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Thursday, February 7, 2013

BLACKERI: Where Expression Meets Style. Interview with Definate Balfour –Lanai Jarrico Reporting…

Blackeri is owned and operated by Definate Balfour and features edgy urban, emo, alternative, vampire and gothic styles for both men and women. You will find an assortment of graphic tees, jeans, purses, eyes, gestures and even crowns in 5 colors to choose from.  The SL Enquirer caught up with Defi at Blackeri to find out what brought her to Second Life and what inspires her designs and accessories.

Interview with Definate Balfour

Lanai: Hi Definate, It is nice to meet you. Everyone in Second Life has their own journey and story behind how they got into the virtual world Second Life, can you share what brought you here?

Defi: I’ve been asked similar questions to this before, people have asked me what I did before I had my own company and I tend to give the same answer. We all come to Second Life for one reason or another, I came because I was bored, got into some things I feel just about everyone gets caught up in, then got tired of it. I’ve held several different jobs in SL from hosting, dancing, DJing, to event hosting and teaching at SL role-playing school.
 Over time of going through things, getting into new interests like clothing and fashion, I slowly slide into clothing with some encouragement from a friend that was getting into men’s fashion. He said he’d never seen me light up until I began creating. He knew I’d wrote since I was a kid and loved creating, but never got to witness what it does to me until I got into clothing. Nothing I’d done before in SL gave me that joy and focus like building and creating does for me.

Lanai: besides building things, designing and running your shop, what other activities do you like to do in Second Life?

Defi: I enjoy spending time with my SL family, role-playing time to time, and shopping.

Lanai: Shopping seems to be on the top of many lists of those I interview lol. What has been your most rewarding experience here?

Defi: Back last year I had gotten injured, it got worse to the point I had to leave Second Life for a bit. I was in and out of the hospital, with doctors not sure for awhile what was wrong with me. When I’d gotten well enough to check into Second Life I had messages left for me. People were wondering when I was going to release new things, what had happened to me. When I’d gotten sick I didn’t think much of my company on the grounds of people being interested in my things. I had made enough money to pay for my medications in real life; the money had built up enough to cash out. This was rewarding for me because I gained a sense of pride in the interest in my things. Here I’d been for a long time thinking my stuff was alright, nothing major, then suddenly…to me at least…there was a great interest.
 Once I got better and was able to sit up again and function independently, wanting to provide more and make customers happy with enjoyment. This gave me something to do that was also helping me in real life to pay for my medications at a time I wasn’t able to otherwise. Creating and being artistic is something I’ve done since a child, this is an outlet for me to do it for others in my own way. I'm hoping, like many here already, to be able to provide for my irl family with the funds I earn here.

Lanai: Thank you for sharing that with me. It really gives me more insight into the person behind your avatar. Also, thank you for the lovely crown. I am wearing it proudly and as a part of my Royal crown collection.  As I was taking a tour of your shop, I came across a great matching “Cutesy Punk” purse and had to have it. Can you define your style?

Defi: It’s hard to pinpoint an exact word to define ‘my style’. I like alternative things, things that are cute yet creepy. I love Tim Burton, Mark Ryden, and other artists and in a way they influence my look at things. I want pretty things, but pretty things with kawaii creepy cuteness. I’ve had all types of customers come through the doors of Blackeri because I have such a wide range of things.

 Lanai: I’m liking your style too. Can you tell me what inspires your patterns and designs?

Defi: I take inspiration from all kinds of things. I created backpacks some time back that were inspired by my SL daughter. I’d get inspired by artworks or even music. I’ve always had my own style of things; I got into making clothing because I couldn’t find things I wanted. With that and the encouragement of my friend I kept at it. I’ve also found inspiration from first life things and people. It’s really weird, sometimes I will have an idea begin working on making the idea into something actually outside my head and then along the journey come across a pattern and BAM something else comes along.

Lanai: I noticed a lot of new things displayed, how often do you add items to your collection?

Defi: I release new things several times a week. I have a horrible condition called multi-tasking and tend to work on several things at once, with this often things get released in chunks all at once or several times throughout the week.

Lanai: I think we are both stricken with that condition lol. Staying busy is a good thing though. Less time to get in trouble I say. Lol. So, do you do custom items?

Defi: I have done them in the past; I did work out uniforms for a football league in SL. I’ve also made special toys and items for charity hunts I’ve hosted for schools I worked for in-world, and time to time I’ve made items in colors that customers can’t find elsewhere.

Lanai: That’s great to know. I noticed avatars like to get things personalize in SL. I also noticed that you showcase some activities like prize boards and Hunts, what are some of the things people can win?

Defi: Entire outfits, mesh clothing, toys, partial mesh items…basically anything I release new find their way in there, limited edition goods has found their way into them.

For hunts, I’ve made items you can ONLY get in some of them. With The Sinister Goth group, I’ve released a ‘Wrath’ unicorn horn, for each of their future hunts another in the collection will be added. Also for other hunts I’ve provided the item later on for purchase, just for those who missed the hunt, didn’t know about it, or never heard about Blackeri before.

Lanai: Nice prizes and marketing ideas. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, do you offer any specials for these occasions?

Defi: In the spirit of the holiday I have some freebies down in the shop. This includes ‘Valentine’s Day Trio’; these are scripted tongues with sculpted hearts, they’ve been on blogs for promotion as well!

Lanai: Ooooh let me plug your blog real quick! Peeps check out for those festive tongues! Do you also have a group avatars can join to find out about the latest items you make?

Defi: Yes, I do. Currently, it costs only 50 lindens to join. The reason it has a fee to join is because I want to ensure that the VIP gifts, freebies, and discounts are more exclusive to those loyal to Blackeri. This is a way also to keep spammers out.
 With this group you’ll get several things:

❤Exclusive group gifts
❤10% Discount in-world when you shop with your tag
❤Freebies in the notices
❤Group Only – Hunts/Events
❤Active chat w/active staff
❤Updates on news, new releases, and a blog to correspond with this
50L to join

Join, Visit, Shop!



Shop at Blackeri and don’t forget to vote for it!


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