BIG discovery today: I realized why none of you have been responding to my posts here (I had low-key worried that it was a platform thing that I'd somehow missed before signing up on Ghost): I discovered this morning that the default setting for comments had been set to prevent them. What's that about? ANyway - I've changed that, and going forward, you'll be able to interact right here going forward. Feel free to test it with me! ;) Baby steps...
How is it that I landed back in 'send an update' mode so quickly by comparison to my last gap?
Easy: I've spent the last several days doing some heavy lifting: reaching out to Junket's original mailing list, checking in with the 200+ participants in our Spring 2020 mask sewing effort, and generally taking the time to provide a comprehensive update on the state of our Junket and what's happened since I'd last been in touch – as a milestone anniversary approaches.
These were harder messages to write because I'd been out of touch with those audiences so much longer than even the six month gap you'd experienced with me this year (thanks again for your enduring patience!).
I knew these would be a little more draining - and that if I didn't put them first, I might not get them done at all.
Friends, I got them done. If you'd like to read the big-ol-letter I shared with ±6000 former shoppers (assuming you weren't already on that list), you'll find it here.
Back to the point of that letter and this one, however: Junket jumped into community-based commerce on November 16, 2012, with our first day in business in a retail storefront on Minnehaha Avenue.
Wednesday (yes, the day after tomorrow) marks the ten year anniversary of this big leap (until then, I'd been filling orders from my basement and selling things out of my house, which was somehow not the same...and, even less so from behind the secure doors and association rules of a cooperatively owned apartment... ).
This looming anniversary had been on my radar as an ideal time to check back in with, well, everyone, for some time now.
I've been wanting - deeply wanting - to involve others in Junket's dialectic work. I mean, it's totally soothing to sit in my apartment and sort stuff on my own – but it's not exactly scalable if I keep it to myself.
Finding and creating both beauty and value from broken and imperfect things as a centering and healing practice for people - and for planet - just happens to hold substantial green jobs and community development potential, and after giving myself a few years to recover from the sheer overwhelm of 3 years of 300% growth followed by three years of terrifying road closures that sent our trajectory firmly in the other direction, followed by a likely-fraudulent grilled cheese fiasco and a pandemic and an uprising and and and... I needed to regroup, take some deep breaths, and clean up some messes that had piled up over the course of our first decade before stepping into another.
In June, I attended a series of sessions hosted by the city intended to help people interested in opening cooperatively owned businesses in Minneapolis – or converting existing businesses to cooperative models. The training was enlightening, and feedback from instructors and session peers was affirming: my concept holds potential as a franchise-ready cooperative model for community-centered climate adaptation: if we build it successfully here, it can be replicated elsewhere.
I've been caretaking materials/parts/inventory since the shop's 2018 closure, and have added treasures over time: we can think of these collections of hyper-sorted tools and materials as a kind of high quality sourdough starter for product and program offerings within the entire ecosystem of post-consumer material curation. Build it, teach and learn as we nurture these collections, and leverage abundance to help other communities get started.
There is enough for all of us - if we merely organize ourselves and our resources for purposeful use.
On Wednesday evening, I'll be convening those interested for a high level introduction to the idea of converting Junket to a cooperatively owned model for 100% circular commerce. It takes many of the ideas we were running on shoestrings at the old shop, and fleshing them out as interdependent channels - an ecosystem of sorts, organized around the design constraint of 100% post-consumer goods.
The gathering will include a tour of the facility in which I've been leasing a small studio since this time last year, and that I had chosen with community-centered regenerative commerce & connection ecosystem in mind: can we imagine what could be possible in this space? What, with collaborative momentum here, might we create in another neighborhood node nearby? I've got ideas, but without the buy-in and energy of others, such ideas mean little.
When we meet, I plan to share a bit about where we've been, about where we're at now, and what a timeline to funding would look like (there are unique funding options available for cooperatively owned businesses).
If you'd like to join us on Wednesday – or if you'd like to be added to the Zoom list – you can register here.
The building requires masks in common areas, so please plan to bring and wear one. There will be two Wednesday sessions - one at 5:30, another at 7. You're welcome to attend one or both. The address is 3751 17th Ave S (55407). After you register, the confirmation email will provide enough details to direct you to the right entrance. ;)
Free lot or on-street parking, bikes can come inside, and Bus Route 23 drops off right at the corner. The building is mostly wheelchair accessible, though there is a series of three stairs to be navigated in order to visit our small studio and a small meeting room.
If you know someone for whom this would be a powerful opportunity, please do feel free to share this with them.
And, of course, I'll be in touch again...when I get to it. ;)
Thanks for your continued encouragement and support!