Welcome to the Salon Store

Our plan: To help you find things to buy that are just like Salon -- fun, interesting and creative

Published November 30, 2009 2:26AM (EST)

Welcome to the Salon Store -- a new Salon feature that we hope you will find engaging, entertaining and a useful extension of what Salon is all about.

The Store's mission: to offer a collection of products that reflect what always interests us at Salon -- startling creativity, soul-pleasing utility, interesting ideas, unique perspectives and sometimes just the profound wackiness of our culture.

Why do we think the interests of Salon and its audience translate into products? Because, in various ways, things matter to all of us. They make statements, they offer solutions, they express or create emotion. I think of Salon as a place -- a destination, a community -- that is defined chiefly by an evolving set of shared interests. So we think it will be fun, interesting and appropriate to identify products that reflect those interests and showcase them on Salon. And we are particularly interested in your feedback about the products we offer as well as others you think we should be offering. We'd like your participation not merely as purchasers but as curators along with us.

A few provisos: The Salon Store showcases products, it does not have a massive warehouse in California stuffed with inventory. We're guides and commentators, not shopkeepers in the traditional sense. We'll guide you to a great collection of products and to good merchants from whom you can purchase these products. Strictly speaking, you don't purchase from the Salon Store; you purchase through the Salon Store, from an affiliated merchant.

We think this structure frees everyone to do what they do best. Frankly, we get to do the fun things -- finding great products, trying them out, selecting the ones that best fit Salon and writing about them. Our merchant partners have to do the heavy lifting -- processing your order, shipping your product, apologizing when your order is late, managing the inventory.

I should also note that, because we will try to bring you different, interesting and somewhat rare products, many of them will necessarily be of limited availability. So, my apologies in advance if you find that the product you want is out of stock. I hope that you'll view this as a necessary evil -- a byproduct of our dedication to guiding you to truly different things -- and therefore forgive us if the shelf is empty by the time you click to purchase.

We look forward to hearing what you think about this new experiment in online shopkeeping. As with any experiment, we'll learn along the way. The store will evolve, the collections will change. We want it to be fun, different and surprising -- and we want it to have a unique Salon voice. We look forward to your feedback and your suggestions. And, don't forget, when you purchase through the Salon Store, it will help support Salon, and thus strengthen our efforts to present the voices that make us think, keep us informed, make us laugh.

Let me also introduce you to John Pound, who is leading our efforts with the store and who will be blogging copiously about his experiences in finding the interesting things we display on our virtual shelves.

When I first met John I was struck by two things: first, his love for Salon, and second, his deep but quirky love for aesthetically pleasing, fun and functional products. His background gives a better sense of who John is and why I think you will enjoy his perspective in bringing all this together. His first love was politics. That fell by the wayside as he became an economist and academic at a well-known university back in Cambridge. He spent 10 years teaching before becoming an investor and retailer.

Clearly, as John readily admits, it was a journey from the sublime to the ridiculous. When he was 14, his dad -- an academic himself -- told him, "You know, I thought that you would grow up to be a famous academic, but I think you're going to grow up to be a buyer at Macy's." The frightening thing is that he was, basically, exactly right (except for the Macy's part). John loves the creativity, the passion and the energy around a great product. And he loves ferreting out and helping the talented designers, artisans and smart companies that make them.

I hope you enjoy John and the Salon Store. Tell us what you think, today and every day.

Visit the Salon Store now.

By Richard Gingras

Richard Gingras is the CEO of Salon Media Group.

MORE FROM Richard Gingras

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