Hey y’all, so it’s been a busy few weeks for TSJ. Two weeks ago was ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education) conference in Las Vegas, and last week, I finally moved out of the apartment I’ve been living in for three years…and into a house (well, an apartment attached to a house) about 20 minutes down the road in Middleton. I don’t officially move into the apartment part where I’ll be living until 9/1, so for these next few weeks, I’m sharing space in the house part attached to the apartment, along with the owners, my dear friend Andrea and her husband Roger, living in one of their guest rooms. My dissertation proposal is also on 9/1, and I still don’t have a job for the fall yet, so I’m kind of freaking out, and all the news coming out of Charlottesville isn’t helping. So in the meantime, my main (read: only) source of income is from selling jewelry with Hanna, and even that basically only covers spending money for the day – coffee, food, gas, and parking meters, now that I don’t live downtown anymore.
I have been brainstorming other ways to make money and get my mind off of a lot of the stresses of life. Andrea, my new housemate, is quite the crafter and even though she has a day job, she makes and sells a few craft-type items on the side. Mostly things like little purses and magnets. The other night, as I was going through one of the thirty-ish boxes into which I packed my entire life, I found a small bag with some of the activities I made for Nigeria month at school. One of the things we learned was that different tribes in Nigeria have different costumes. The first week, we drew life-size versions of them, and I kept on reviewing the names of the different items each week so the kids would remember them, like the abaya (a dress for Hausa women), gele/buba/iro (items of clothing for Yoruba women), and lion’s head shirt/trousers (outfit worn by Igbo men). In the final week, Tribal Games, one of the activities was to match up pictures I had drawn of the different items of clothing to the correct names of the items and to which tribe they belonged. The drawings of the outfits ended up looking so cute that I kept them, and looking over at Andrea crafting at the other end of the couch, I got my idea.
Imagine it: a set of refrigerator magnets of costumes from around the world, that you could mix and match on pictures of your friends, so it would look like they were dressed up in fun and fancy outfits!
I would draw and color them, and sell them in sets of two, one male outfit and one female outfit, and include an information card on the origins of said costumes. Since I got the idea from African costumes, I might start with some African designs, then expand to include other countries, cultures and regions, both contemporary and historical. I don’t know what to call them yet (Fridge Brilliance? Flat Friends? Press and Dress? Wait…I actually kind of like that one.)
So, readers, here’s where you come in. Please vote in these two polls, as to a) whether it’s a good idea and b) what you’d be interested in buying. The choice is yours!
And the second poll…