Upcycled Display and a Creative Mindset - an Interview with Jake from Storyology

I met Jake in Excelsior at the Flea and Outdoor market this summer. A few of us makers found ourselves in a line together while the vintage and flea market resellers filled the edges of the green space. Immediately, Jake introduced himself to his immediate booth neighbor, Donna, and then to me shortly after. This was a great way to start the day. I immediately knew I had friendly neighbors who I could chat with, learn from, and look out for each other if a bathroom or snack break was necessary.

Jake has a unique product and a unique display for it. It's genius and a great way to repurpose items for your booth, something I like to do too!

First, it might help to know what he sells. Jake and his wife run Storyology which creates these beautiful but simple social games.

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These games are very aesthetically pleasing but they are also flat. You don't want to lay flat items on a table or people who pass by won't see them or be drawn in to investigate.

Instead, Jake came up with a way to hang them. He didn't hang them on a grid wall, nor a peg wall, and not even on shelves.

He hung them from shutters. Yep, that's right, like what goes next to a window.

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I took these pictures while he was still setting up but you get the idea. He has multiple sizes and styles and even uses the shutters as legs for a counter-like table. This table is where he invites customers to try the game. Every shutter, even the ones used as a part of the table, can hold product by using these little metal hooks he bent to slip between the slats of each shutter.

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He showed me how you can even use a bent hairpin if that's what you have on hand. He has since graduated to more sturdy metal pieces he gets from the hardware store. Another thing I didn't even notice until looking back at these photos is his color theme. The panels are a great neutral cream color that allows the wood games to pop. The packaging of each game has an accent color such as the blue one you see in the above photo. Jake uses that pop of color on the packaging and echoes it in the blue fabric he drapes across his demonstration table. This allows for a simple but pleasing theme across his booth.

Such a cool idea!

Fun display ideas weren't the only thing I learned from Jake that day. As you know by now, he was very friendly and open to chatting with people around him. I overheard him explaining a philosophy on creativity to another vendor. When I had a moment, I zipped over to ask about it myself.

Jake referenced a book called "Orbiting the Giant Hairball" By Gordon Mackenzie, subtitled “A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace”. Jake described how the author discusses his desire to allow for creativity in the workplace when most corporations and business models have deadlines and push for results. The creative process is compared to getting milk from a cow.

You can't make a cow give you milk any faster than its normal process. The cow has to graze on grass, then hang out in the field. Eventually, it will produce milk. This is like creativity. We need to allow time for the process if we want to see results.

However, just as soon as Jake finished telling me this analogy, he laughed and said how he also heard someone else once tell him once that their creative process thrived off of deadlines and procrastination. They could only be creative when they were forced to make stuff due to a deadline.

We both laughed and I returned to my booth with my own new bit of information.

Every person is different. Some of us need to be left alone to make, wonder, and create. Others of us need a kick in the behind and an impending deadline to help us conquer the blank page.

Do you resonate with one of those processes?

 

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