The TINY BUSINESS POSTCARD STORY
By: Victoria RAE MOORE
Maybe you’ve noticed these around town or perhaps one has appeared in your mailbox.
As we grow our NETWORK of TINY businesses in Charleston:
We start with an introduction; a phone call to the business, a letter or brief visit to tell them who we are and express our interest in collaboration. Then we schedule a time for talking guided by a booklet of thought-provoking questions like “How old is old?” “What do you love about work?” “What has had impact on your growth?” “What can you imagine 3 years from now?” “How do you define Artist-Activist-Educator?” Answers to the questions reveal curiosities, opinions, memories, personality, fears and aspirations. And at the end we ask to take a simple, candid photograph.
We SHARE a conversation. We TAKE a picture. And we wonder, what can we GIVE? POSTCARDS! The businesses can use them for promotions if they want, keep them for souvenirs, or share them with customers, friends and family.
The CARDS are designed with a photo of the business owner as the backdrop for his or her own words in bright, bold colors. A few different versions are sent to the business owner. They can choose a favorite or ask for maybe a different photo or quote to be used. We want them to be happy with the representation.
As GIFTS, we build stands to display the postcards and pre-address a few with stamps to send to elected officials and neighboring TINY businesses. We encourage the business owners to write notes on the postcards inviting recipients into the business or maybe expressing concerns to their government representatives. It’s not enough for us, the organizers, to know the people in this network; we all should know (or at least know OF) each other. It is the relationships we form, stories we share, actions ignited by ideas we exchange, our unique perspectives, our close proximity and a willingness to participate that make conNECKtedTOO.
The network is growing and a POSTER is in the works. At the moment six community artists and four youth apprentices are developing more art tools with TINY businesses including a visual diary, storytelling exchanges, event performances and games. We are always experimenting and exploring possibilities.
If you know any Charleston TINY businesses you feel would be interested in our process please send an email with their information to conNECKtedTOO@gmail.com or give us a call at 843-723-1018