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Sponsor Interview with Reven Rosca of Meshopotamia

Original post @ 7th Annual Second Life Home and Garden Expo.

Reven Rosca 3_001

HGE: We thank you so much for becoming a sponsor of the Home & Garden Expo (HGE). What led to your decision to be a sponsor this year?

Reven: How can I NOT sponsor HGE? This is my fifth round at the Expo. The first was with PRIME in 2010, where we had a single display, and since then I’ve been stuck here. Every year a larger parcel, and here I am, with a Platinum sponsorship for the third time. Traditions can’t be broken, you know.

HGE: There are so many non-profit organizations represented in SL. What prompted you to support Relay For Life of Second Life?

Reven: Cancer runs in my family, so to speak, so the cause is very close to me. Also, this is a charity I can rely on. I know for certain that my Lindens go to the cause they are intended to support.

HGE: Are there things that you most look more forward to at HGE this year?

Reven: Oh! There is so much to see! The variety of exhibitors is enormous, and they display all sorts of Home and Garden stuff, from good old prim builds to superb quality mesh.

There are so many different styles that it must have been a gigantic puzzle to lay out the sims so every single display has a space where it fits in, and also landscape all the regions to make a beautiful little continent.

And you know, I think this will make a better shopping experience for our visitors. Imagine a family strolling from display to display on the family homes oriented sim instead of dragging their tired kids all over the place?

There is so much beauty out there on the Expo sims! I’m pretty certain that this will lift the whole expo experience several levels from earlier years when we were spaced out more randomly.

HGE: We would love to know about your work! Do you have any background in your First Life that suggested you would focus on the areas of design you have chosen for SL. If so, explain.

Reven: Umm… actually no. If you don’t count the fact that my grandfather built furniture? Or maybe that’s just it… I have a soft spot for Art Deco, which was his field of work, so I have probably taken more inspiration from him than I was aware of.

HGE: What were the origins of your store?

Reven: Meshopotamia is a rather new brand, but it’s origins go back to 2008 when Win and I started PRIME. I built with the tools I had available, and never really mastered the art of making my own sculpties, so I relied on quality tools available inworld like so many others.

It might sound strange, but I was actually a late adopter of mesh. I had a couple of things that were based on inworld mesh kits out from the very beginning, but I wasn’t satisfied. Sculpties gave so many possibilities that were completely lost with the new mesh kits, so I stuck to the old as long as I could.

But one day, I said to myself: “Reven. You are going to master this, and you are starting right now.” So I did. I started to make my own meshes for PRIME, but found myself making more meshes than it was practically possible to finish and sell at PRIME.

It’s almost a year and a half now since I started to sell my first meshes in a spare room upstairs at PRIME. I’ve expanded multiple times since then, and bought a full sim for Meshopotamia in May this year.

And here I am, making full perm meshes, not only because it’s a good creative outlet and because I learn a lot from it, but perhaps more importantly, my meshes are enabling creativity out there. I never cease to be amazed when I see what other creators can do with my base meshes. I wandered the Expo yesterday, entered a house, and thought “Nice couch” and then “WOW! I made that grey looking mesh thingy, and look at that stunning lounge they made out of it!”

Enabling Creativity! That’s not only my slogan, it’s what inspires me!

HGE: Do you keep up with the latest technologies? Which do you consider most important and why?

Reven: You mean the Rift and such?

I’m not touching that headset until the nausea issues are ironed out, but it sure sounds like the future, or one part of it.

They say I’m a lot geekier than most women my age though, so if it wasn’t for the nausea issues…

Having a reasonably new and strong computer is important to me though, and most important of all: A good GPU. If I were to give one piece of advice it would be this: Install the best graphics card you can afford that fits in your computer, and your SL experience will be like a new world.

HGE:  What have you considered key to your success as a business person in SL? Do you have a business model that works for you? So many of us dream about having a business in SL but it’s harder than it looks! What are some of the things you would recommend to a talented individual who is considering embarking on starting a business?

I do what I love, and love what I do!

That keeps my creativity flowing, and my main goal for what I do in SL is to have a good time doing what I do and cover my expenses. I look at the possibilities to cash out as a bonus, which keeps it all positive. I think it would have been a lot more stressful if I made my SL income part of my daily RL budget. -But I love bonuses!

Secondly, I use what I’ve learned through my RL profession: Communicate! Communicate, cooperate and network. And smile while you’re doing it.

Keeping the door open for feedback of all sorts is vital, and I fear that many good SL creators have spoiled their chances by making hostile profiles and building walls between themselves and their customers.

Also, make yourself and your business easy to find. Learn how to use search, and the possibility it gives, and don’t use ASCII symbols in screen names, profile texts and blogs. It might look cool, but it also makes it near impossible to find you in search, let alone understand what you try to say.

Thank you, Reven!


Visit http://slhomeandgardenexpo.com/2014/09/15/sponsor-interview-with-reven-rosca-of-prime/ for actual post date.



Platinum Sponsor: Potomac Signature Homes

Original post @ 7th Annual Second Life Home and Garden Expo.

