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Another day, another party …

Posted by Dave Bull at   7:22 PM, November 16, 2014 [Permalink]

Which is worse, a blog post with no pictures, or no blog post …

We had a chance for the perfect photo to illustrate this post today, but we simply didn't have a chance to snap it. When I say 'we', I mean staffer Shiba-san and I, who were running the ship today, and we certainly didn't have time to mess around with cameras!

It was a beautifully clear blue sky Sunday, and Roku-dori (as our street is officially known) was jammed from late morning until long after we shut the door around six or so. That's nothing unusual for this street, but - as I have mentioned before here on this blog and in the A Story A Week - traffic on the street hasn't translated directly into traffic up our stairs.

But we've been playing around with the entranceway a bit, and are now on (I think) our 4th iteration of the poster on the front door, and we've also put a pamphlet rack down there, and have put a series of signs on the stair risers: … Come up … and browse … our prints ...

It's been helping, bit by bit, and today things kind of clicked, because it was a madhouse here for much of the afternoon. At one point, we had people coming up the stairs, trying to poke their nose in, and heading back down; there was simply no room for them.

The first Print Party started around one in the afternoon (reserved online) with five people, and the next group of three was waiting for me as they finished, and the next group was waiting after them. And in-between, other people - who couldn't wait long enough - ended up leaving with no chance to try it …

The photo I wanted to show you was the scene I caught a glimpse of just near the end of one Party, with the Party room full, the next three people getting their aprons on, more people on stools waiting in line, and in the 'distance' people spilling into the hallway from the shop area.

We actually didn't sell a ton of stuff today, and just made our 'base target' (the daily level we need to keep things going), but a major factor in that was the fact that it was just too difficult for people to quietly look at prints.

I have no idea how to start to get this chaos organized. I think the Print Parties will settle down; once they become more widely known, we'll simply ask everybody to reserve in advance, and won't do the 'drop in, let's do this anytime' that we are currently offering. That should stabilize the Party side, but as for the shop, there isn't much I can do at this point. We have a very tight space, and there is simply no way that we can expand it.

And of course it isn't going to be like this every day. Tomorrow and the next day will be very quiet probably, perhaps nobody at all will come in, and we'll be able to get some printing work done, as well as some of the waiting paperwork.

Our roller-coaster ride continues ...





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