If someone opened up a monome accessories shop...

  • ...I'd be a customer.

    I'm envisioning something hooked up with Etsy.com or something like that. Low-key, independently run. Maybe one or two employees (an artist and maybe a business person/shipping/administrative person?)

    Cases of all sorts, fit for the different sized monomes (I have a 128). Cases of different degrees of protection and different aesthetics; from gentle, zen-like "organic" knit fabrics and yarn to hard, steel, unapologetic jet-setter cases like the adapted poker kits I have seen posted here.

    Consonant with the monome aesthetic, the accessory store's products would be low on the branding (logos either elegantly small, or better yet: non-existent) but high on the handmade, stylish, done-with-care principle. Custom orders welcome, but a stock that should address most circumstances/needs.

    I realize the monome community is small. So this raises the legitimate question: Is there enough of a market to sustain a small business like this? Anyone know any artists/craftspeople/artisans you want to encourage to start it up? Am I crazy? Is this an old topic and I just didn't realize it?

    I admire the DIY thing, but I am just a clumsy musician and not a designer/builder/knitter. So I long to pay somebody a reasonable fee and order it off the web. I can't imagine I'm alone in this sentiment.

    If you go to Etsy.com (which is a site set up to facilitate the world of independent handmade/crafts commerce) and plug in search words like "case" or "bag" or "knit," etc. you will find things that come up that might work. But nobody is dedicating themselves to the monome form-factor or the musician/artist market.

    I suppose this shop could extend itself into the world of monome customization as well, if someone fancied themselves enough of an expert at that they'd be comfortable doing it professionally.

    Seems to me there might be a demand for this kind of service/shop. Is there a www.monomeshop.com in the future? Does this notion run so counter to the DIY principle that it's vulgar? Or would this infringe the trademark (and moreover the aesthetic) of Brian and Kelli?...

    What say you? Am I totally high here?

    - c

  • you may be high, but I like where you're going with this...

  • The concept could potentially be expanded to embrace the stribe and lemur community's needs as well.

    - c

  • I think there's always demand for nice handmade products, especially if those products can protect your favorite gear when you're on the move... It seems there is a lot of choice in small phone/gadget sized bags and bigger laptop bags, but there's not much choice in protective bags / pouches for your gear..

    I think this market segment is not interesting for big companies, because the sales volume wouldn't be high enough, so this opens up an opportunity for small independent companies.

    The customization option would definitely be interesting: your name, brand, contents sewn on the bag, or even custom patterns/designs or custom sizes..

    I've been looking for a collaboration with small sewing workshops in my area to see if they'd be interested in producing bags for my products.. I think it's a plus if a manufacturer offers a good quality bag for the gear they sell..

  • I see the value in this idea. I've found myself recently starting to think about a custom stand for my monome(s). Seems like there are many possibilities but first thing that comes to mind is a tilt/swivel stand sort of like this http://www.synaptech.com/catalog/images/076-0931.gif

    As far as cases go, I tend to prefer something that leans more to the protective, flight case type. It'd be great of there were custom monome options. People who play live or tour with their monome would definitely appreciate.

    Anyway, I think there is an accessories market. Especially with the monome and monome clone community growing.

  • Here are some designers I found on Etsy. Most of them specifically mention that they're open to custom requests.

    I wonder if any of them could be made aware of the monome concept & form-factor, and the itinerant artist/musician market and then pursuaded (or even commissioned?) to design specifically for the monome/arduinome/stribe/lemur community?

    These are only soft cases. Most of them look more stylish than substantively protective. But they're all laptop-minded, obviously and physically and functionally, the monome is not that different than a laptop. I'm not a designer, but it seems to me that it wouldn't be hard to adapt an existing design to suit a monome 64, 128, 256, etc.

    Aesthetics vary, obviously. Some of this stuff is too cute or ornate for the design sensibilities of the monome community, but... well, I like stuff done with personality.

    I particularly like the walking zombie bag. :)

    Check it out. See what you think. The list of links is long and somewhat random. It was the result of a brief 10 minute search on Etsy.































  • awesome looking stuff. some are prrrricey!

  • True, some of this stuff is pricy. But the penguin backpack's only $20, so the prices vary.