Potomac Signature Homes

2014 Platinum Sponsor

2014 Platinum Sponsor

Owner: Winter Loxley

HGE SLURL:

Donation Items:

Price: L$

replace with ad

Price: L$

Other new releases:

replace with ad

Price: L$

replace with ad

Price: L$

replace with ad

Price: L$

replace with ad

Price: L$


Visit http://slhomeandgardenexpo.com/2014/09/12/platinum-sponsor-potomac-signature-homes/ for actual post date.



Only @ The 24²!

Original post @ Siren Productions Second Life » The 24² Blog.

There’s still a little more time left to come out and visit The 24² before some amazing limited editions are gone from the grid forever! You won’t be able to find these items later so come and pick them up before the event ends on the 13th! Here’s another peek at some of the items you can find:

Accessories:

Diamante Exclusive for The 24² by Destiny

Diamante Exclusive for The 24² by Destiny

Ninja Katana by CX at The 24²

Ninja Katana by CX at The 24²

Hair:

Moods Exclusive for 24² by Vanity Hair

Moods Exclusive for 24² by Vanity Hair

Skins & Makeup:

Beguiled Exclusive for The 24² by Madrid Solo

Beguiled Exclusive for The 24² by Madrid Solo

Arrow Avatar Exclusive for The 24² by (red)sand

Arrow Avatar Exclusive for The 24² by (red)sand

Menswear:

The 24² Exclusive by Park Ave

The 24² Exclusive by Park Ave

Ricardo Christ Face Exclusive for The 24² by Zanze

Ricardo Christ Face Exclusive for The 24² by Zanze

Womenswear:

Katy Dress Exclusive for The 24² by Masoom

Katy Dress Exclusive for The 24² by Masoom

Katy Heels Exclusive for The 24² by Masoom

Katy Heels Exclusive for The 24² by Masoom

The 24² Exclusive by MMayako

The 24² Exclusive by MMayako

Be Unforgettable Exclusive for The 24² by {U.R.} Fashion Designs

Be Unforgettable Exclusive for The 24² by {U.R.} Fashion Designs

Lucky Wedge Sandals Exclusive for The 24² by {U.R.} Fashion Designs

Lucy Wedge Sandals Exclusive for The 24² by {U.R.} Fashion Designs

Hooded Vest w/Pleated Skirt Exclusive for The 24² by MOoH

Hooded Vest w/Pleated Skirt Exclusive for The 24² by MOoH

And there’s so much more to see! Your limo awaits.

The 24 Squared Logo

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/The%2024%20Square/27/128/25

The post Only @ The 24²! appeared first on Siren Productions Second Life.

Visit http://sirenproductionsl.com/24%c2%b2/ for actual post date.



A walk in the park

Original post @ [ Room69 ] .

The breakdown:

Hair:  [enVOGUE] – Jasmine – Ombre – Subscriber Gift! (one color, one style)
Skin:  Skin-Sation – Tessa – Pale – Special Group Gift!
Shape:  Mine!
Hands & Feet:  Slink – F – Relaxed Hands, High Feet
Eyes:  Mayfly – Liquid Light Eyes – Ultraviolet Pitch – Group Gift
Piercing:  Tameless – Piercing 19 – at the OMG Room
Dress:  Yobasha – Pin Up – White – at [Room69]
Shoes:  Blossom – Luxury Sandal – at [Room69]
Mani/Pedi:  By Snow – Fashionable Black 

Visit http://room69sl.blogspot.com/2014/09/a-walk-in-park.html for actual post date.



~AFK~

Original post @ [ Room69 ] .



The breakdown:

Hair:  Tameless – Malinda – Fantasy Fades (New Release!)
Skin:  Glam Affair – Aria – Asia Tone – Combo 3
Shape:  Mine!
Eyes:  Mayfly – Liquid Light Eyes – Ultraviolet Pitch – Group Gift!
Lashes:  Ploom – Feather Mascara
Hands & Feet:  Slink
Shirt:  Eden – One Sleeve – Life – at [Room69]
Panties:  Kayfo – Strawberry Panties
Socks:  Blush – My Lil Socks – Pink
AFK Balloon: Snook – Let’s Lay Down AFK

Visit http://room69sl.blogspot.com/2014/09/afk.html for actual post date.



*Catching Up*

Original post @ [ Room69 ] .

*Subbie is Wearing*
*Heels-Blossom-Luxury Sandal Collection*Room69 *NEW*
*Dress-Yeliz mesh-Theresa-Slitted Chemise*
*Hair-Magika-Dots*

Visit http://room69sl.blogspot.com/2014/09/catching-up_8.html for actual post date.



*Don’t turn around*

Original post @ [ Room69 ] .

*Subbie is wearing*
*Hair-Exile-Maren-Sunset*
*Heels-[Glitzz]-Barcelona High heel*@Room69 *NEW*
*Tattoo-Custom iNKZ-Bad to the Bone*

Visit http://room69sl.blogspot.com/2014/09/dont-turn-around.html for actual post date.



Interview with Saffia Widdershins of Prim Perfect: 2014 Platinum Sponsor and Dear Friend of RFL/SL

Original post @ 7th Annual Second Life Home and Garden Expo.

