Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n25)
Tammy's Take - By Tammy Leiber
posted: Dec. 14, 2007
Earlier this month, I was at the Indiana History Center gift shop, the Basile History Market, to buy some "A Christmas Story" leg lamp night lights to give as gifts.
That classic movie was written by Jean Shepherd and based on his childhood in Hammond, Indiana. The Indiana History Center wisely has embraced the movie's popularity and stocks a variety of "A Christmas Story" themed gift items alongside their impressive selection of works from other Indiana authors, artists, musicians and craftspeople.
I browsed the rest of the selection, hoping to cross a few names off my list and support Hoosier creativity at the same time. I didn't have much luck finding things I thought my friends would love.
"What I'm looking for," I thought, "is Edgy Indiana."
I realize that may strike some people as an oxymoron, but bear with me.
What I was looking for is a fun, quirky gift shop-think the dearly departed Turandot or Artsy Phartsy-solely featuring the products of my fellow Hoosiers. Several shops in Indianapolis carry some Hoosier-made goods along with their regular lines. What if someone compiled them, added some others and put it all in one storefront?
I started mentally compiling an inventory. Carmel's ReFind Originals, which makes handbags from recycled leather jackets. Socks from Nashville's For Bare Feet. Dan Axler's photo magnets of landmarks like Cath Inc. and Knobby's Restaurant and the Vogue.
Handmade clothing from art-fair vendors. My favorite semi-precious stone jewelry from a craftswoman in southern Indiana. Greeting cards with images from local artists. CDs of local bands.
Later that week, I went to the Harrison Center for the Arts' holiday show. Not only did I find another potential supplier (see photo) at Primary Colours' Toys exhibition, but by the end of the evening, I'd identified a management consultant, a buyer and a location for my pretend store. Someone asked about capital.
As so frequently happens, my great idea came to a screeching halt when met with the cold, hard reality of cash.
So, at this point, I'm throwing my idea into the public domain, hoping that someone with the wherewithal (and maybe even some experience running a retail business) will pick it up and run with it. And, of course, send me a note when it opens.
Tammy Lieber is a freelance writer who lives in Meridian Kessler, otherwise known as SoBro. A former reporter at the Indianapolis Business Journal, she now writes journalism and marketing pieces when she's not fixing up her house or enjoying the company of friends over a pint of Guinness. Her favorite spectator sport is politics, except on Sundays during football season. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org