I love to travel. One thing I always do when I'm in a new city is to search out retail experiences that are not available in my fair city. I believe my first Ikea experience was the Frisco store just north of Dallas.
This past Wednesday Dec 14th, I joined the hundreds of people who came out to the grand opening of the new Ikea here in Memphis. Sure, I did have a list of things that I needed but my reason for being there was more about the experience of grand opening than the sheets, duvet set, and rug that I purchased.
As a proud member of the independent designer/maker community, it's easy to follow along with the "chain stores are bad" crowd. Not this girl - I Love Me Some Ikea. I use their Linmon tables at craft shows, their linens decorate my nephews bedrooms, and their green-lidded storage containers lovingly cuddle my leftovers in the fridge. Overall, I think Ikea is masterful at designing functional products which should be the goal for any designer today.
The Swedish store choose to come to Memphis, a city where we pride ourselves on our sheer tenacity, perseverance, and iron-willed determination not to be defined by what those who don't live here say about us. We call this Grit & Grind.
You could say it's a miracle seeing we're three hours from the Las Vegas of the South - Nashville. I say it's validation that just because someone calls you something doesn't mean you have to be that. One voice at a time, one project at a time, one event at a time....we changed the conversation and forced the world to look at all the stories that are Memphis - not just the negative ones. Ikea was smart enough to read the whole book that is Memphis - not just the dust jacket.
Ikea...Welcome to Memphis!