 

Aug29d_001You could never accuse Saffia Widdershins of being blasé.  I had the delight of meeting Saffia along with my HGE partner-in-crime, Joonie Jatho, on a recent Sunday morning. Joonie and I teamed up to ask questions, so while I am typing up the response the work is a joint effort. Saffia, who hails from the United Kingdom, was already well into her day and in spite of the fact that she still had to conduct a business meeting and attend an awards ceremony, graciously gave us nearly 2 solid hours of attention.

I want to note that The Second Life Home & Garden Expo could not happen without sponsors.  As a Relay For Life event, which funds cancer research, we rely on donations of both capital and manpower. We thank Prim Perfect for again being one of our Platinum Sponsors and Saffia for her continuing support for Relay for Life. For years, Saffia and her team on Prim Perfect and its sister TV show, Designing Worlds, have been a part of Home & Garden Expo and have played an important role in the success of the event. Saffia and other team members are also active with RFL’s Fantasy Faire as well as one of the coordinators of the telethon that accompanies each Relay weekend.  Saffia has been a tireless advocate for the charity and there is not enough thanks in the world to express our appreciation of her efforts.

Q: Tell us a bit about your “real” job in Second Life, Saffia!

A: I am the owner and editor of Prim Perfect, Second Life’s first magazine for homes and gardens, which began publication in February of 2007. I am also the producer of and presenter on Designing Worlds, a Treet.TV/SLArtist.com show for Home & Garden design and the designers who create in a virtual world. It airs every Monday at 2PM SLT. Past shows may be viewed either on Treet.TV, SLArtist.com or itunes.

We then went on a tour of Prim Perfect headquarters, a modern residential build created by Loz Hyde of Meshworx.  The first floor is a large public space where you can pick up free kiosks that connects your business with a large network of other home & garden merchants and allows your customers to subscribe to the magazine.

Q: How did Prim Perfect come to be?

I became active in Second Life in January of 2007 and was renting a castle (remember how we all had castles – or beach huts –  back then) that allowed me the use of 200 prims.  I was clueless about how to move furniture around or prim counts; founding out about them after my landlord told me how much I was over limit. I thought, “I can’t be the only one struggling with these problems and began searching for help, noting there were blogs and magazines devoted to beauty and fashion but the only resource for home and garden was “Linden Lifestyles”, a blog that sadly ended in August 2008. I chatted with the owners of the few furniture stores that were around and learned that there were no magazines for Home & Garden, so with one month of Second Life under her belt, I started Prim Perfect. Towards the end of 2007, I had a staff and things were running smoothly so I began looking for new ways to expand and launched MetaMakeover on Treet.TV, which morphed over time into Designing Worlds.  Over the years, A: I’ve been the editor of The Primograph, a gorgeous, rich magazine devoted to Steampunk and Victoriana design, The Quest for the Golden Prim, which is a serial series done in the style of a graphic novel (the last chapter is planned for publication in 2015), AND The Blackened Mirror, a TV show created in a virtual world.

Q: How were you first exposed to Home & Garden Expo?

A: I was doing Metamakover on Treet.TV, when Treet.TV was asked to do a telethon in 2008, and the Designing Worlds team was asked to be on air for the first two hours of the event. The first Expo was built on the corner of a sim in a divide that used to exist between sims. I had never seen so much furniture in one place.  I loved the event so much that Prim Perfect had a space at the second Expo that was built on the corner of one of the four sims that made up the event. I  remember, a special “Blue Willow” hunt and the beginning of the lantern release, which has become an annual tradition at the Home & Garden Expo.

Sept1H_001

Q: Do you have any plans to do anything exciting on the Prim Perfect sponsored sim at Home & Garden Expo 2014?

A: At this year’s Expo we will be releasing an all-new Prim Perfect, which will merge the magazine and website into the current address. There will be many new features like the Pro’s and Con’s about controversial issues from opposite sides ( first topic: Gachas!), “Favorite Things” where the author’s will talk about their favorites items in Second Life and person will be interviewed about their favorite things. The magazine will be interactive and readers will be encouraged comment and carry on the discussion or share their own favorite finds. There will be a huge launch party for the new format at Expo so watch the blog’s event listings for details soon.  We will also continue the tradition of lantern releases each day at 4 pm SLT.

Q: Saffia, are you sure you are not a bot because you are literally tireless!

A: LOL, Yes I do sleep, usually having refreshing naps, one in the evening from about 10pm until 1am, then I wake again, work a few hours and then go to bed again at 4am until 9am. In early modern times apparently a lot of people slept like this and that there are historical references to “first sleep” and then “main sleep”!

Q: Please name 3 words that describe yourself.

A: “Passionate”, “committed” and “caring”. Also “nothing I have done could not have been done without a team” and “it’s not just me; it’s all about the team”

Q: What kind of  advice would you give to someone who wanted  to follow in your footsteps?

A:

  • “Find something to do that is different and that you love doing and can be passionate about, especially something that has not been done or being done so badly and you can do better!”
  • “Your endeavor should be something to which you can commit.”
  • “Be prepared to work bloody hard without counting cost. None of it comes easily and sometimes you have to let things go to continue.”
  • “Sometimes people approach me and say ‘I want to do a tv show.’  Then I ask why and how and who do you have on board. Usually they say “just me.” and I always respond “Team”; that the level of involvement required is enormous.  You need a huge team, writers, film, editors.”

