Name: Fiona Scorfield
Store Name: Fi’s Creations
How long has your store been open: Since June 2010
What do you sell:
Furniture, plants, decorations, houses, skyboxes, garden objects and a little bit of everything
1) SL offers its residents a wide variety of opportunities for creation and design. What elements inspired you to begin creating? (Detail what particular items you offer to the residents of sl)
Most of the time, I am on my building plattform or in my club. I hardly explore SL to get new ideas, but I often go outside to RL and take a walk. We have wonderful nice houses with lovely made gardens around here. I must confess that I am one of those who already starts to think in “prims” while I’m walking. So when I walk around and get new ideas, I can’t wait to go back home. Often I even take the shorter way back home because I wanted to start building and could not wait any longer. Beside this I worked a few years in an architecture office, i planned houses while I worked. This, and my daily walks, helped me to get new inspiration. This is why I probably love to build houses, furniture and garden items.
2) Success is often the ability to turn obstacles into opportunities. What have been some of your greatest achievements since you began designing?
The life as a creator in SL is often very hard. The market changes constantly; you have to deal with things like copy bots, griefings, etc. The market is “spammed” with cheap stuff, people are not willing to pay a fair price because they just don’t see all the work which a designer had and this causes store owners to not even be able to pay their rent for a small shop anymore. Because of all these problems it is hard not to lose your motivation. Lots of designer and creators have even closed their shops which is a pity. In that way SL lost lots of great stores. I guess the more successful you are, then harder it is. I prefer to have small goals and to do small steps which helps me to keep my motivation. That’s the most important thing you need.
Because of the whole situation, the honest answer to this question is, my shop is able to pay the tiers, I dont lose money anymore and I don’t need to push real money in SL just to keep my shop alive. For me, this is currently one of the greatest achievements. An other achievement is, in SL I met my SL/RL partner, who has his own script shop for years. I always had problems with scripting or finding good and low lag scripts. Now there is no need to worry about this anymore. To have a smart and trusted scripter on your side is the best thing that can happen, if you run a business where you need scripts.
3) Learning is a lifelong process, and none of us are expect from the lessons life teaches us. What have been the hardest things to overcome, and what lessons has it taught you?
I didn’t open my shop because I wanted to make the big money in SL. I know there are a few people who make so much money with their SL business, that they don’t need a real life job anymore. But I always have been smart enough to know I am not one of those people. The money was never a reason why I opened my shop. I started with my shop because I loved to build and friends asked me often why I don’t open a shop and start to sell my creations. So, I opened my shop and the irst few months have been very frustrating. I hardly get people to my shop, and to add items in Marketplace confused me completely. No wonder; I was less than 6 months old in SL. I had to learn step by step what to do and how to do it. I didn’t have anyone who helped me or who told me how and what to do. It was a long process. Probably the hardest lesson was how to deal with problems, which I already explained above. I would not dare to say I learned this lesson completely; I am still in the middle of it. But every day, I am getting better. ;)
4) What are your plans for the future where your business is concerned?
Currently, I am very happy and can’t complain. I am online in SL every day, much longer than the average SL resident. 90 % of the time I am building. But in a few weeks (or months), my real life is going to change. I am going to move in RL to my SL partner and probably my time in SL will change. I am in the situation that I can’t make plans. So no, I do not have any plans, but I have a wish instead. I would like to be able to keep my SL and my business in SL as it is right now. But I am sure I will find a way. ;) If I can’t build anymore, I would miss it. Building is a big part in my life.
5) Based on your own experiences, what advice would you offer to new builders, designers and content creators?
I believe it’s all about money, time and motivation !! It doesn’t matter what you do, but NEVER do it because of the money! Do it because you LOVE what you do. If you are thinking about opening a shop, the first time I can promise you that you are going to lose money. You can have a Marketplace-only store, so you don’t have to pay tiers. I would not recommend it, but it is still an option. If you decide to open a shop in-world, then choose your place with care! The worst thing which can happen is, you worked very hard, and then you have to move to an other sim. The biggest pain in the neck is when you have to change the landmarks in 200 finished objects! I know what I am talking about; I had to do this once and it took me the whole week just to change all the LMs. That’s something which I would not even wish to my worst enemy (no, I don’t really have enemies). But it’s not only the tiers which you have to pay; there are costs for advertisement, uploading costs, building “stuff”, etc … If you are not able to create all needed objects by yourself (textures, sculpts, scripts, etc) then you have to buy it. I noticed expensive things are often not the best things. But even if you buy “cheap” building tools, you still have to pay for it. And 20 x 100 L$ is still 2,000 L$.
As an example, the first 1.5 years, I lost over 30.000 L only for sitting scripts! I bought so many and not one of them worked. I got all price ranges, from 0 L$ (which caused lag like hell) to 6,500 L (which was so complicated, it ended up in my inventory garbage). I got scripts from unknown creators to well known brands. Then finally my SL/RL partner, who is a very smart scripter, made me a sitting script, very easy and fast to work with, almost no lag and the price is more than fair.
My suggestion is, check out what you can do by yourself (in that way you will save money but you will lose lots of time), then check out what you already have and what you still need. Are you willing and able to push regular money in your shop/business (and I am not talking about 2 or 3 months) ? The next step is to think about if you have time for all these things. In my SLife, I met lots of people who thought “let’s just quickly put a few prims together, put it on Marketplace and make big money with it”. But I can promise you, this won’t work. Do it with love, don’t push yourself, take your time. I can say I am a fast builder, but I still need 3-10 days for a simple couch. Are you willing and able to invest that kind of time for building? The next question which you should ask yourself is, “What are you going to do if you lose your motivation, because nothing works as expected?” If you have answers to these 3 questions, then go for it and open your store/business !
I wish you all the best for your business and even if something doesn’t look right, never give up.
Fiona’s Favorite Design:
“A few weeks ago i would have picked one of my winter sceneries with the drunken snowmen. Simple because it is probably the funniest what i made. But since its almost spring, i took the Garden Set LUNA. LUNA is a new Fi’s Creations line, available in 3 color versions ( a soft red, a light blue and a warm green) and each color version includes 3 colors which you can change per color change menu.
I love the soft colors of LUNA, they all match perfectly together, even if you buy objects in 2 different color versions.
This garden set is special to me because while i made it, i could see myself sitting on the wodden chair under a tree, wonderful green grass, lots of lovely flowers around, drinking tea and chatting with my best friend – in real life ! This picture in my head kept me warm the whole winter ;)”
Visit Fi’s Creations inworld where there may just be a treat for you! “I regularly offer a certain number of creations for a special price in my main store, The duration of special prices, the items and the prices will be announced in my group, or on my website. Also, if you come to visit the “Fi’s Creations Main Store” on Saturday or Sunday, there is a possibility that i am sitting on my building platform, above the shop. Every visitor is going to get a gift card. That’s just my way to say ‘thank you’ for your visit.