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Revamp-It-Yourself (RIY.com) - An Online Store Selling Low-cost Designs to Revamp Public Places

Revamp-It-Yourself (RIY.com) is an online store selling low-cost products / toolkits that the website's readers came up with and are to be used by buyers to revamp public places. And the idea is of course to create a movement around RIY!

Photo of Szilvia Varga

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Do you know Threadless.com the website that sells T-shirts with designs submitted and selected by its readers? I propose we do something similar but instead of T-shirts the website would sell low-cost products and toolkits that can help communities reclaim their environments by revamping public places. 

Step 1 - Submit Your Designs: the Revamp-It-Yourself initiative would work so that anyone who stumbles up on RIY.com could suggest an idea for a product or toolkit that they have used themselves before or just came up with that could be used for revamping public places. The criteria would be that the submitted idea would have to build on some historical emblems of the region, e.g. for Stockholm that could be the City Hall, the Vasa Ship, the Maypole, the Tre Kronor or the blue and yellow colours of the flag, etc. If the submitters have revamped a public place themselves then they should provide some photos of what they have done and what tools they have used so what the toolkit should consist of. If it is only an idea they came up with because for instance they know how they would like to revamp a place but they lack the tools then they should submit some sketches of how they would revamp a place and what tools they would need to do that.

Step 2 - Vote For Your Favorite Designs: in the next step, the readers of RIY.com would vote on these submissions and the creators of the website would identify the 5 ideas that got the most number of votes quarterly.

Step 3 - Produce The Toolkit: after having selected the most popular submissions, the creators of the website would create these toolkits and make it available to anyone through the website.

Step 4 - Buy Your Toolkit: in the end anyone could by these toolkits through the website's online store. Revenues could be split between the people who submitted the idea and the website owners or another option is that revenues go to the website but the submitters get store credit.

An example product could be that if a ruin pub in Hungary created their own garden lights using colorful IKEA buckets, lightbulbs and some strings then they could submit this idea and if readers like it the website could productify it and start selling it.

Another example could be is producing sticky graffities, so different designs that are then printed on a material that resists rain, sun and snow and can be applied on walls of buildings or objects in public places and could also be removed without leaving a mark behind.

(Pictures to come later :)

What resources (money, time, people, technology, etc) will your concept need to be successful?

- Team that runs the website, competition and produce the goods
- Website with functionality for submission of ideas, voting, and web shop
- Initial funding is needed to set up the website and market it until the shop breaks even

What steps could you take to implement this idea today?

Look for funding as well as find enthusiasts who would be up for setting the site up even for free.

How can your idea be scaled so that it's implemented in cities around the world?

If the website serves only one country or only one continent in the beginning then a straightforward way to scale it up would be to start deliver goods to other parts of the world as well.

Another way to scale it would be to recruit more people to the team and thus have the capacity to sell more and more products.

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Photo of Johan

I Love the Revamp, Reclaim, Remake, Remodel, Reuse, Remarket angle!

There's lots of these similar web shops popping up, but with a clearly defined regional origin with a local-designed Detroit-trademark would of course be able to stand out from the others (http://etsy.com http://www.dothegreenthing.com/saved http://www.dothegreenthing.com/glovelove ...)

Perhaps reuse old Motown-7"-singles and car-hub-caps to construct hand bags, furniture parts, cookie-trays, candycontainers??? Resell door handles from vintage cars as door handles for your apartment?

And if you get intricate revamp-projects you could place a fee for downloadable step-by-step-instruction manual with video-explanation. Those that make the video gets part of the fee.

Photo of Szilvia

That is a great idea to add the local touch!! Thanks :) That way it would also build local identity. I love it! Instructions are also a super idea... will incorporate both in the concept.

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