“The potential in SL for making stories is still there and is still strong with an ongoing need for writers and a “crying need” for tv people and editors. Media in Second Life remains such an open market with tremendous potential.  So many of the people I’ve worked with have gone on to do commercial projects.”

Q: What do you most look forward to at this year’s Home & Garden Expo?

A:  “Nice people to talk to, a lovely place and the lanterns. The Expo is fantastic with the coolest part being meeting all your friends. I will look on my mini-map and see all those “yellow dots” (friends). ‘Green dots”  are just a friend I’ve not yet met.

And with that she added me to her friend’s list and I now honored to now be one of her yellow dots.

For a historical perspective of Second Life’s Home & Garden Expo (courtesy of Saffia) we encourage you to check out the following resources:

Home and Garden Expo 2009: http://api.treet.tv/media/dw_041_06may09_169c.mp4

Home and Garden Expo 2010: http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds/episodes/home-expo-2010

Home and Garden Expo 2011: http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds/episodes/home-expo-2011

Home and Garden Expo 2012: http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds/episodes/home-garden-rfl-2012 andhttp://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds/episodes/home-garden-more-12

Home and Garden Expo 2013: http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds/episodes/home-garden1-2013 and http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds/episodes/home-garden2-2013


Visit http://slhomeandgardenexpo.com/2014/09/07/interview-with-saffia-widdershins-of-prim-perfect-2014-platinum-sponsor-and-dear-friend-of-rflsl/ for actual post date.



Interview with Nikki Mathieson – 2013 and 2014 Event Chair – RFL of SL

Original post @ 7th Annual Second Life Home and Garden Expo.

Having worked with Nikki Mathieson, outgoing Event Chair of Relay For Life of Second Life for several years, I was uber excited and honored to have the opportunity to interview her. Join me as she looks back over the years and looks forward to the future while still being firmly planted in today.

Nikki Interview Pic

Joonie Jatho: Hi Nikki. Thanks so much for sitting down with me today and chatting!

Nikki Mathieson: Hi Joonie!  Well, thank YOU. You are one of my favorite interviewers. I have always loved reading your interviews with interesting people in SL, so this is an honor.

Joonie: Thank you so much. You’re just saying that so I’ll go easy on you! Tell me about your very first encounter with RFL of SL waaaay back in the beginning and why you became a part of it. Who introduced you to RFL in SL?

Nikki Mathieson: I am a Big Brother fan and before I came to Second Life, I would chat in a Big Brother online forum.  Well, I didn’t chat much, actually, I lurked. But now and then I would offer a brief comment. I’ve never been a big chatter-er on sites; I lurk. Anyway, after Big Brother in ended in 2006, a group on the forum was looking for something else to do, something new and one of them said we could all create accounts and join that place called Second Life. Gradually they each began to do that and I decided to join them. One day I was in a clothing store and recognized the name of someone and introduced myself.  She took me to the island parcel they all shared in SL, and we all became lifelong friends.  Soon after, one of them discovered RFL of SL and we all decided to form a team and do it. I have always believed that everyone needs to choose a ‘cause’ and support it generously, not only with money, but more importantly, with their time. There had been other causes before RFL for me, so I was pretty eager to jump onboard. We were such a large group that we ended up forming two teams and I was the captain of one of them.

You went from that to becoming the Chairperson! Can you give us a progression of things…like a mini timeline? You’ve been involved in so many different capacities.

Nikki Mathieson: I was a team captain from 2007 through 2010. In 2008 and 2009, I sat on committee and organized the live music lineup at Relay weekend. In 2010, I mentored and sat on the committee as the person who organized the kickoff and wrap up ceremonies. In 2011, I was the Events Design Area Chair under MamaP Beerbaum’s leadership and in 2012, MamaP Beerbaum appointed me as one of her Event Co-Chairs. The RFL of SL staff partner, Stingray Raymaker, and MamaP asked me to sit as the 2013 Event Chair when MamaP’s term ended.  It’s a two year term so here I am at the end of my second term.

Joonie: That’s amazing, Nikki. Did you start Home and Garden Expo or did you take it over from someone else?

Nikki Mathieson: I started it in 2008. I had the All-Stars team and was trying to come up with a way to make it easier to raise money for Relay like in one fell swoop, yanno?

Joonie: Sounds like a good plan. Why Home and Garden?

Nikki Mathieson: I had just gone through a home and garden expo in Real Life and thought I could do something like that in SL. Then I ran into Saffia Widdershins of Prim Perfect at Naughty Hair. I didn’t know many people and she was kind of new, too. A newbie asked for help and we both helped and started talking and she mentioned she was about to start a new magazine called Prim Perfect about homes and gardens. I said “wow… I’m going to start an expo about homes and gardens.” LOL. I didn’t see her after that until the second HGE.

Joonie: A match made in Heaven?

Nikki Mathieson: Yes. SL is a small world, after all.

