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Author Topic: Magic City Books / Archer Building  (Read 12957 times)
Conan71
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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2016, 11:34:02 am »

   On the one hand, I know this will be good for downtown.  On the other, I am really afraid of what it will do to my business and perhaps even the other businesses in our part of downtown.  Most of us over here are small fry working really really REALLY hard with what we got to make a go of it.  We have dreams and hopes of creating something wonderful ourselves.

Then you see this.  Someone with big pockets who can go in and make their own ideas happen and leave the rest of us possibly faltering and our years of hard work and dreams dashed. 

I look at First Fridays and see how my sales go dramatically down on that day compared to Fridays when that is not going on.

I think of some of our regular customers that we love to see.  I think in particular of the one gentleman and his little girl who come in every so often because she says she loves our store and likes going to Mods and the little Candy Castle across the street.  Then I imagine "Whats she going to choose when this big bookstore goes in with a giant chocolate shop next door?" 

Where are our local authors going to go now for their book signings?  To my store or this other one? Those books signings help us create a little buzz for our store. 


I have always known it would be a race against time.  That I would have to work really hard to grow and expand and better the business before the bigger competition and money would come into play downtown so that I could have a chance at competing. 

I have worked so hard to be a part of something, to try and use my talents to make Tulsa better. 

Perhaps I am just too small a person to make a difference, to compete and hopefully have my dreams come true. 

I can pivot and find a niche.... but then you always run the chance that, no matter how hard you work no matter how talented you are, no matter how hard you push, work day and night and weekends,  someone else with deeper pockets will waltz in and kick you off to the side.  It's tough out here. 



This is where the Deco District needs to come up with regular promotions like First Friday or figure out a way to get people to come through the DD on their way to or from First Friday.  Either that or you need to be doing promotions when you have the highest level of foot traffic, which I suspect is during weekday daytime hours.  You have the advantage of daytime pedestrian activity I don’t see in that part of the Brady.  Without a massive office tower going in a block or two from this new project, their daytime traffic won’t be all that spectacular.

Stick with your original plan of offering art classes and book signings.  Authors are happy to promote their work.  There’s nothing saying a book signing for an author or title has to be exclusive.

It’s been said in the car business for years: “If you own a Ford dealership, pray someone wants to open a Chevy dealership across the street.”

In other words, competition creates critical mass.  In your case, there might be too much walking distance in between for this maxim to apply, but there’s no reason to think this development will torpedo your business. 

You and I have talked about ways you can really prosper with an online presence and there are so many ways you can differentiate yourself from other offerings in the market including this one.  While your concern is appreciated, I believe you will be fine. 
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TheArtist
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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2016, 11:52:46 am »

This is where the Deco District needs to come up with regular promotions like First Friday or figure out a way to get people to come through the DD on their way to or from First Friday.  Either that or you need to be doing promotions when you have the highest level of foot traffic, which I suspect is during weekday daytime hours.  You have the advantage of daytime pedestrian activity I don’t see in that part of the Brady.  Without a massive office tower going in a block or two from this new project, their daytime traffic won’t be all that spectacular.

Stick with your original plan of offering art classes and book signings.  Authors are happy to promote their work.  There’s nothing saying a book signing for an author or title has to be exclusive.

It’s been said in the car business for years: “If you own a Ford dealership, pray someone wants to open a Chevy dealership across the street.”

In other words, competition creates critical mass.  In your case, there might be too much walking distance in between for this maxim to apply, but there’s no reason to think this development will torpedo your business. 

You and I have talked about ways you can really prosper with an online presence and there are so many ways you can differentiate yourself from other offerings in the market including this one.  While your concern is appreciated, I believe you will be fine. 

Thank you so much for the positive support and suggestions!  We will keep on trucking.

Btw was on Channel 8 this morning promoting an event we will be having this Saturday for the kiddos.

http://ktul.com/good-day-tulsa/videos/miss-tjs-music-storytime-02-24-2016
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"When you only have two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."-Chinese proverb. "Arts a staple. Like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter. Those who think it is a luxury have only a fragment of a mind. Mans spirit grows hungry for art in the same way h
heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2016, 12:05:34 pm »


I have always known it would be a race against time.  That I would have to work really hard to grow and expand and better the business before the bigger competition and money would come into play downtown so that I could have a chance at competing.  

