umbrellasAs with many lovely things in life, umbrellas came to me rather serendipitously.  A few years ago I was wandering through the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, truly one of the great small shop meccas of the country, when I chanced upon a whole store of umbrellas.  Not so much as a single rain coat, but hundreds of umbrellas.

I was in awe.

I owned several umbrellas of course — a couple of black ones, and a red one.  But I had never owned one with Monet’s “Water Lilies” or white clouds skipping over a rich blue sky.  I fell in love with them.

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I left that shop with six umbrellas — one for me, and five as gifts.  If I had had a bigger suitcase, I would have gotten more.

A web business centered around umbrellas would be such a fun site to develop, and there are just so many ways to approach it.

A RAINY DAY SITE

Feature umbrellas, of course, but also bring in galoshes and rain capes and sophisticated rain coats.  (I love the word “galoshes”.  I once did a demo site called “Galloping Galoshes”, just because it sounded so cool.)

It is easy to assume that every town has an umbrella outlet, but they don’t.  I didn’t really expect to find one in southern California, but I did expect to discover loads of umbrella designs here in Oregon.  But they aren’t here.  There is one store that has a few umbrellas, but that store isn’t even open year round.

Feature sizes for men, women, children AND pets.  Honest — the pet options will be among your top sellers.  I promise.

THE MANY FACES OF UMBRELLAS

You might stick with the umbrella concept (i.e., no galoshes, etc.), but broaden it to include

  • Bridal parasols and bridesmaid parasols, perhaps custom created to match their dresses;
  • Sun parasols, like those pictured above;
  • Patio umbrellas;
  • Tiny party parasols, like the ones used in exotic cocktails;
  • Umbrellas and parasols from around the world;
  • And, yes, umbrellas for pets.

Become THE SOURCE for all things “umbrella”.

SUNSHINE UMBRELLAS

  • Beach umbrellas
  • Patio umbrellas, with stands and outdoor tables
  • Picnic umbrellas
  • Parasols — all styles and colors
  • Antique umbrellas

A CRAFT SHOP FOR UMBRELLA MAKING

  • Should you be an artist yourself, consider creating your own umbrella designs;
  • Create videos showing others how to create specific types of umbrellas;
  • Focus on parasols for weddings;
  • Create a “Rainy Day Club” where every couple of months you send out a do-it-yourself kit for a different umbrella or parasol or rain hat;
  • Sell individual kits for different types of umbrellas or rain hats.

MIX AND MATCH

Take an idea or two from hither and yon, and create a mix that is unique.  Perhaps your passion is antiquities, but your artistic bent says that you can create replicas.  Perhaps you have traveled the world and have images of umbrellas and parasols from hundreds of different locales.

Whatever your inclination, there is likely a place for you on a Rainy Day!

A Rainy Day website is one of those notions that has slipped totally under the radar, and it has sooooo much potential.  It can be a really sophisticated site with loads of technology, or it can be a very straightforward site relying mostly on images and text.

This is a site that encourages your creativity, but it won’t exclude those who are not incredibly artistic.

Give this one some serious thought.  It has tremendous potential.