Last week, I visited a store named “Zigana“; I’ve forgotten how I ended up there, as, besides what I blog about, I tend to not really keep notes of what I’m doing in Second Life and I was preparing my blog’s migration to this new address, so I decided to postpone writing about it until I had sorted everything (?) out – you’ll also have to add to the mix my tendency to procrastinate. At any rate, this is my first post for my blog’s new address.
Regular readers of this blog will have noticed that reviews of SL destinations, builds and stores are not the norm for this blog; there are other blogger-photographers out there that are far better at this activity than me. Three that I can immediately think of are Honour McMillan, Exotix (Inara Pey) and Ziki Questi – all of them quite excellent and extremely adept at conveying the atmosphere and feel of the build, at combining their reportage with their own thoughts (which could be even unrelated to the build at hand) and at documenting it photographically with stunning images that you have to see for yourselves.
At any rate, I thought I’d write about this place, because I found it rather appealing. All too often, stores in Second Life are basic, run-of-the-mill builds that were bought in prefab form and placed on a parcel without much care about their design. Another common occurrence for stores in SL is for them to either be a smallish stall at a mall (and malls, whether they are themed or characterless, do tend to limit their renters’ chances of expressing their style and creativity) or try to resemble a huge mall. Stores like that make the marketplace seem like a more attractive option for shopping: you don’t have to put up with the lag on mainland or with the lag caused by trashionistas wearing crappily-scripted and poorly-designed crap that sends the script count to high three-figure numbers, plus you don’t need to wade through thousands of vendors whose textures take an eternity and a day to load.
It is often argued that the marketplace has hurt SL land sales. Perhaps it is true: like I said, it is more convenient for me and everyone to shop at a website rather than a laggy, overcrowded, and often badly-designed or characterless in-world store. And this is why the marketplace has been embraced, not only the consumers, but also by content creators, who find it much cheaper than renting a homestead or full sim (let’s face it, even though the tiers are dictated by Linden Lab’s current business and server usage model, they are still ridiculously high – and this, combined with the multiple-dip crisis, is hurting LL’s profits from SL) and a large number of stalls at various malls.
Then again, there are some content creators who actually put care and effort in the design of their stores; they make beautiful sims that create an atmosphere that interacts with their store and the products therein, and actually encourages the visitor to buy something from there. Mind you, these creators are not “few and far between”.
One such creator is Nalena Fairey, the proprietor of Zigana. She has shaped the homestead region on which her store resides as a small forest near freshwater, with a path from the landing point to her main store’s building and has given everything a very rural, rustic feel, in keeping with the style of her products, which form a range of home and garden decor items.
If you’ve ever read DIY and home improvement magazines with articles about how you can use old and seemingly useless stuff to make your own furniture on the cheap, Nalena’s products will definitely ring quite a few bells. So, you’ll find furniture (stools, dressers, mirrors, makeshift sofas) in bright, cheerful, but “careworn” finishes, and also other items, such as an assortment beautifully-crafted gypsy caravans. One risk someone always runs with this sort of furniture is having it pigeonholed as “trailer trash”, but Nalena skillfully avoids this trap.
And not only that, but, as you can see from the pictures, she has made a beautiful place for you to explore and enjoy – and she has not heeded the song of the marketplace sirens. So, why not pay her sim and store a visit?