I have worked so hard to be a part of something, to try and use my talents to make Tulsa better.  

Perhaps I am just too small a person to make a difference, to compete and hopefully have my dreams come true.  

I can pivot and find a niche.... but then you always run the chance that, no matter how hard you work no matter how talented you are, no matter how hard you push, work day and night and weekends,  someone else with deeper pockets will waltz in and kick you off to the side.  It's tough out here.  

3 years and I haven't made a time off the business, have still had to work my day jobs to make ends meet.  This year was the year that I could have done that but then with the big move to a larger more expensive space the "schedule" for me to start making a little was going to have to wait a little more.  But the dream is worth it. Someday it will be great and we will make it.  But now with this going in... gonna be even harder.  I don't know yet what my next pivot is going to be exactly.  And even if I do, will someone else just come in again before I can take off with that dream and pull the rug out from under all that work.    




Try not to despair too much!!  You have made an impact on downtown and made Tulsa a prettier place with your art!  There are a lot of us that try to do that work to make Tulsa better - you just have the 'visible' talent to do that as opposed to even smaller presences like me who only get occasional tiny little impact feedbacks from friends/family.  My greatest visible impact was that I actually talked it up enough so that a couple of cousins moved here years ago and were finally followed by a few others in their family.  It will have to be enough.




At least you aren't in the position of having made an economic contribution to companies in town to the tune of several tens of millions of dollars...and been rewarded with being laid off....   (REAL patents that created real new products and generated real sales for the companies - still !!)





Edit for the above -

Wow!  What a strange day - and the timing amazing to the above - just made a patent disclosure with in-house discussions today.  This will be the third company where I have received commercially successful patents for financially rewarding products, forming a "Triple Crown" event - now, just gotta see how long it is until I get laid off from this one, completing the Triple Crown circle, adding to previous two!!  I'm betting 12 - 14 months....gotta get the paperwork far enough along so it will continue after me.  This will be added to products for at least 3 customers that will add combined sales of over $20 million a year.  I can hardly wait to see how this works out!!




« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 05:49:15 pm by heironymouspasparagus » Logged

“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

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Conan71
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2016, 01:19:05 pm »

Thank you so much for the positive support and suggestions!  We will keep on trucking.

Btw was on Channel 8 this morning promoting an event we will be having this Saturday for the kiddos.

http://ktul.com/good-day-tulsa/videos/miss-tjs-music-storytime-02-24-2016

And stay after the media.  I’ve found over the last year the media is always looking for positive things to report and they will support local business when they are sought out.

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carltonplace
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2016, 02:44:21 pm »

Plus you have a lot of new living coming on line in the Deco district...right now living options are kinda sparse. Residential will put feet on the street.

Libby used to be great at marketing the Deco District but is seems like her attention has been diverted lately.
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TulsaGoldenHurriCAN
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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2016, 04:25:10 pm »

  On the one hand, I know this will be good for downtown.  On the other, I am really afraid of what it will do to my business and perhaps even the other businesses in our part of downtown.  Most of us over here are small fry working really really REALLY hard with what we got to make a go of it.  We have dreams and hopes of creating something wonderful ourselves.

Then you see this.  Someone with big pockets who can go in and make their own ideas happen and leave the rest of us possibly faltering and our years of hard work and dreams dashed.  

I look at First Fridays and see how my sales go dramatically down on that day compared to Fridays when that is not going on.

I think of some of our regular customers that we love to see.  I think in particular of the one gentleman and his little girl who come in every so often because she says she loves our store and likes going to Mods and the little Candy Castle across the street.  Then I imagine "Whats she going to choose when this big bookstore goes in with a giant chocolate shop next door?"  

Where are our local authors going to go now for their book signings?  To my store or this other one? Those books signings help us create a little buzz for our store.  


I have always known it would be a race against time.  That I would have to work really hard to grow and expand and better the business before the bigger competition and money would come into play downtown so that I could have a chance at competing.  

