I need some help from all you crafty Arizonans (phoenicians, specifically) in making my dream a reality.
I've already brought this up in the Business Ventures thread to get help picking a name, and now I want to bring it back home
I live in the heart of Tempe, and I've lived all over the Phoenix metro area. One thing I've noticed is that if you're a college student or a young professional, it's difficult to find affordable, stylish furniture.
You've got two options, basically - IKEA or thrift/yard sales.
IKEA is great for basics, but when I was walking out of my old apartment in Tempe, I happened to see FIVE ikea lamps, identical to mine, through various windows and on porches. I figured, if they have my lamp, they probably have my sofa, my coffee table, my dresser, and everything that I got at IKEA.
Thrift shopping for great pieces is fun, but it's just not practical for most people. You need a truck, a place to work on your finds, and the time and patience to invest in finding that perfect piece. Most people give up and take the IKEA route.
So, I thought, why not take the work out of it? Why isn't there a store where they go to yard sales, thrift stores, estate sales, and their customers (trade-ins), pick out the great pieces, clean them up and apply a little style, and resell them for a still-low price, and even deliver to apartment dwellers with bikes and tiny cars? I'd shop there and I know a lot of people who would. Sort of... a Buffalo Exchange for furniture and housewares.
I happen to have the great fortune of working as a graphic artist for a valley business that specializes in training entrepreneurs. We're encouraged to "walk the talk" and eventually leave to start our own endeavors, should we desire. LaunchPad is what I want to do, and I have the assistance and support to forge ahead and do that.
However, I think all great things are created from the community up, so this seems like a good place to start
I have a few questions:
1. Am I re-inventing the wheel? Can you think of anything else in the Valley like this? I'm aware of places like Rezurrection Gallery, etc - but it's a different feel from what I think I need to provide. This is clean, inexpensive, modern furniture. No rotating beds or velvet Elvis here - retro influences, while fun, will be sparingly applied.
2. Would you shop at a place like this?
3. Would you work at a place like this? We'd need people who are interior wizards - jacks-of-all-trades who can work with wood, simple reupholstery, etc. Your schedule would be self-directed and your creativity would be honored and nurtured.
4. Here's the biggie: I know, from a banker or a venture capitalist's perspective, that the management team is the biggest piece. I've got great ideas, but without real experience at the helm it'll go nowhere. I'll need a partner, and I'll trade half of the remaining shares of the business (after investors) to compensate. Can you think of someone (maybe yourself?) with good retail store experience, great business acumen, and a desire to branch out and try something new?
I hope this didn't sound too hokey or too much like an ad. I've been a lurker for some time, and I know the Craftster crowd would be a great resource for questions like this.
Your help is much appreciated! At the very least, you'll be helping to create a cool Valley location to get awesome stuff for your home.