Joonie: How did you get her involved?

Nikki Mathieson: She came to me for the second Expo and said that she had gotten Prim Perfect up and running and it was doing well and she thought the Expo would be perfect. They became sponsors that year and they’ve done it ever since.

Joonie: So you didn’t use sim sponsors at that time?

Nikki Mathieson: I have always used sim sponsors. For the first two or three years, I used rental sims from Linden Labs. I have always had to pay for sims. We had two the first year. The next year we had four. Then eight.

Joonie: So when you said you rented from Linden Labs, were you saying it’s different now?

Nikki Mathieson: They still have them. The rental sims are like 4000L per sim, per day or something and can only hold 20 people at a time. They’re on the mainland. I used those for the first three years and then started getting sims.

Joonie: So you went from 2 sims, to 4, and then 8?

Nikki Mathieson: Yes…and then 10 and then 14 sims, which was the most and was toooo big. I took it down after that.

Joonie: LOL. I remember that.

Nikki Mathieson: It was too much to cover. Even the bloggers were intimidated.

Joonie: That’s saying a lot. We don’t intimidate easily. LOL!

Nikki Mathieson: True! LOL! Nine or ten is max. Otherwise, it’s just too much to cover.

Joonie: What are some of the biggest challenges of putting on an Expo?

Nikki Mathieson: Hmmmm. Well, for the home expo it’s not like challenges, so much; it’s work. They are a very easy group of people to work with. The challenge is staying on top of it. Keeping traffic coming in can be a challenge, as you know.

Joonie: Yes. What are some things you do to increase traffic?

Nikki Mathieson: I use social media and try to get exhibitors to announce to their groups. And I use special events within the event like live music and other entertainment, that kind of thing.

Joonie: HGE 2014 is coming up SOON – Sept 16th! What are your hopes for this one and what would you tell the new team taking on this huge task?

Nikki Mathieson: Kat Alderson is the new coordinator. She’s been in SL and RL business for years. She’s very smart and good at what she does. I think what I would point to, though, is the “family” feel we’ve had at the Expos.  Many of the exhibitors and I grew up together.  We fondly looked forward to meeting every summer at the Home Expo and we’d chat in the group while we all set up exhibits and things in the Expo. We LOVE getting together, each year, and really kept the Expo pretty chill–relaxed and homey.  As the Expo got larger, especially when it grew to 14 sims, it became more difficult to keep that “homey, relaxed” feel to it and in retrospect, I see the importance of keeping that always present.  So, I would advise the new leads of the Home Expo to be careful to not make it ALL business, ALL the time and remember to enjoy it. There are some wonderful people who participate in that every year, and have from the beginning and they are truly a part of the Expo family. I think about them all with fondness.  They will always have a special place in my memories.

I keep hearing the word “legacy” lately and it’s made me stop and think about the contributions I’ve made and I’m satisfied that I’ve left good things behind me. Home Expo is one of them.

Joonie: Nikki, you’ve done so much and you’ve been doing it for the majority of your time here.

Nikki Mathieson: I have done a lot. You worked with me, tho, so you know I don’t sit still very well. My brain just keeps on going and going! Hahahah!

Joonie: True!

Nikki Mathieson: Random (Random Padar Darrow) told me, after she became my co-chair and she knew that she MIGHT end up being chair, at some point, “I just wish I could hang out inside your brain, for a little while” hahahaha!

Joonie: Omg! What goes on in there? *peeks in* Eeeeps!

Nikki Mathieson: LMAO! I am a planner. That’s what I do!

Joonie: Yes, you are and yes, it is what you do. I think that’s why things run so smoothly.

Nikki Mathieson: I think, looking back, that I am a dreamer. SL gives me a great canvas to set up those dreams and find a way to make them great for others, too. Doing them alone isn’t fun.

Joonie: What was your dream in the beginning? Did it shift around a little bit after you started?

Nikki Mathieson: It grew. At first it was to create events that bring together creativity and give creators a platform to show off their work, which I was SOOO impressed by, and to make it so that a wonderful charity made something out of it, too. When I started, there weren’t any mega events except the Clothing Fair and it was in its second year, and Hair Fair started that year too, I think.

Joonie: Were you familiar with Relay For Life before SL?

Nikki Mathieson: I hadn’t truthfully had a whole lot of exposure to cancer loss. I mean I had friends who had cancer and had experienced some losses, but since I’ve been relaying, it’s all come a LOT closer. I have always… always… believed that everyone needs to serve in some way.

Joonie: Familiar in what way?

Nikki Mathieson: It has come closer now because my niece’s husband is dying. They got married and have a “Brady Bunch” family. He has full custody of his three kids and she has two from a previous marriage. Then they had a child together and he’s three now. Rodney is 32 and recently diagnosed with brain cancer. They don’t expect him to live more than another year. There’s nothing they can do.

Joonie: I’m so sorry, Nikki. I hate cancer so much.

Nikki Mathieson: Me too. Sooo soo much. And yet, more people are living now beyond a cancer diagnosis, so I’m also thankful.

Joonie: It’s true… thanks to research and Relay For Life.

