KOBA Take 2

KOBA menu

Half-way through the life of our shop we feel the need to step back, take stock and make some changes so that our “business-as-usual” gets another chance at being the kind of business we originally imagined to have. Appealing to locals, non-tech savvy people, not just friends and acquaintances daring to place commissions….

We have some ideas for what needs to be done, updated, changed:
– Window display: how do we appear to passers-by? What information can you understand about the shop by just looking through the window…
– Payment model: away from the over-burdening question of “how much should it cost”, and towards a price-list
– How do you know what you want???: introducing a menu that explains, inspired and helps you understand what is possible. This menu is both a kind of question tree that leads you to specific examples, as well as a catalog (like a hair-dresser’s catalog) of existing wearable/e-textile projects that can offer to “make for you”.
– Promotional material: flyers, postcards, stickers…. to be placed in local cafes, clubs…
– Re-design the shop space to make it more inviting and more comfortable for us to take on the role of the explainer. Better lighting, use of back of room, rack for blocks and toiles, more photos and descriptions of commissions so far…
– Camera mounted above work table that automatically takes photos

Maybe we also want:
– A KOBA uniform that is a bit more extravagant and puts us in the mood?
– A playlist of songs that the e-textile community can pick for us so that we have a good sound-track for working to?

The KOBA Menu

Of all of the above, one of the most challenging changes we’re working on is how to create our menu. This menu in many ways takes on the role of our Opening Collection, which, as we stated at the time was made with the intention to showcase what is conceptually, technically and aesthetically possible. And also to show off our KOBAKANT style.

But rather than make physical examples to answer this question, this time we want to show a greater breadth of possibility and also frame this possibility differently.

But how to start creating a menu when everything is/should be possible? What are the categories we choose to create and why? For the opening collection we focused this selection very much on the technology. The EMF Listeners and the Poetry-in-Motion jackets came from wanting to showcase EMF amplification/sonification and light embroidery. This time the technology should come last, so instead I propose our menu should be centered around the person.

Who? What kind of person?
Well, I don’t mean a specific person, rather a “persona” with whom individuals want to identify.

As Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung defines persona as: “…the social face the individual presented to the world, a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persona_(psychology)), I find persona an interesting concept for how we see ourselves, and what we see as options for becoming. Almost like role-models.

I don’t suggest we pick persona based on what we think people would identify with, rather I suggest we invent persona, kind of like role-models to tell the story of our shop. And to participate in our shop’s story, customers can identify with these persona.

For the opening collection we looked at describing some persona to help us relate to potential customers:
– Sensitive/thoughtful teenager
– Techie/engaged grandmother
– Patchwork family members (parent and child)
– Digital nomad
– Professional performer/musician
– Non-conformist /protester
– Tech addict
– Technically challenged

And we also looked at Anne’s techno-personnas:
Technophiles – explorers of new technologies
Technoistas – show off their individual taste
TechnoDIYers – makers and fixers, who like to hack
Technosceptics – often considering whether to commit to de-teching their lives
Technophobes – avoid the use of devices in their lives

What about dividing people by political agenda?

Nolan chart (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolan_Chart#/media/File:Nolan_chart_normal.png):

But the persona I feel we should create are ones that can tell the story of our shop. Role-models that depict desirable aspects of engaging with technology. KOBAKANT-style aspects of why we believe technology – handmade, bespoke, unique, strange, quirky – has something to offer society that is lacking because of the dominance of mass-production and overly utilitarian technology in today’s world.

We would like to see technology being driven by individuals who take:
An experimental approach to technology
A playful approach to technology
A critical approach to technology
A creative approach to technology

These persona can/should be fantastical to talk of the fantastical possibilities that can become true because of the shop’s fairytale. But these persona do also have to be relateable. They should bridge the gap between how people see themselves, and how we want them to approach our offer of having technology tailor-made “just for you”.

So now we have the starting point of our menu, the center of the space.

And we have also created a list of projects that represent what we are capeable of making well:

But how do we navigate from the personas to these projects?

Through a series of questions about what you are like? Would like to be like?

KOBA menu

The Price List

KOBA Services draft for proposal

KOBA price-list


Project Description

KOBA shop sign

Clothing Tag