Flotsam General Store: “Our Aesthetic Will Punch You in the Face”
If you, like me, are interested in things, Flotsam General Store (a new webshop from comedians Eugene Mirman and H. Jon Benjamin) looks promising: things, designed/chosen by them, shipped to you in a sack. It’s a retail concept Mirman and Benjamin have been considering for 20 years. Said Mirman: “People will often say to us, ‘If you weren’t doing comedy or acting, what would you do?’ And I always say ‘I’d be an entrepreneur of mysterious bags.’”
If you’re skeptical of the site, which promises “a post-structural online shopping experience,” you shouldn’t be. “It is definitely real, and the products are real, and the bag is real, and everyone who orders one will get one.”
What You’ll Get
Regarding what you’ll get in your sack: It’s not easy to pin Mirman and Benjamin down at this stage. They know that the initial customers will likely be fans of their comedy work, but they want their designs to stand on their own. “We’re entering the design world, naked as a baby,” said Benjamin. “It’s not going to be, like, a Bob’s Burgers mustache.” According to Mirman, it could be made of forged steel, but it’s not a Toyota Corolla. They won’t rule anything out, although there are no wood projects currently in the works. Some of the items will be wearable. Probably.
The small mystery sack ($40) will contain approximately three items. The larger sacks, currently delayed due to manufacturing lead times, will have more. Said Mirman: “The things that will come in the bag will be somewhere between useful and interesting. People are like ‘Oh, I hope it’s a bag of sand.’ No you don’t, and neither do we want to send you sand.” What will the items be useful for? “Take it to a bar and start a party. Or a fight!” According to Benjamin, they will be “products that will leave a legacy. Something to be proud of for time immemorial.”
Once the sacks start to ship (the site launched Monday), there will be no keeping the mystery products under wraps, and the curators know that. “We aren’t sending a nondisclosure agreement as one of the three items,” said Mirman. But the bag contents will change—“like flotsam, the word”—so what one guy Instagrams won’t necessarily reflect what you’ll get if you order. Once the stuff is out there, Flotsam may offer customer favorites for sale on an individual basis, but they plan on continuing the sack sale model: “Mystery bags forever.”
The Future of Flotsam
If all goes well,  Flotsam is considering launching brick and mortar stores, following a traditional path: first New York, then Tokyo, then probably Massachusetts. It’s Benjamin’s goal for Flotsam to be as big as Starbucks. Eventually “in their coffee.” For the skeptical consumer, why trust two actors with $40 to deliver on their promise of good stuff? “$40 is not a big consumer risk,” said Mirman. Added Benjamin, “Look at Maurice McDonald, who started McDonald’s. He had $40, and look what happened.” Plus, shipping is free.
http://www.flotsamgeneralstore.com/
-Pete

Flotsam General Store: “Our Aesthetic Will Punch You in the Face”

If you, like me, are interested in things, Flotsam General Store (a new webshop from comedians Eugene Mirman and H. Jon Benjamin) looks promising: things, designed/chosen by them, shipped to you in a sack. It’s a retail concept Mirman and Benjamin have been considering for 20 years. Said Mirman: “People will often say to us, ‘If you weren’t doing comedy or acting, what would you do?’ And I always say ‘I’d be an entrepreneur of mysterious bags.’”

If you’re skeptical of the site, which promises “a post-structural online shopping experience,” you shouldn’t be. “It is definitely real, and the products are real, and the bag is real, and everyone who orders one will get one.”

What You’ll Get

Regarding what you’ll get in your sack: It’s not easy to pin Mirman and Benjamin down at this stage. They know that the initial customers will likely be fans of their comedy work, but they want their designs to stand on their own. “We’re entering the design world, naked as a baby,” said Benjamin. “It’s not going to be, like, a Bob’s Burgers mustache.” According to Mirman, it could be made of forged steel, but it’s not a Toyota Corolla. They won’t rule anything out, although there are no wood projects currently in the works. Some of the items will be wearable. Probably.

The small mystery sack ($40) will contain approximately three items. The larger sacks, currently delayed due to manufacturing lead times, will have more. Said Mirman: “The things that will come in the bag will be somewhere between useful and interesting. People are like ‘Oh, I hope it’s a bag of sand.’ No you don’t, and neither do we want to send you sand.” What will the items be useful for? “Take it to a bar and start a party. Or a fight!” According to Benjamin, they will be “products that will leave a legacy. Something to be proud of for time immemorial.”