    It raises the question, what would the cost expectation be for a stylish monome soft-case (presuming the item is handmade) and what is the cost expectation for a hardcase? Finessing the equation of cost of production (labor, materials, shipping costs, etc.) would be part of the challenge for any designer.

    I bet you there's someone cool out there that would do it. Etsy shows that there are independent designers all over the world making cool stuff.

    ONE of them would be suited for this task/market, I think. If only for law of averages.

    I'm curious which ones appeal to anybody reading this thread.

    Any favorites?

    - c

  • I'm up for sewing more monome covers. I sold one for $30 two weeks ago. I could take another look at my materials and see if I could do it for less if more people wanted them. I am going to design a new one for the 64 that includes a pocket for the USB cable

  • http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vl_other_1&listing_id=19950016
    The penguin one. I really like the closure on this. Anything brass and not velcro.
    I also dig the understated flower pattern and the colors.
    I also kind of like this design. I would go for more of a sleeve type design as opposed to a handbag/shoulderbag sort.
    Overall, I'd go for a mix between mapmap's design and the penguin bag.

  • Mapmap, if you made a monome cover for the 128, I'd buy it for sure!

    I would like to encourage more designers to get into this business.

    - c

  • @mapmap -- yes, count me in for a 64 cover.

  • @mapmap
    i am in for 40h. ^^

  • okay, check it...

    i have enough felt left to make two more 64 cases or 1 128 in this style.

  • Very nice! I like the thick felt.. genuine mapmapmonomewrap :-)

  • I'm in for a 128. Lemmeknow. Do you take paypal?

    - c

  • i'll take a 64


  • @mapmap - I'll take a 64 (cover, that is) when they are available again (does this sound familiar?). Just tell me how to place the order. Peace

  • This only serves to underscore my point: someone should open up a webshop!

    There has to be a demand at this point.

    I want a soft case, but I want a hard case too, for more extensive travel/touring, etc.

    - c

  • hey guys,
    i'm so happy that you like my case design. i posted a new one on Dust Breeding. this one is my design for the 128...


    i'm not really set up to take orders for anything now. i need to find a cheaper source for the thick wool felt. i could go with something synthetic but it wouldn't be as nice. if you are interested in having me make one for you, leave a comment under the 128 or 64 entries so i can get an idea of people's interest.

  • Why not set up the monome accessory store as a "wiki" for members only. The members would only be folks that actually have a product to sell. They could modify the pages to link to descriptions of their product/s. Then the individuals themselves could designate their own order / payment process. I don't know who would moderate the wiki to make sure it only had legit members. But it seems that something like what I've described is the only way to keep it open source / DIY / community developed & supported according to basic monome philosophy.

  • That's a nice idea. I wonder if there is something out there that we could use that's preconfigured. I thought of etsy before but I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that you must register to even buy anything.
    Any thoughts?

  • Okay, another idea. Someone starts a blog in blogger (or some other free and easy to use blog spot) and then opens it up to complete sharing and user control (administrator) to anyone who is actually confirmable as selling a product. Everybody invited in can then post about their product and then give it appropriate tags, like, productname, case, or stand, or etc. That way, on the side with the "topics" widget, people would be able to search for what they were looking for. People could post anew, or they could edit previous posts. They could each then link out to their own sites and/or ways of ordering/paying. Pictures easily upload-able. Videos and mp3s easily embed-able. And if someone abuses it, the collective just shoves 'em out. Heck, maybe even tehn would allow a link out to it from the wiki site.

  • Why not just do that on the monome wiki? We already have links to people selling enclosures and faceplates.

  • Well, if it is kosher with monome and the community, then that would seem to me to be ideal. But I speak only as a consumer of these possible products, not as a producer.

  • you guys went all over the map on this idea.. I like the idea at first, but the more and more I read all your responses I got discouraged. Almost every suggestion I read doesn't seem ""sustainable"" lack for a better word. Meaning all these ideas would fail just because your not hitting the right market.

    etsy.com.. please.. i never heard of etsy.com untuil today, nor would i imagine myself buying anything from there. May as well just sell on EBAY. They got a worldwide user base, payments & insurance through paypal all automated... you'de have more success there.