I have worked so hard to be a part of something, to try and use my talents to make Tulsa better.  

Perhaps I am just too small a person to make a difference, to compete and hopefully have my dreams come true.  

I can pivot and find a niche.... but then you always run the chance that, no matter how hard you work no matter how talented you are, no matter how hard you push, work day and night and weekends,  someone else with deeper pockets will waltz in and kick you off to the side.  It's tough out here.  

3 years and I haven't made a time off the business, have still had to work my day jobs to make ends meet.  This year was the year that I could have done that but then with the big move to a larger more expensive space the "schedule" for me to start making a little was going to have to wait a little more.  But the dream is worth it. Someday it will be great and we will make it.  But now with this going in... gonna be even harder.  I don't know yet what my next pivot is going to be exactly.  And even if I do, will someone else just come in again before I can take off with that dream and pull the rug out from under all that work.    

If anything I kind of wish we could have worked together on this and we could have been a part of whats going on there.  Surely they know of us and our efforts and realize what it will do to us.  I have always reached out and invited the "book community" to be a part of what we are trying to do for instance.  Us helping them helps us kind of thing.   And then out of the blue.  Yea it will be better for them, but not likely for us.

There should be a year or two delay between when it is ready so you could have time to grow, expand and adjust. It sounds very tough, but I have a lot of respect for what you've done there. Decopolis is mine and my wife's favorite downtown retail shop! I like the expansion and many of the new options. I hope you can turn the balance this year.

I know many people still don't know about Decopolis. I don't know the answer (maybe posting events on a variety of places, twitter, reddit & even Craigslist, etc). Having a booth at events like Cherry St Farmers Market or Blue Dome Arts festival (but probably busy time for you) and maybe a popup shop at First Fridays could help. Still, there is a lack of stuff to shop for at First Fridays. Occasionally a few tables, but not much. I bet the Tulsa-Deco posters could do well there.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2016, 05:37:02 pm »

And stay after the media.  I’ve found over the last year the media is always looking for positive things to report and they will support local business when they are sought out.




Certainly has been working for Trump...  All the free publicity he can stand.  And more!

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“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

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« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2016, 08:00:45 am »

Quote
I know many people still don't know about Decopolis. I don't know the answer (maybe posting events on a variety of places, twitter, reddit & even Craigslist, etc). Having a booth at events like Cherry St Farmers Market or Blue Dome Arts festival (but probably busy time for you) and maybe a popup shop at First Fridays could help. Still, there is a lack of stuff to shop for at First Fridays. Occasionally a few tables, but not much. I bet the Tulsa-Deco posters could do well there.

This is a great idea. There is usually a guy with records out there at Guthrie Green. Maybe see if they will let you set up a booth as well? Perhaps partner with Mainline? That's an art bar that showcases local work.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2016, 07:34:21 pm »

I think you all will be just fine in your new location. I've preached it for years now, but the biggest issue in the Deco District are the hours of operations for a lot of the businesses.
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PonderInc
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« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2016, 11:21:36 am »

While I love everything that's happening in the Brady, it does create an unequal playing field: those that benefit from the synergies and support of GKFF's philanthropy, and those who are going it all alone in the free marketplace.

But I also agree that the Decopolis benefits from being located in the heart of downtown. You're closer to the major employment centers. You're closer to the Convention Center.  You're closer to the Hyatt, Mayo Hotel, Atlas/Courtyard, and Holiday Inn.  Also, the Excalibur building (old Arby's) is being renovated for mixed-use, which can only help add residents, foot traffic and shoppers. 

What the Deco District needs is a greater density of destinations (other than office) and more awareness of the district. Put a canopy of warm, white Christmas lights over the street like they do in Hodges Bend.  String lights between the trees on Boston.  Create a sense of place and remind people that there's something to see and do there.  (I love the music you have playing by your door!)  Hire a HS jazz ensemble to play in front of your building on Friday evenings.