Nikki Mathieson: The man who founded Relay For Life, Gordy Klatt, died not long ago. RFL has poured almost 5 billion dollars into research and has about 47 Nobel Prize winning scientists and researchers to account for many discoveries and successes.

Joonie: Five billion? That’s amazing! I wasn’t aware of that! Do you know how much RFL of SL has raised to date?

Nikki Mathieson: Well this year, we ended another season with a little more than $ 415,000 USD. We are very close to having raised 2.5 million dollars since we began in 2005. It was announced today that we are now in the top 20 of the largest relays in the world.

Joonie: No way! RFL of SL is one of the top 20 RFLs in the world?

Nikki Mathieson: Yep. This lil’ ol’ Cartoonland.

Joonie: Wow. That gets me a little teary-eyed.

Nikki Mathieson: See? That’s what a group of people on a mission can do. No matter the platform. And that’s the way I dream.

Joonie: BIG!

Nikki Mathieson: Yes. Use what you have to make it the best it can be. Don’t expect best right off. Expect to have to work for it and for it to always stay just out of reach ahead even, but reach for it because it may be someone else’s best and you played a big part in it, yanno? It’s all about the people.

Joonie: You must have seen a lot in your years as part of RFL in SL. As you look back, what are some of your best memories? Funniest memories? Most challenging?

Nikki Mathieson: There are so many. Some that were painful, too. I’ve made a LOT of friends. I’ve seen the BEST in people over and over and over. I’ve seen sadness, too. There are way too many memories to single out one.  I’m so proud of what an amazing group of people have done in SL. I’m so proud of the American Cancer Society and what it does for families who endure the pain that cancer brings. I believe in the ACS, whole-heartedly, and plan to continue to support it, from a new level, as it continues to grow.  Relay For Life has always been about fundraising.  That’s why it was begun in 1985, to raise money for The Society.  It’s the main fundraiser all year for the ACS.  But, here in SL it’s become so much more than that.  It’s like a brand.  It has brought a LOT of people, from across the globe, together. It’s a family, it’s a magnificent support system, it’s opportunity, it’s successes and triumphs and accomplishments. It’s understanding, compassion and acceptance and you just don’t walk away from that.

Joonie: What would you like to see the future of RFL of SL bring us? Where would you like to see it go from here?

Nikki Mathieson: RFL of SL will continue to grow. We are in the top 20. It will bring people to SL…new people.

Joonie: So now, after all these years of serving, you’ve decided it’s time to take a step back. What does that mean for you?

Nikki Mathieson: I’m a busy girl in and out of SL. It means that I might get more things checked off my daily to-do list. LOL! That list that always grows and never gets completed. In real life, I track down (bail) bond jumpers. This is a family business and I plan to give it more attention. I’ve always just hunted the skippers and kept up the books and stuff, but I plan to get licensed now and branch out to add more counties to the areas we write bonds in and start writing them, myself.

I look forward to having more time to do the things I love in my RL. But, I managed to find time for them before [my RFL retirement], too.  I think it’s important that we focus on keeping an active first life along with our second.  I love to visit local farmers markets, trips to the zoo, the Renaissance Faire and other local attractions. I have a wonderful family and we’ve always enjoyed spending time together.  My boys take me to the ballgames, nearly EVERY time they go. GO ROYALS! GO CHIEFS! I’m also on their Fantasy Leagues and plan to beat every one of them this year LOL! We like to go out together at least a few times a month just to be with family.  Sometimes we’ll go pick up my mom and stepdad and all go to a local coffee house and the boys will get up on a stage there and sing (open mic). They’re all so talented. We have a blast.
Joonie: Does your RL family know what you do and are they supportive?

Nikki Mathieson: Yes, very much so although they are looking forward to me being available more often for them. LOL! The Home & Garden Expo/Breedables Fair kept me busy for the first half of every summer, the Christmas Expo/Breedables Fair and The Avi Choice Awards kept me busy during the holidays so, yeah, they’re proud but also ready for me to take a break! LOL!  My mom, my sweet, sweet mom, thinks we (RFLers) are the most awesome people on the planet. She has me log her in for events and ceremonies sometimes and watches while I escort her around SL.  She also keeps an eye on our website totals and donates via convio to RFL. One day she said, “I’m just going to email Oprah Winfrey and tell her what wonderful people are in that Second Life.  I’m so proud of them.”  LOL! We had just hit our 2 millionth dollar raised in SL.

Joonie: LOL! She sounds like a sweetheart. Are you looking forward to sitting back and enjoying Home and Garden Expo this year?

Nikki Mathieson: Umm…. Hmmm. I don’t plan to do that.

Joonie: No? No sitting back for you? LOL! What DO you plan on doing?

Nikki Mathieson: I don’t want to move on and away from them too quickly without looking behind me but I do keep on moving. There are many more things waiting for me to get going.

Joonie: Will you go to Home and Garden Expo this year?

Nikki Mathieson: I will absolutely. And I will probably have some of them in future events of mine, too.

Joonie: What are you looking forward to this year?

