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Hi, I'm Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.
Longtime MNB readers know that I love retail with passion. After all, passion on the part of a retailer often translates into customer passion. The problem is, many retailers don’t realize it and/or seem incapable of capturing it.
Many. But not all.
Mrs. Content Guy and I were recently bicycling around Portland, and we were in the Slabtown neighborhood; we stopped at the terrific New Seasons store there for sandwiches and a glass of wine. My wife said she has a store to show me, one that she’d found while I’d been off on a business trip … and she was positively gleeful about her discovery.
The store was right next door, and it is called Baseballism. The moment I walked in the door, I thought I was in heaven.
Baseballism was founded by four local guys who loved baseball, but were not in the retailing business. They all had other day jobs, but at some point they started making up these t-shirts with baseball-related sayings. Friends liked them, there was suddenly some demand for the shirts, and then there was the realization that they had a business opportunity staring them in the face.
There are now six of these stores, in places like Cooperstown, New York, and Atlanta, Georgia, but this is the flagship - they not only sell the merchandise, but they design it in the back.
The thing that makes Baseballism unique is that none of the merchandise is team-oriented … it all reflects the culture and philosophy of the world’s greatest sport. Like t-shirts with saying - and life lessons - like “Rub Dirt On It,” and “Hustle” and “Live Life Like A 3-1 Count.” And my favorite, “6+4+3=2,” which, if you don’t understand it, tells us everything we need to know about your sports preferences.
They also have caps and keychains and all sorts of other stuff - including something I bought and now wear everyday, a leather bracelet with the phrase, “Respect The Game,” made from actual baseball glove leather.
By the way, it tells you everything you need to know about the owners that their business cards have on one side a picture of each owner as a kid playing ball. I love it.
You can check the online store out here. I hope you like it as much as I do … it is a niche business, but also a little slice of heaven right in the middle of Portland.
- KC's View: