a draft of this year’s “shop ypsi for the holidays” brochure

When the Shadow Art Fair happens on December 1, and some 1,500 people come pouring into Ypsi, we want to have something short and concise we can put into people’s hands that points them toward other Ypsi businesses where they can do holiday shopping. There are certainly other reasons to produce a holiday shopping guide, but that’s clearly an opportunity we shouldn’t miss. So, the deadline for getting a printed piece done is the end of November, just a few days from now.

There was some debate at the last meeting over how inclusive to make the list of Ypsi businesses. It was the opinion of at least one person at the table that we should not do anything unless it was extremely inclusive. Many of us agreed with him in theory that such a resource would be great, but, given how there are some 300 businesses along the Michigan Avenue corridor alone, we didn’t see how it was feasible. The consensus was that we should instead focus on our successful retailers in the print piece, and then begin pulling together a more comprehensive list online. And, as someone pointed out, it’s possible that a large, unedited list that included even our beer stores and tax preparation shops might not accomplish the stated goal of getting people from outside the area curious about Ypsi retail. (For the same reason, we decided not to list all of our bars and restaurants in the categorized list of companies. We do, however, plan to include that information on the associated website.)

Another issue discussed at the meeting was how broad of a geographic retail footprint we should try to address. As many of you know, last year we focused solely on Depot Town and the Michigan Avenue corridor. I was of the opinion going into the meeting that this would be a good strategy again, but we were joined by one of the owners of the U Brew shop on Washtenaw, which is in neither of those two business districts, and she argued her case for inclusion quite compellingly. So, we agreed to cast the net wider. In the current version of the brochure, we include both her shop and Cannon’s on South Hamilton. I’m sure there are other great places that we’re missing, but our focus is on making this annual brochure incrementally better. Next year, if we do it again, we can perhaps pull even more businesses in.

Attached you will find a PDF of the current draft of the brochure. You’ll see there are still some holes that need filling in. If you have a moment, consider picking up the phone and calling a shop, like Nobel’s, for their hours. Or, better yet, walk down the street and see them. I called three times on Saturday and no one picked up. (They also apparently don’t have an answering machine.)

So, look over the PDF and let us know what you think. Ideally this would go to press before Thanksgiving, so there isn’t a lot of time, but we can still make some edits. Linette will be visiting the printer tomorrow to get a final estimate on printing 2,000. So far, we’ve raised about $225, which we imagine is about half of what we’ll need. So far, our friend Lisa at Think Local First has offered to contribute $100, and we have a similar pledge on the table from a private citizen interested in seeing this happen. So, it’s looking like we’ll still need at least $200 more. As we didn’t want to make this about buying and selling advertising, but about promoting places citizen shoppers recommend for gifts, we haven’t asked retail shops for money, but I imagine that a few will contribute. My hope is that a few of you out there may do the same. Linette and I have put in a lot of time, but I’m sure we’ll also kick in a few dollars… So, send me an email or leave a comment if you have a few bucks you’d like to put toward a good cause… Oh, in the coming days, I’ll also be asking for volunteers working in Ann Arbor, the townships, and elsewhere to take small stacks of these to their offices to distribute. So, if you can’t chip in $5 or $10, think about helping in that way… It is, after all, in all of our best interests to have a thriving ecosystem of locally owned businesses.

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8 Comments

  1. amused1
    Posted November 19, 2007 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    NB, the disclaimer at the bottom of the shop listing page contains an error. It is currently “These list is not…” I suspect you meant to say “This list is not…” An easy mistake when working under such a short deadline.

    If you can’t get the hours of operation in a timely fashion you might try putting “call for holiday hours” or something like that in the listing. Better to get it out early than hold up everyone for the sake of a few stragglers.

  2. Huckett
    Posted November 19, 2007 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    That’s a nice brochure. I believe a hyphen is required in “down-home cooking” (on the snowflake page). I’d also add a comma to one sentence as follows: “And after all that shopping, why not…?”

    On the listing page, the mug picture is covering a tiny bit of some business’ phone number.

    Otherwise it looks great–I didn’t even know about some of these places.

  3. Huckett
    Posted November 19, 2007 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Oh, and “Bombadil’s” needs to become “Bombadill’s.”

    Thanks!

  4. kurta
    Posted November 19, 2007 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Great looking brochure,

    A suggestion I would have is to include the gift shops at the museums. I know the Fire Museum and the Ypsi Auto Heritage museum have ‘gift shops’ with books, models, and a ton of other things that might interest people. I would guess the Historical museum sells things as well. Also you might include RM Classic Cars in a dream gift segment.

    One of my thoughts on including them is they are reasons people should come to Ypsilanti anyway and it would remind people that holiday shopping can be part of a fun day.

    As part of that theory I’ve got the thought to put together a scavenger hunt through the businesses and museums let me know if you think that is an idea that would fly.

    My final gift idea is a gift certificate to one of Cadys’ monthly “Tasting” dinners. They are a fabulous treat.

    Kurt A

  5. Ol' E Cross
    Posted November 19, 2007 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Splendid.

    Did Mother Fletcher’s close?

  6. Karen
    Posted November 20, 2007 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    It looks wonderful – I love it! You guys did a great job!

    Regarding Noble’s, I don’t know if they’d even be interested in being included. Last year when I stopped by and tried to explain what we were doing, the guy literally showed me the door. (Meaning, he held it open and pointed out, to indicate where I should go.) But maybe someone else will have better luck…

  7. Katy
    Posted November 20, 2007 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    EC – I believe Mother Fletcher’s has been undergoing a lengthy remodeling. They’re closed at the moment, but not permanently. Correct me if I’m wrong, anyone, but that’s my understanding of the situation.

  8. mark
    Posted November 20, 2007 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    I believe Linda Franch is the owner of the building where Mother Fletcher’s is. I’ll ask her… It does seem odd that all the stuff would sit in there for a year as though it’s open with absolutely nothing apparently going on inside… For the purposes of this print piece, however, I think we’re OK leaving them off. I don’t get the sense that they’ll be opening anytime soon.

    And thanks to everyone else who sent comments and edits. Linette’s in the other room working on them now… The plan is to take the piece to the printer tomorrow, so if you have additional thoughts, you’d better send them now.

    And I love the idea about museum gift shops, Kurt. We’ll try to fit it in. And, if we can’t, we’ll make sure it gets on the website.

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