Last Friday we finally opened the doors of our 15 Orchard Street shop! Finally! After a long summer of planning, working on top of each other in our tiny office and stressing about how much business we were losing in the meantime IT'S DONE. There have been countless late nights and tons of boxes to unpack but it's all been worth it. Seeing it all come together was especially rewarding because I'd been treating this project as my second chance to make my dream shop. In the end, it's exactly how I'd pictured it all these months. One of the things we'd been keeping secret is a new in-store-only feature: CW Sticker Emporium! Before I attempt to explain this, let me tell you that I have a LOT of obsessions. Though pencils are my first and most important love, my hankering from specialty objects doesn't end there. Anyone who knows me well know that these things include decorative paper napkins, postage stamps, glue and especially stickers (amongst many other things). Months ago when I first got it in my head that I wanted to open a tiny sticker emporium the prospect of having to re-locate the pencil shop came up and it seemed like the right time to look for a space where we could do both. I keep referring to it like it's the porn room in the back of a video shop, except that it's a sticker room in the back of a pencil shop.
At first I was a little worried that our customers would be confused, but then I realized that a room full of well-organized stickers brings on the same type of excited satisfaction and undeniable joy that pencils do. It seemed to make more sense once I started to understand it as a feeling I was trying to translate and less a seemingly unrelated thing. Besides, we've been making, selling and sharing stickers in other forms for a while ago--something we stepped up once this idea was in the making to prime everyone for what was to come (does anyone remember the sticker pack promo we did a couple of months ago?).
Now that it's a real thing, I feel less self conscious about the sticker room's relatability to the rest of the "brand". After all, this "brand" was unintentionally built on obsessiveness and nostalgia, something that I wish I could interpret into a whole block of shops. I guess that this months confession isn't really confession but more an admission of relief that this strange thing we decided to do has come to fruition and actually seems to fit.
After all, who doesn't love stickers? The audible gasps we hear when customers walk to the back of the shop and realize that there's a room stickers there is worth all of the uncertainty. And now when we're feeling stressed about all of the serious work that goes on behind the scenes of our mini pencil empire we have a safe space to hang out where it's impossible to feel stressed. Mini dogs, color coding dots, fish sticker flakes, photorealistic tropical fruits, little people doing things--there are so many stickers of so many things, it's a nice escape from reality encapsulated in a 7' x 11' box.
I'm realizing more and more that it's not just my job to be a pencil expert but also to spread the infectious pleasure found in simple objects. Maybe one day my official job title will be Professional Specialist.