in boxes, add to Marketplace, put in stores, add into the blog, etc.
SL is a huge place. I’ve only seen and know maybe 10%. This week, I have a new issue. Someone wants a dress, but has a mesh avatar, and hopes I can make that design fit. I thought: ‘Oh my God, now they start with mesh avatars! So is the next step to make clothes for them too?’
It is better to specialize in a few things instead of trying to do all. But I want do it all! I do weddings here for friends and built this place with a chapel. They can party in the ballroom after. They get the place for free, and do their own invitations, bring a minister, and animations. Big events can be done in the square where the fountains are. We cover the water with a dance floor and rezz a big stage.
Perhaps the hardest change over the years is that customers no longer find me in-world first. Yet, Marketplace gets flooded with cheap mesh clothes in 100 colors. Customers must browse through five hundred pages! A lot of sellers don’t even get stores in-world anymore. I, too, browse on Marketplace. But most times, I teleport to an in-world store, and if they ain’t got one, I don’t buy. It seems lazy to just add to MP and go. Even when starting with no lindens, they can still have a nice store. It shows the heart with it too—if they pay attention to it or not.
A store does takes time to build. A friend started one, and said “I sold five dresses already.” So I asked, “you sold them to friends?” She said “yes.” I replied: “Thats why …they try to be nice. Be careful. They will do it once or twice, and then nothing after. That is not a good test for a product.”
SL is better for older people who have more respect for each other. If there are problems, it is most often the younger person that starts shouting “I want a refund, blah blah” before they even listen to an answer or sort the problem. They lack manners. Youngsters in real life argue on mobiles and Facebook, etc. They over react easily.
I’m a wimp. I just can’t upset people, even a mad customer. I always try for a happy end, within reason. But my hairs get raised if I see a note that says immediately: “I want my money back.” Some people just don’t want be helped. They just want to complain or just want the item or the money back. Most times I get complaints, it is because the customer did not read the notecard or don’t understand the language. Maybe, all they needed to do was unpack the box. Instead of figuring it out, they attack. But there may also be something up with SL. For two years, I ran a SL beta viewer, and I saw the same bugs show up all the time. When one gets fixed, another came back again. So I gave up on that.
Now my focus is on G&T Creations as an experience for customers. Though more will buy my creations than visit the sim, by building event settings, the mood, and participating with customers, it all makes me a better designer.
PLEASE: “Living the Fantasy” (in-world only) where Greenie describes how she built her fashion business and made her virtual lifestyle real, and
“A Wide Creative Focus” (online only) for how Greenie creatively does so much.
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Eleanor Medier (avatar of Liane Sebastian)
Liane Sebastian wears an editor’s hat, designer’s coat, and artist’s shoes.
Sim Street Journal explores the relevance of second to first life. © 2014 by Eleanor Medier, Sim Street Journal. Articles cannot be reprinted without permission.