For years, Hyde Park-based Shari Weber walked past all the boutiques in her neighborhood and wished they were hers. But now she doesn’t have to wish anymore; she has a shop of her own.
No, it’s not on Erie Ave., alongside the other boutiques she adores in Hyde Park. It’s not even in Cincinnati. It’s on There.com.
Weber is one of the developers on There.com. On this site, she can design and sell her own custom items. While she doesn’t sell “real” products or earn “real” money, she says she’s gaining real experience. “I’m learning about trends, buying habits and earning an income from my dream job,” says Weber. “I hope to eventually translate this experience into having an online store or maybe a local boutique.”
It’s free to join, you can customize your avatar (the “virtual you”), design your virtual home, hang out at a virtual bar, explore your virtual town and go bargain-hunting at the There auctions. You spend the money you make as a virtual designer at all the virtual shops. “The better my designs are, the more money I make, and the more fun I can have on the site,” explains Weber. “It’s kind of scary how similar it is to the real world.”
Photo: Courtesy of There.com