Running a Brick & Mortar Shop

Hello from the Windy City!
Hard to believe my mini midwest vacay is almost over! If you don't already know, I've been participating in the Chicago Design Museum's pop-up shop event, happening now until the end of the year. They've put together an awesome opportunity for small business like mine to test the waters on a brick and mortar space with limited risk. Aviate Press is one of 5 spaces in Block 37 that will be rotating out every 1-3 months, so keep an eye out for the rest of the pop-up vendors if you're in the Chicago area and be sure to check out my neighbors CHCG, Galerie F, and Mercer & Winnie! So, now that I'm living my trendiest, healthiest, most true life here in Chicago, I wanted to share some things I've learned along the way. So, here it goes!

Lessons Learned, Part 1 

Everything takes 10 million times longer than I think it will - including this blog post
I suppose this is something I already knew, but it's so very apparent here. I'm constantly trying to improve the structure of my work schedule, but it seems like most days it doesn't go according to plan - big surprise. One thing that has worked for me is scheduling out time for deep work, something I learned about thanks to this episode of Hidden Brain - Definitely check it out if you like Podcasts that will change your life!!

When it comes to work, I'm a loner

Little known fact about me: I love working from coffee shops (like you didn't already know that). But it's not just for the caffeine; I've learned that I'm a lot more productive when I'm working solo. It's super helpful for my workflow if I'm able to start the day at a cafe or get to my store early to knock out a few things before people start shopping.

I can make friends!

This was one thing I was pretty nervous about before moving here. I only knew like 3 people in Chicago before the move and I hadn't had to go through the awkward song and dance of making new friends since college - that's a weird thing to say, "since college." Anyway. Turns out making friends isn't as hard as I thought; All you have to do is look lost using public transportation! I made one friend while trying to get to a book shop in Logan Square, but happily ended up at the beach instead - I took the bus in the opposite direction of the book store. Oops! Also, side note, I had no idea Chicago had such beautiful beaches! 

Butts are still in style, y'all.

I recently added some new products to the Aviate Press line, which includes enamel pins. By far my most popular pin has been the butt pin. People have been grabbin those butts left and right. But in a totally respectful way. You can grab some buns here, if you're interested. Here's a lil discount on me: buttsarein

Asuh Dude? Huh???
Only ONE person has understood this card since I've been here. ONE! Usually it's like half and half when I go to markets, but here in ChiTown, the odds are against me. Most people have just picked it up with a confused look and then I have to awkwardly explain it to them. Please, if you haven't been introduced to Asuh Dude, watch it here. But let it be known, it is pretty dumb.

NO KETCHUP!!! - said one angry Instagram user

I didn't know this about Chicago until recently, but apparently it's a sin to put ketchup on your hotdog. I learned this after receiving some backlash from a postcard I designed with a hotdog that said 'Chicago' with ketchup on it. I had no idea I was being so controversial! I have since changed the postcard to mustard, but honestly I am much more of a ketchup person. #sorrynotsorry Check out the postcard here. So, I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of Lesson's Learned. Stay tuned for more knowledge being dropped here in a few weeks. 
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1 comment

Ava: I am planning to visit Chicago in the near future, and I must say, this has been a very informative blog piece. It’s great to see you in your pop-up digs! What a great opportunity for you! Who knows where you’ll be next?

Barbara Hinch

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