Jane Siberry's Magic-the-Dog.com
Ever the innovator, Jane Siberry has done it again.
The celebrated singer-songwriter, who pioneered consumer-determined pricing for her recordings and was way ahead of the game in other areas including living-room concerts and artist-owned labels and releases, has just launched a new online store fittingly called Magic-The-Dog: After all, one of the cherished songs in Siberry's catalog is “Everything Reminds Me of My Dog,” and she’s actually trained her Border Collie Gwyllym in sheep-herding.
In her new role as shopkeeper, Siberry and her fellow artist/product suppliers are “artists who love style, design, dogs, all living things, beauty, quality and making people happy“--as stated in the Magic-The-Dog website’s “Where We Are Coming From” mission statement on its “About” page. It also notes, “Each adventurer/artist in this store has a reputation for ‘unique’ and ‘cool’ and we love to create and spread the joy.”
Besides Siberry, Magic-The-Dog’s adventurer/artists so far are Dellamarie Parrilli, the Los Angeles-based painter and designer of jewelry and “Statement Piece” leather jackets; actress and Porcupine Lake writer/director Ingrid Veninger, who offers memorabilia and other articles from her personal collection; and Siberry’s friend and fellow Canadian songstress Mary Margaret O’Hara, who brings her music and artwork and is also available for commissioned design items.
But Magic-The-Dog’s initial wares are mostly Siberry’s and include her paintings and handwritten lyrics as well as one-on-one consultation and songwriting sessions.
“We have clothes, jewelry, stuff for our animal friends, ‘cool-or-handy’ things like a ‘pocket practice guitar’ you can carry in your purse, collector’s items and consultations with artists on whatever,” says Siberry. “We all have knowledge and great taste, and that’s the essence of the store—sharing all those things.”
Siberry has been working on Magic-The-Dog for four months.
“It’s been quite an investment,” she says, “but it’s exposed me to a world that I’ve never been part of: the world of marketplace—searching for things and making them available at really good prices. But it’s fun and I’ve learned a lot about the world around me.”
The goal now is “to find the balance between things that are really cool and things that sell well,” says Siberry, and the site also promotes “natural fabrics, coziness, color, fun, big and shiny (i.e. see our fabulous oversize chain collection)” while promising to avoid “muddy colors (especially on children), fake sexy [and] too much polyester.”
But Magic-The-Dog further seeks a new stream of “passive income” for artists.
“It’s making money without having to do a lot,” Siberry explains. “Musicians used to have income from work—and we don’t have that so much anymore and are looking for new ways of generating income. The store is fun, and feels to be in keeping with what I enjoy.”
She likens it to her recently introduced hour-long free live webinars, which offer tips on songwriting, singing, recording, touring and business, and promote a more educational class expanding on the curriculum for a fee. She eventually looks to record the sessions and sell them on the site.
The webinars are momentarily on hold, though, as Siberry refines their production methodology. But she’s continuing with her fun Thursdays with Jane half-hour Facebook live music/talk events. Meanwhile, she’s soon off to the U.K. to finish songs-in-progress and write new ones, bringing along Gwyllym—who appears in Veninger’s latest film—to walk with and hopefully work with two shepherd friends.
And here’s a discount code—JANE FRIENDS—good for 25 percent off all Magic-The-Dog purchases through tomorrow night (Nov. 13) at midnight, ET.