By Cybergrrl Oh
Meet AnnMarie McCellan, LowPrim< HighStyle Furniture
Who knew that kitchens would be a boon for Second Life designer AnnMarie McCellan?
“I wanted a kitchen – but the one I had was about 58 prims. I didn’t need all the fancy stuff like opening doors because I wasn’t planning on using (it), just wanted it for show,” recalls McCellan. “I thought I could keep the prim lower if I got creative with my textures. And now, my 14 prim kitchen is my best seller.”
McCellan’s furniture is modern and elegant, with simple clean lines. She says real life art and furniture inspire her, and she often finds herself counting prims in her head. She leaves modify rights on her work allowing customers to match pieces to their décor. A self-proclaimed “city gal,” McCellan’s designs are surprisingly affordable, and she’ll build custom pieces to boot.
You’d think that driving traffic would be the hardest part of her Second Life business, but McCellan says just getting her products out there can be a challenge. Despite criticism, McCellan is gung ho about using Lucky Chairs at her stores.
“I use Lucky Chairs with listener devices to help people find chairs on their letters,” McCellan explains. “I find that people who win stuff from the chairs will refer my store to their friends, and give the item as a gift because my items are transferable which further gets word of mouth out there–or come back to buy other stuff.”
She admits the biggest business challenge of all has been turning a profit.
Says McCellan, “The land tiers are very high, so my business doesn’t profit as much as I’d like. I make more money from doing word of mouth custom jobs.”
McCellan recently opened a jewelery store adjacent to her furniture store which has a small but diverse selection with–of course–a lucky chair. You can find her listed in the Fashion Consolidated vendor list.
What is her advice for other aspiring SL entrepreneurs?
“Don’t worry about starting small. Even if you just have a few items to sell, simply rent a small space–or put your work on slexchange.com or onrez.com,” says McCellan. “It also helps to look at other businesses and learn from both the good and bad you see in-world.”
McCellan also suggests asking questions of other designers.
“Whenever I meet another creator, I always engage her in a dialogue about her business. Other creators are often very willing to share their insights and experiences with you.”