It’s another fine Wednesday afternoon here in the ATL and I’m here because it’s either this or watering the lawn, so this wins. I kid, I kid, I’ll do the fucking lawn cause I’m a grownup but I won’t pretend to be thrilled about it. I DO actually have a purpose in writing this though, it’s been a busy few weeks around here and I wanted to get you up to speed about everything.
First of all, as you know we recently did our first real-world appearance, at The Battery Atlanta’s farmers market and it went FANTASTICALLY! It was a really great day and we connected with a ton of people, and it really helped to further prove our point that social media is NOT the only way to succeed in starting a small business. More on that in a bit.
What’s this pop-up stuff all about?
Thank you for asking! So an old friend of mine, Tony Caro, opened up a shop in downtown Newnan, GA a while back called The Red Letter Merchant. He sells vintage clothing and all kinds of radness (a similar “kitchen sink” approach to us) and he’s absolutely KILLING it out there. Downtown Newnan is a pretty rad spot nowadays apparently (and a hugely resilient and supportive community who really came together after the tornado), but I’ve never made it out that way for one reason or another. That shall change very soon, cause Tony and I had a great conversation the other day and The Ghost Generation will be doing a pop-up shop at The Red Letter Merchant on Saturday June 5th! I’ll be hanging out outside his wonderful shop from 10 Am – 2 PM with all the radness we brought to The Battery plus some new surprises too, so if you’re in the area or looking for something rad to do mark your calendar now. I hear the first Saturday of the month is a pretty hoppin’ day around there so bring the whole family and come say hello!
We’re super stoked to be getting out into the real world to show you guys what The Ghost Generation is all about, and we have plenty more coming up soon. We’ll be back at The Battery on 6/13 so go ahead and block that one out too, we’d love to see some more of your wonderful faces out there next time!
Let’s see, what else? Oh yeah! Laura posted about this yesterday, but I gotta mention our new bath bomb cause it’s AMAZING. I love everything we make here at The Ghost Generation, and that’s no exaggeration. We don’t do SHIT unless we’re passionate about it and we love it ourselves, and I’m in love with absolutely everything that comes out of our shop. That being said, our Wandering Star bath bomb might be one of the most intriguing and addictive scents my nose has ever come across. The blend of Strawberry and Juniper is really something you have to smell for yourself to fully appreciate, but it’s like if somebody took the most, refreshing, delicious, and flavor-packed summer cocktail and turned it into a bath bomb. It’s even got me thinking of how to make it into an ACTUAL cocktail, maybe I’ll try it when we go on vacation next month. I’m thinking some good gin and strawberry puree might be a good jumping off point…anywho- this thing rules, it’s neon pink and blue which turns my favorite color once it stops fizzing (purple of course) so this thing is a literal party in your bathtub. It was our special item for the farmers market and we sold the hell out so now it’s available for EVERYONE to enjoy!
You need this bath bomb in your life, period.
While we’re talking about new things, I wanted to update you all on some changes around the shop. I won’t be making plugs for stretched lobes anymore. There, I said it. I’ll try to make a long story short here, but the gist of it is that it takes a LOT of work to get yourself out there into the body mod community and over the past year or so I’ve encountered more negativity, abuse, and toxic behavior trying to break us into that space than I’ve ever seen. And this is coming from a tattooed guy with stretched lobes myself, so it’s ironic that I couldn’t seem to fit into a world I fucking BELONG TO MYSELF, but since the internet has ruined people’s brains I guess that’s just how the chips fell. I’ve had enough of the online negativity and people just looking to tear me down, so I said “adios” and I’m starting fresh with new products. Same art style, just new shit. To start, I’m working on custom molds for rings. I’ve had a ton of people say they love my art style but they don’t have stretched lobes, but almost everyone has fingers, so I’ll meet them where they stand and make some stuff that has a more broad appeal. Ditto for keyrings, every adult person has keys and almost all of us have a keychain/keyring of some kind, so I’ll be applying my style to those moving forward as well.
“When life is hard you have to change.”-Shannon Hoon
I’m sure I’ll introduce more as time goes on, but it’s a great starting point. I don’t want my art to be limited to one community that doesn’t seem to like me very much (it’s OK, the only approval I need is from my wife & kids and they think I’m rad), I want to see my art EVERYWHERE. I’m not a huge fan of making big cast pieces either, cause bubbles make me want to slam my face into a brick wall repeatedly. I like to make little self-contained worlds, a little beauty in these dark times, and what I’ve been doing has been great so I’m making little tweaks and it’ll hopefully open up our appeal to more and more people as we get out into the world. Fingers crossed!
That brings me to my earlier point about social media. The stone-cold truth is that we’re not very big fans of social media here at The Ghost Generation. Before we started this, we hadn’t TOUCHED it in almost six years and my mental health was all the better for it. Unfortunately, in 2021 it’s not realistic to have a business and NOT be on social media so we are, but it can be such a toxic place that it begins to wear on me. A couple months ago I had an almost complete mental collapse from all the frustration of trying to get people to care about our business every day, across multiple platforms, and we made a decision. Fuck it. That’s right, FUCK IT. It’s true that I have fun from time to time, and I LOVE connecting with you guys when it’s positive, but we’re forced to put SO MUCH of ourselves into it that it’s impossible for it NOT to make a person feel like shit when nobody seems to care, the “likes” aren’t pouring in, and the sales numbers aren’t blowing the roof off the joint.
People only show you the good stuff, and it’s such a fucking lie. So, I’ve started being honest about the struggles in the hopes that maybe more of you guys will speak up, and quite a few of you have! We’re putting less stock in all of it, cause we want to show that with a little hard work, and getting out in front of people, maybe you CAN be successful without being the next TikTok celebrity dipshit. If I don’t feel like posting on a given day, I don’t. Mark Zuckerberg ain’t signing MY paycheck so last I checked I don’t own him SHIT or anyone else. We want to promote, and we want to be successful, but this “always hustlin'” stuff isn’t doing any human person any good.
Take a fucking break and go for a walk, your soul will thank you.
Who knows? Certainly not me! I have no idea if our “less is more” approach will work but I DO know that since we’ve adopted this strategy we’ve had a great day at The Battery and we’re doing a pop-up in a couple weeks so maybe the old adage is true- when you’re true to yourself, the rest will come. At the end of the day, I’d rather fail doing things the way I want to than succeed by following what everyone else is doing. If we’re not careful, we’ll all be so addicted to dopamine that we won’t be able to have meaningful interactions unless they involve validation in some way and that scares the shit out of me- and it should scare the shit out of you too. Maybe we won’t have all the followers, but we WILL be leading by example and that shit’s important, we need to show our kids that there’s a better way for them too.
That’s it for now Ghosties, consider yourself up to speed! I hope I’ll see you in Newnan on 6/5, The Battery on 6/13, and I REALLY hope you snag one of our new bath bombs from the shop cause they’re guaranteed happiness. I promise. Make sure to follow The Red Letter Merchant on Instagram and Facebook, tell Tony we sent ya, and then put your phone down and go get some fucking fresh air.