This may be somewhat random, but I wanted to share with you all a new project that I soft-launched a few nights ago. It's called HappyPatron.
With HappyPatron, I aim to pull together unique online merchants on the web and provide them with a platform to tell their story, grow, and connect with a community of loyal online-shopping enthusiasts. I want HappyPatron to become a resource for shoppers to shop for the unknown and research a merchant before they buy—making online shopping transparent.
Many of you who have been following me over the years know that my career has been a journey, and I recently wrote about the importance of experimenting and layering experiences because you never know where they'll take you.
I started my career, not a product designer, and not as a print designer, but actually as a brand/retail designer. Yes, I had the joy of helping build retail experiences for many of the largest brands in the world (Target, NFL, Sleep Number), and the list goes on. This was way before Amazon (and technology) changed the behavior of how we shop online etc. It was a great time! Full of story-telling.
Over the years, I've missed the ability to connect brands to consumers in this way. I've missed helping brands tell that unique story in a store-front or wayfinding experience.
However, I'm fascinated by how many online merchants are now online, and the stories behind these brands, which is why I decided to build HappyPatron. To see if I can replicate those feelings we all once had when we walked into a brick-and-mortar store and fell in love with their mission and uniqueness.
I have a couple of dozen stores posted today, but starting next week, I'll be posting daily.
Enjoy it, share it, use it as a resource and, most importantly, support these merchants. They work HARD to nurture these brands, compete with Amazon (even if they sell on Amazon), and battle the ever-changing landscape of online marketing.