Saturday, June 26, 2004

Entrepreneur with a heart

Rent-free landlord, merchant and designer - It's all in a day's work for Briana Dawson
By THEA DONOVAN

When Briana Dawson first visited Second Life, she thought she'd never return.

"My expectations were very low, which made it easy for this world to blow my mind." Seven weeks passed before she progressed beyond making simple plywood boxes, but these days she is a successful entrepreneur.

Dawson's primary activity at the moment is expanding her Second Life Residents Program, through which she provides land at her expense to couples, groups, and homeless citizens. There are currently six residents living on land purchased exclusively for them, and some have even been provided with houses ranging from L$1 to L$1000 in cost. Her latest addition to the program is 2Stylez Apartment Living @ Aqua, where each tenant is provided with a spacious 3-room flat and a generous prim limit of 200, free of charge. "The idea [for the Second Life Residents Program] began in Aqua," Dawson explained. "I had about 2200 prims doing nothing so I figured I might as well let someone use it if I am not."

"When I started Second Life, I couldnt imagine how I was going to earn a dollar, let alone earn ten-thousand dollars.."


The cost of land was another factor. "When I started Second Life, I couldnt imagine how I was going to earn a dollar, let alone earn ten-thousand dollars like you need now to buy a 1,024 meter plot in a mature region. I wanted to alleviate this worry for some people and help them to have a more enjoyable Second Life."

Santana Lumiere has been living on Second Life Resident land for the last several weeks. She and her partner started out with 1,024 square meters in order to open a shop, and couldn't afford to expand when they decided to build a home.

Dawson bought 2,056 square meters especially for them, and even bought them more land so they could have a higher prim limit. As well as a shop and a home, Lumiere and partner are building a new club and hope to hold events when the building process is complete.

Currently they have no plans to leave the program and buy their own land. "I think so long as Briana allows us to live here, we will stay. It's very cozy here."

When asked what she considers her greatest in-world achievement, Dawson described the popular Aqua Galleria.

"Every day I go there I am amazed that I was able to cobble that together." The inspiration for that project stemmed from an unfortunate experience as a new vendor in Luna. She misread a memo from Char Linden explaining when her lease would be up, went on vacation, and returned to find that her store had vanished.


Brianna Dawson demonstrates her building abilities.


"My first thought was that I needed someplace popular where people know to go. Of course, Aqua being the first shopping sim in Second Life sprang into my mind, so I went there and grabbed all the land I could. A whopping 160 square meters."

After four weeks of contacting landowners in Aqua she was the proud owner of 20,000 square meters, and a beautiful galleria built by Maxx Monde. The latest addition to the Galleria is the Animation Repository, where animation artists are given free vendor space to sell or give away their creations until July 1.

Her own creations can be found throughout the world, from a collection of photosourced clothing at Club Elite, to her Go! Go! Jewelry line at the Aqua Galleria, Club Elite, and Half Moon Couture.

Sunny Buttercup has been a loyal customer since she joined Second Life three months ago, and especially appreciates Dawson's realistic jewelry design. "She puts a lot of time and effort into her work and that is why she is one of my favorite designers," Buttercup said.

"Who knew that inside this stupid box I sit at every day I would find such beauty, amazing creativity, and... the wonderful depth of a virtual life with such people."


Amongst Dawson's favorite aspects of LindenWorld, its citizens rank at the top of the list.

"Who knew that inside this stupid box I sit at every day I would find such beauty, amazing creativity, and... the wonderful depth of a virtual life with such people," she said.

The secret to her success is fairly simple. "I just sort of do what I can do, and don't do what I can't."




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