Nikki Mathieson: I look forward to a new, clean canvas and possibilities that are there because of what I’ve done up to now… because of the work I’ve already done. But for now it’s for me and for my crew and I will always support Relay. I want to build something for us now and welcome Relay into our home, instead of the other way around, if that makes sense. And who knows… maybe other charities now and then, too.

Joonie: It does make sense. Can you say a bit more about that?

Nikki Mathieson: My events have always been structured around RFL requirements and maximizing donations for Relay For Life, maximizing exposure and profit for the exhibitors beyond that. Now I have a blank canvas. My events can be structured around different needs, different requirements, different strategies. I can rez a kiosk or invite a singer to sing for RFL in those events and continue to show my support to Relay For Life, but do an event outside of that structure. It would be like having Relay come to visit us.

Joonie: So on smaller scale, but the same master mind?

Nikki Mathieson: LOL! Okay! Hahah! Yes, definitely a smaller scale. A smaller, wider scale.

Joonie: Less stress? Spill it, woman!

Nikki Mathieson: Stress will always come with a large event to a certain extent. That’s the nature of the biz. You know that!

Joonie: Yes but only because we care and want it to be successful.

Nikki Mathieson: Yes, that is so true. Not only for ourselves either.

Joonie: Right. Least of all, really.

Nikki Mathieson: Yes. So true. I want our exhibitors to love it.

Joonie: Would you like to share what your plans are going forward?

Nikki Mathieson: I can loosely. I’m still developing them but yes, I do have concrete things going. I am the founder of the Avi Choice Awards. I do plan to make that better. I plan to consult with experts in each category, coordinate expert panels in each category, and make it better. It is such a great opportunity for SL residents to honor their favorites. Under that, I have events planned where those awards will be held. There won’t be one huge, massive Avi Choice awards event, it will be split up. We’ll now have Avi Choice Awards for Fashion, SLife, and The Arts, each held at different times with events around each one of them. Three shows! Woooo! We also have an Avi Choice magazine in the works – Favorites in a Virtual World.

Joonie: What do you say to people who complain it’s a popularity contest?

Nikki Mathieson: Well, I say that since the awards are given by residents who take the opportunity to honor their favorites, they would be correct. That is all about popularity, isn’t it? But the designer has worked hard to garner that amount of popularity to grow a group that size. Who am I to complain about or judge that? The residents nominate, not me, and not my crew. And we limit voting to one ISP. If the designer, who is usually THRILLED to have been nominated, goes to their group and says, “I want this so much” and that designer has a group that can make that happen, more power to them. They worked hard to get there and anyone, ANYONE, can do that. In this wonderful canvas we all share, we can all make our dreams happen and grow something from literally nothing. I point to Relay For Life again. That’s $ 415,000 dollars one linden at a time. That’s a lot of lindens. Inworld we think 250L$ is more than what it really is. Do you know how big an average donation is in SL?

Joonie: The same as a pair of virtual shoes?

Nikki Mathieson : No. Like 50 lindens.

Joonie: OMG! No way!

Nikki Mathieson: Yes! We raise all that money PENNIES at a time. But you see, those are the people who do not whine or complain because someone is getting something they’re not or receiving recognition they’re not. They’re hustling and busting their butt and they’re making it happen. We all share the same world.

Joonie: It sounds like you see it as an opportunity to give back.

Nikki Mathieson: Yes, and to promote talent and creativity. I’m proud of Second Life. I’m really proud of it. We create it.

Joonie: Well, you’ve done some amazing things here, Nikki. You’ve taken it and used it for good.

Nikki Mathieson: LL was a great plan huh? Build it they will come…and build it for you. Hahaha!

Joonie: LOL!

Nikki Mathieson: Thank you for saying that. It is definitely the plan and always has been.

Joonie: What do you do in SL for fun when you aren’t organizing, brain storming, or delegating in that brain of yours?
Nikki Mathieson: I LOVE live music in SL. I manage Damian Carbenell, who does some super fun shows, so I get the opportunity to hang out, listen to great music and dance.  I LOVE to dance in both lives. I also like to explore SL. I love the creativity and imagination here.  I do have some projects in the works like we talked about.  It’s what I DO.  I am an event organize and I appreciate good entertainment.  I appreciate that we all have times when we want to log in and just…smile and enjoy.  Yep, I’m brainstorming on how I can offer ways to do that more.

Joonie: So what’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you in SL?

Nikki Mathieson: Ohmigosh! The hardest question of all!

Joonie: LOL! Have to keep you on your toes!

Nikki Mathieson: LOL! I have had so many times that I’m laughing so hard I’m in tears. I love my friends so much and working with people in events and sharing those moments, all stressed out beyond exhausted. You know what I’m talking about… in “that” zone and the littlest thing will just be sooo hilarious.

Joonie: Yes! LOL!

Nikki Mathieson: It’s like, “uh ohhhh… she broke.” Sting and MamaP… those two can do things or say things that make me laugh so hard I’m sick. No regrets, that’s for sure. Only good things.

Joonie: That’s awesome, Nikki. Soo once all is done, all the work, prep and stuff… once it’s all done and doors open, are you able to sit back and enjoy it or what happens then?