Once the sacks start to ship (the site launched Monday), there will be no keeping the mystery products under wraps, and the curators know that. “We aren’t sending a nondisclosure agreement as one of the three items,” said Mirman. But the bag contents will change—“like flotsam, the word”—so what one guy Instagrams won’t necessarily reflect what you’ll get if you order. Once the stuff is out there, Flotsam may offer customer favorites for sale on an individual basis, but they plan on continuing the sack sale model: “Mystery bags forever.”

The Future of Flotsam

If all goes well,  Flotsam is considering launching brick and mortar stores, following a traditional path: first New York, then Tokyo, then probably Massachusetts. It’s Benjamin’s goal for Flotsam to be as big as Starbucks. Eventually “in their coffee.” For the skeptical consumer, why trust two actors with $40 to deliver on their promise of good stuff? “$40 is not a big consumer risk,” said Mirman. Added Benjamin, “Look at Maurice McDonald, who started McDonald’s. He had $40, and look what happened.” Plus, shipping is free.

http://www.flotsamgeneralstore.com/

-Pete

The Atlantic Ocean Comedy & Music Festival

This September, I’m putting on the biggest event of my life: the Atlantic Ocean Comedy & Music Festival. It’s a cruise to the Bahamas featuring an amazing lineup of music and comedy acts… on the music side we have Nellie McKay, John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, Dan Deacon and John Roderick. On the comedy side, we have Marc Maron, John Hodgman, Nick Thune, Wyatt Cenac, Eugene Mirman, Jonah Ray and many more. Oh, and unlimited soft-serve ice cream.

The cruise (including a pre-party in Miami) runs September 12th-16th. Ticket sales end August 9th. So come join us for a certainly fun thing you will definitely want to do again.

Book your tickets now at BoatParty.biz.

I’m really excited and proud to share with you my latest project: The Atlantic Ocean Comedy & Music Festival. This September, I’ll be setting off from the port of Miami with some of my favorite entertainers and a few hundred of our closest friends and associates. We’ll have two nights of comedy, one of music, and four days of fun in the sun. Also: shuffleboard.
Our performers list is absolutely amazing. 
On the comedy side, we’ll have Al Madrigal and John Hodgman from The Daily Show, Marc Maron from WTF, Kurt & Kristen (that’s Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal), Maria Bamford, and Eugene Mirman. Plus a couple of comics I think are amazing who you should know about: Jasper Redd, Hari Kondobalu, Josie Long and Nick Thune. Every one of these people is among the best in the business.
The music side might be even better. We’ve got John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. We’ve got the charming and beautiful Nellie McKay. We’ve got John Roderick of the Long Winters. And the party will be set off right by the amazing, amazing Dan Deacon. This will be unbelievable.
Besides all that, this is a classy cruise ship, not some Carnival monstrosity. Bring your good clothes. And your valet, if you’ve got one.
You can book your berth now - and your hotel room for the pre-party in Miami. It’s all online at the awesome website boatparty.biz.

I’m really excited and proud to share with you my latest project: The Atlantic Ocean Comedy & Music Festival. This September, I’ll be setting off from the port of Miami with some of my favorite entertainers and a few hundred of our closest friends and associates. We’ll have two nights of comedy, one of music, and four days of fun in the sun. Also: shuffleboard.

Our performers list is absolutely amazing.

On the comedy side, we’ll have Al Madrigal and John Hodgman from The Daily Show, Marc Maron from WTF, Kurt & Kristen (that’s Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal), Maria Bamford, and Eugene Mirman. Plus a couple of comics I think are amazing who you should know about: Jasper Redd, Hari Kondobalu, Josie Long and Nick Thune. Every one of these people is among the best in the business.

The music side might be even better. We’ve got John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. We’ve got the charming and beautiful Nellie McKay. We’ve got John Roderick of the Long Winters. And the party will be set off right by the amazing, amazing Dan Deacon. This will be unbelievable.

Besides all that, this is a classy cruise ship, not some Carnival monstrosity. Bring your good clothes. And your valet, if you’ve got one.

You can book your berth now - and your hotel room for the pre-party in Miami. It’s all online at the awesome website boatparty.biz.