First, I would sell "everything else", meaning anything that isn’t owned by Wal-mart, or by some trendy mall boutique chain, or by an Internet category-killer like Amazon.com. I would sell an odd assortment of quality merchandise. As I mentioned last time, my earliest model was a store in Williamstown called Where Did You Get That?! They sell curios, novelties, toys, games – all manner of unusual and fun merchandise. It’s the kind of store where you never know what you’ll find around the next corner, and that is the feeling I want to create at
Besides “everything else”, my other main concept is “everyone else”. That is, my customers will be people like myself (except with money!) who need to buy gifts but hate to shop. I will offer an assortment of high-quality merchandise at reasonable prices, with no tasteless trash to wade through. I’ll offer original greeting cards. I’ll offer gift-wrapping on the spot. The idea is to be a painless, one-stop destination for people who need to get gifts but aren’t inclined to shop around for them. “Gifts to go” is my catch phrase for this concept.
Armed now with a goal, I started kicking around some names, relying on a thread in my favorite Internet forum, Octopus Overlords. I polled these names: Everything Else, The Worthwhile Shop, WorthWhile, And Another Thing, and The Odd Store. “
Anne and I took a couple of road trips, scoping out different types of gift shops in resort towns and tourist areas. Each one helped me refine my ideas about merchandise and presentation. A local chain with the awful name Funusual does something near the concept that I was settling on. They do it in malls, though, where I don’t want to go. And the last time I looked, they had no Web presence worth speaking of.
In late July 2005 we had dinner with our old friend Michelle Chambers, who owns a web design firm called New Tilt. I picked her brain about business in general and Web business in particular. Based on that conversation, and on a suggestion from Anne, I decided to open
Once this decision was made, things happened rapidly. I opened a mailbox at the
I got my federal EIN, and incorporated as an S Corporation on Dale’s advice. Then I trademarked the name
By late August 2005, I was finishing up a highly detailed website spec and looking for a developer. I had extremely ambitious plans to create
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