Nikki Mathieson: At events? Oh heck no! Hahahaha! You don’t stop until the doors close and the sims are gone.

Joonie: Too funny. And then you get drunk?

Nikki Mathieson: Well, then you rest a day and get to moving on to the next one. Have you noticed that everything takes longer in SL?

Jooine: Yes! And you can’t sit still! Okay, three words that would best describe you OTHER THAN workaholic.

Nikki Mathieson: Hahaha! But I’m not a workaholic, tho. It’s what I love.

Joonie: That makes all the difference.

Nikki Mathieson: Mhmm. I work for a job. Well, I love that, too, but it’s different. And that’s one of my words, I think. Compassionate. I love people; their weaknesses and insecurities and strengths… things that are unique to them. And as someone who works with people who are in need of bail, there’s always, always, a story there. Sometimes I have to make myself think hard, which can suck, but yeah, always a story.

Joonie: Is it scary?

Nikki Mathieson: Not scary for me because I just track them. It’s sometimes scary for my guys, tho. Always the same first line, “I went to court.”

Joonie: LOL! Any wild stories about that?

Nikki Mathieson: I sent them to a wedding to arrest the bride’s brother once. I was up until like 4 am trying and trying to track this guy. I just happened along a wedding registry online. It was his sister. After a bit more digging, I found the date. It was the next day! Sometimes you just get lucky.

Joonie: Or NOT!

Nikki Mathieson: Oh yeah! Lots of nots. LOL

Joonie: Okay, so compassionate is one. Two more words! And I totally agree with compassionate.

Nikki Mathieson: Fair.

Joonie: What does fair mean to you?

Nikki Mathieson: It means everything. It’s like a goal everyone should strive to reach. I work at it and I feel like I’m able to be there but it’s always a work in progress. Fair is having an open mind, being able to step outside yourself and your own wants to understand and want what’s right. Not right for you but just… plain… right. Fair is giving equal chances until it’s proven wrong. Fair is always positive. It’s not an easy thing to be sometimes.

Joonie: I love that, Nikki. J

Nikki Mathieson: My last word is Dreamer. Or maybe Believer. Maybe they’re the same thing. LOL.

Joonie: What does Nikki believe?

Nikki Mathieson: I believe that we’re all made from the same mold. We all have the same platform to live in, create in, form relationships in and I believe in good people. I believe that there are a lot of them. I believe in family. It’s all about the people, Joonie.

Joonie: I knew you would say that. :)

Nikki Mathieson: Even when you see someone creating drama on a blog or whatever they have a story, there are reasons. Well, you know me. We’ve spend a lot of time working together.

Joonie: Yes, we have. Years. Amazing, really.

Nikki Mathieson: Yep. Years, tears, and laughs. We’ve both grown, too. Right here in this Cartoonland. People who aren’t here have no idea.

Joonie: When you first rezzed in did you have any idea how your life would change?

Nikki Mathieson: No, not at all. It was at Christmastime. I was just blown away immediately by all the creativity. We’ve come a long way since then.

Joonie: Yes, we have. Nikki, thank you so much for spending time with me today. It’s been fun chatting and reminiscing with you.

Nikki Mathieson: You’re very welcome. You make people comfortable talking.

Joonie: That’s so I can pull out their secrets!

Nikki Mathieson: LOL! But you’re protective of them. That’s why you’re trusted.

Joonie: Thank you so much, Nikki.

Nikki Mathieson: Oh you’re so welcome!

And that’s how the interview ended…with Nikki making someone else feel good. I’m sure after the interview she went off to explore some other way to give back to the SL community she loves so much.


Visit http://slhomeandgardenexpo.com/2014/09/06/interview-with-nikki-mathieson-2013-and-2014-event-chair-rfl-of-sl/ for actual post date.



The 2014 HGE Rezzie Awards

Original post @ 7th Annual Second Life Home and Garden Expo.

The 2014 Home and Garden Expo, benefiting Relay For Life of Second Life, is right around the corner, and so are The Rezzie Awards.  We love the Avi Choice Awards associated with Christmas Expo, and we know with so much of SL content and entertainment to cover, they cannot possibly provide all the categories home, garden and building enthusiasts are eager to vote in.

The Rezzie Awards are specifically designed to honor the designers, creators, coders, and builders who make Second Life so visually stunning and interactive, who inspire roleplay, photography. machinima, and so much more.

Nominations are now open and will remain open through September 12th. On the 13th, we’ll filter out the top 4 nominees in each category, and post them for open voting. HGE Staff members will be excluded from the final list of nominees, and are not eligible for awards. Voting will commence on September 14th, and will run through September 27th, when we will tally up the votes  The winners will be announced just prior to the close of Home Expo on September 28th!

Winners will receive an exclusive, customized trophy, designed by Reven Rosca.  The Rezzie Awards are organized by Fallacy DeCuir, and audited by Fallacy DeCuir, Kat Alderson and DeAnn Dufaux.

Click the link below to cast your nominations!

http://tinyurl.com/therezziesnominations

Tagged: awards, expo, nominations, the rezzies

Visit http://slhomeandgardenexpo.com/2014/09/06/the-2014-hge-rezzie-awards/ for actual post date.