One of the advantages the Brady has is that there are dozens of destinations within a few blocks of each other.  It also benefits from having an intact cluster of human-scaled, mixed-use buildings with traditional storefronts.  While there are many small businesses inside the big office towers in the CBD, it's not apparent from the street, so they don't really create synergies for each other.  The pop-up shops are great, but they need to do more to remind people of their existence. Also, a lot of the restaurants in the CBD remain lunch places, which doesn't generate evening foot traffic like full service restaurant/bars do.

Storefront retail and restaurant spaces help create lively streets. In the center of town, we've demolished a lot of the traditional storefront buildings that could have helped knit the district together and create the necessary synergies and density.  Maybe someday, we'll rebuild them.  In the meantime, it's important that every one of the surviving storefronts in the CBD is utilized... not for parking cars, but for actual retail spaces. 
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Conan71
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« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2016, 01:46:20 pm »

While I love everything that's happening in the Brady, it does create an unequal playing field: those that benefit from the synergies and support of GKFF's philanthropy, and those who are going it all alone in the free marketplace.


GKFF has done something very nice for the community by making entrepreneurship affordable and allowing people who might not otherwise have the means to live their dream.

So far as I know, you don’t have to be a member of an exclusive club to get into one of these GKFF projects.  It’s there for the asking by anyone who is interested and has a qualified idea.
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« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2016, 02:30:16 pm »

Another benefit we've received is that GKFF has essentially protected the Brady from being overrun by national chains.  In many cities, the areas around major public investments (ballparks, transit hubs, etc) end up surrounded by national chains.  The 16th Street Mall in Denver is a perfect example of this.  I don't know if it was originally envisioned as the miracle mile of national chains, or if high rents pushed the little guys out.  There's very little there that you couldn't find along an average Interstate service road, which is really sad.  One of the best things about downtown Tulsa (perhaps because there's a lot of land owned by a handful of property owners, or because we're still operating under the radar?) is that, for now, we haven't been inundated by national chains.  It's critical for Tulsa's future that our downtown remain a unique place.  Folks like the Artist are making that a reality--helping downtown be a place unlike anywhere else.
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Conan71
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« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2016, 03:24:50 pm »

Another benefit we've received is that GKFF has essentially protected the Brady from being overrun by national chains.  In many cities, the areas around major public investments (ballparks, transit hubs, etc) end up surrounded by national chains.  The 16th Street Mall in Denver is a perfect example of this.  I don't know if it was originally envisioned as the miracle mile of national chains, or if high rents pushed the little guys out.  There's very little there that you couldn't find along an average Interstate service road, which is really sad.  One of the best things about downtown Tulsa (perhaps because there's a lot of land owned by a handful of property owners, or because we're still operating under the radar?) is that, for now, we haven't been inundated by national chains.  It's critical for Tulsa's future that our downtown remain a unique place.  Folks like the Artist are making that a reality--helping downtown be a place unlike anywhere else.

Interesting metric completely missed by me.

Other than franchise hotels and Spaghetti Warehouse, are there any national chains in the Brady?
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"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first” -Ronald Reagan
davideinstein
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« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2016, 03:49:42 pm »

Another benefit we've received is that GKFF has essentially protected the Brady from being overrun by national chains.  In many cities, the areas around major public investments (ballparks, transit hubs, etc) end up surrounded by national chains.  The 16th Street Mall in Denver is a perfect example of this.  I don't know if it was originally envisioned as the miracle mile of national chains, or if high rents pushed the little guys out.  There's very little there that you couldn't find along an average Interstate service road, which is really sad.  One of the best things about downtown Tulsa (perhaps because there's a lot of land owned by a handful of property owners, or because we're still operating under the radar?) is that, for now, we haven't been inundated by national chains.  It's critical for Tulsa's future that our downtown remain a unique place.  Folks like the Artist are making that a reality--helping downtown be a place unlike anywhere else.

Downtown needs more chains. A good mix would generate more investment. Right now investing in Downtown is still seen as a risk which from what I've seen is far from the truth.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2016, 03:51:00 pm »

Interesting metric completely missed by me.

Other than franchise hotels and Spaghetti Warehouse, are there any national chains in the Brady?

Subway
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