    Don't mean to sound discouraging. Like i said the idea is great. But if you practice your idea in the wrong way, your just gonna burn a hole in your pocket and it would just drive your spirit down..

    Personally I think some1 who has the cash to back it up should hire a manufacture to produce the monome. Building quantities by the hundreds you can have the price range around 200$. Building by the thousands perhaps 125$ (the electronics cost much cheap in large quantities). They can also build DIY kits where all the soldering is done, all you need to do is assembly and sell parts like face plate as an extra... perhaps different colors and so forth..

    but these are all idea... everyone has them... it just goes to show sometime great ideas go no where if there isn't a solid base. That's whats missing

  • I agree with the some of your points, but i think that having a few users producing hand made accessories and posting order details on the wiki is a great idea. It doesn't need to be sustainable, its not supposed to be a money making scheme, its a way of helping the community.
    Sellers could post their email address and state what they have in stock, the designs and materials they use (open source). If they are out of stock then they can say whether they will make to order.
    Simple and easy.

  • @silverbyte - Your points would make more sense if monome and the monome community were trying to be some hugely profit driven business. But it isn't. That is not really its philosophy.


    So I want to second dovemouse's point, above, that, b/c the point is not some huge money making venture, but just getting DIY types within the community in touch with those who could use their services within the community expanding the wiki to include links to accessory products is a great idea.

    That would keep the producers, their products and production in keeping with the general philosophy of distributed development, support and production.

  • i think maybe using the wiki to post photos and links to individuals that make things for the monome devices... faceplates, enclosures, beautiful felt covers ;) , etc... is a good idea. a little webshop would be cool but the logistics would be kind of nuts.

  • i like this idea and it sounds totally doable with the current wiki. something like a main page with a list of links to each individual crafter's wiki page, maybe a one line sentence describing what they offer, so it's easy to browse. each individual crafter's page could have specifics on what they offer, instructions on how to purchase, etc. each crafter would be responsible for keeping their page up to date. simple as that. each crafter could determine how they want to run their little web shop (paypal? some other service for making the transaction? hey maybe even an ebay shop if you want to do that?), and something as simple as an email address could be used to place the order.

    i hope to see this happen! i know i'd be up for a few cases at least.

  • i'm all for using the wiki to feature custom designs people want to sell. i appreciate the artisan quality and it's totally in line with our goals.

    @silverbyte-- we've had the corporate/quantity discussion so many times here already, but it boils down to the fact that monomes are (believe it or not) not commercially viable as a consumer product, and our current production method embraces greater values than simply profit and proliferation. plus, everything is open source, so you can build your own!

  • thanks for weighing in brian,
    i'm happy that you are so supportive.

  • @mapmap:
    I just added a comment on your site. I want your 128 carrier! I'm psyched you're doing this. It's lovely.

    thanks for giving your perspective/blessing.

    etsy is awesome. don't dis out of ignorance. it's cool: tons of independent artisans all selling handmade stuff; spend some time browsing. what's not to love? great for giving gifts if you want to avoid the usual corporate mass-produced nonsense. i recently got married to a very beautiful woman (if you don't think this, you shouldn't be married!) and i have bought my wife lots of cool clothing through etsy. handmade stuff is just... cooler than store-bought stuff.

    and valentine's day is coming up. you still have time. :)

    - c

  • just a side note: I've always wanted a monome sticker. I figure a monome store would consider them.

    I pretty much want a sticker of anything though, cause stickers rule. but a simple monome sticker would proudly be sported on my car any day. I may have to look into making some whenever I order my next batch...

  • Hello, my husband Sam showed me this post a few days ago and I thought I'd try! I have four cases up now in my etsy store for the one twenty eight (since that's what we have it's easy to size!)


    I'm hoping to put up a few sixty four cases this weekend. I'm totally open to suggestions so let me know what you think. :)


  • @EVERYONE : you all make a good point about non commercialism and open source community, In fact I been part or open source community and non commercialism for a while now.

    But that being said I would like to make a few points. Think the Arduino, it has so many derivatives sanguino, boarduino, iduino, dorkboard, freeduino the list goes on and on. These products just make the ARDUINO SHINE in its GLORY!

    IF the author who produces these unique items that just do not exist for a small cost YET SHARE THERE work, source code and design then its giving back to the community and your paying for so little to get so much its worth driving product in question.

    The point is not to make money. But if it takes me 40 hours to create my own sheild. And the cost of producing each shield is 10$, and i sell them for 12$ AND release the PCB design , wouldn't that be worth more to the community than living in this FAKE shadow of commercialism and non commercialism.

    obviously theres rule....... BUT NOW WERE GETTING POLITICAL!!!!!

    and I HATE POLITICS!!!.. people do what you wanna do.. BUT ATLEAST DO SOMETHING rather than NOTHING!


  • @silverbyte

    Ok, I am going to totally be THAT GUY for saying this, but I can barely understand your post. I realize that monome is an international community, so perhaps English is your second language.

    Some rules that will help us all grasp what you're saying

    There = a place that is not here
    They're = they are
    Their = owned by them

    Its = owned by it
    It's = It is

    Your = owned by you
    You're = you are

    We're = We are
    Were = past tense of "are"

    Ok, OT Grammar lesson over.

    If I read you correctly, I think you're suggesting that there is something inherently naive or quasi-socialist about the monome principles of sharing and transparency. Fair enough. I disagree. I think an elegant balance can be struck. You can still have a capitalist survival-of-the-fittest structure without the intrusion of greed or bad taste or exclusion.

    I mean, to my knowledge, Brian & Kelli have never declared their company a non-profit organization. Y'know? Nobody would accuse them of greed --- they've clearly made choice after choice that would refute such a characterization --- but I bet you they make a decent living.

    I bought Mapmap's case. We have had a few very nice emails. He's charging only $70 for a 128 cover. This is, to my way of thinking, remarkably affordable and fairly priced. I am happy to support his work and I will wear the case proudly and tell everyone who asks who made it.

    Already there is another designer who has gotten into this line of work (*cough* through ETSY *cough*) and her work looks lovely as well. I am so happy that already this thread seems to have inspired a cottage industry, which was my fondest wish.

    Everyone wins; these craftspeople get rewarded for their work, and we in the community who don't craft things (a class that includes me and a quite a few other people, I imagine) get access to their handiwork! This is the way a good, basic capitalist economy works.

    Personally, I would expect any artisan to charge for their time and their materials. Like, duh. Time is money when time is labor. Whether you're a Marxist or a free market conservative, this is the most basic principle behind your economic theory. We all get this.

    The only question posed by this thread was whether there was enough of a market for a craftsperson to open up a webshop devoted to monome accessories.

    And I think we have our answer!

    Already two people have jumped into the market. I'm hoping for more! Diversity! (In particular, I want someone to make a hard case!)


  • @beauty pill : ummmm no english is my first language, im from montreal quebec so theres a lot of FRANGLAIS that goes around (french - english mix). I may have been stoned (actually i know i was) when I wrote that, but the truth is my grammer has always been horrible, although that does not make me any less smart than you would think. Your grammer lesson hints some arrogance, but Im sure thats not the point your trying to portray.

    Anyways my only hope is for the community to grow. When I originally read the thread I just wanted to make a strong point at marketing goals. Although it seems my views are just being criticized and that's fine.

    I don't think i want to continue this thread, it has been entertaining but my goal was not to upset anyone. That being said I wish everyone the best. Always did..


  • I must say, I'm really pleased with how this thread turned out. We now have monome accessories shops up on the front page! I'm psyched.

    I bought the mapmap soft case and it's on its way.

    Please, somebody put together a great hard case for the 128 and i'll pay you. Take those poker cases and modify them specifically for the 128, if you want. If I do it myself, I'll screw it up.

    I'm only good with music and sound; the physical world is confounding...

    - c

  • Hi there,
    I can only suggest to have a look on my handmade cover for the 128 and 256. I will make another color next week. Any comments are welcome. Oh, I am in Germany but I will send everywhere in the world in necessary. Hier is the link to the pix:

    To see the next pix simply click "next", "suivant" or "weiter" depends on what langage is your browser configured.