In Case You Were One of the Three People in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Who Didn't Make it Out: The Grand Opening of the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair

May 22, 2008 | 826 Blog Post

I know we say this all the time, but it’s hard to know where to begin. Words come to mind, all followed by exclamation points: wow!, holy cow!, phew!, robots!, people!, people as robots!, more people!, oh-my-goodness-look-at-all-the-people-who-came-to-support-our-crazy-little-project!, etc.! Pictures come to mind, too, for example, this montage of just a few of the many robots we had walking around town on Saturday:

That’s right, we had robots of all shapes and sizes, including a pregnant robot, four Radiohead-referencing robots, one half-monster robot, and a robot who’s shades were, I’m pretty certain, stolen from Kanye West.

We are working on getting all the pictures up, and if we are ever successful with that, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, here’s a little photo essay:

The door as you walk into the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair.

Writebot greets you
when you enter with
a rotating cast of
student faces.
Thanks Elaine Reed
for building such
a cool robot!

Products! We’ve got it all,
from the Robot Desk Toy (part of
our “generic” Liberty Brand

line) to Positronic Brains (a Better
Bot’s exclusive) to the Robot
Savings Account to our Robot Toupee/
Party Hat to the Robot First Aid Kit.
We also carry Personality Inserts
(in case you have a dull bot),
robot building kits, and more!
The best part? All proceeds support
our free student programming!

We weren’t lying when we said we were
going to have a Robot Dance Off in the alley.

And we were sure pleased when a large crowd gathered.

Two of our favorite bots:
Andrea and Seamus.

The puppet show was wonderful, but sadly, did not photograph well. Rest assured that you missed something great if you were not there.

And now, a HUGE list of thank yous, in no particular order, and for widely varying levels of help:

Megan Cummins, the Other Cummins Girl (Emily), Scott Seeley, Mac Barnett, Ben English, Andrea Lofquist, Marian Short & Marc Church, Melissa Culver, Angela Sanders, Ryan Howard, Adam Becker, Charles Covey-Brandt, Marshall, Andy, Angela DeSmet, Gregg Horvath, Preston Horvath, the Lussier Clan, the Sumerton Clan, Christopher Taylor, Lacey Babcock, Andrew Freels, Nicole Premo, May Becker, Angi Stevens, James Cargill, Josh Barnhart, Chris Miller, Erin Bennett, Chrissy Deiger, Frank Uhle, Jared Hawkley, Elaine Reed, Ken Mazur, Lauren Kioski, Page Redford, Jessie Roy, Linda Adler-Kassner, Rick Weise, Onna Solomon, Billie & Seamus Lanigan, Heather Kingsbury & Nelle, Shanti Thrumalia & family, Scott Beal, Greg McMillin, Steven Rajewski, Jennifer Guerra, Courtney Mandarino, Kristen Wilems, and Anne Heintz.

And now, in very particular order, the three volunteers who made it all happen, without whom there would be NO store to speak of, certainly not one that looks this good, and is this funny:

3. Rachel Lieberman. A former intern, Lieberman came in the final weeks and made herself indispensable to us. An expert cutter, affixer, errand runner, advice giver, and basically just doer she took the store team from a pretty solid triangle to a fully functional square of power. I, literally, would have run off into the woods, never to be heard from again, were it not for her. Thanks Rachel!

2. Mollie Edgar. Designer extraordinaire, Mollie pretty much worked around the clock coming up with an amazing store logo, as well as logos for each of our product lines and designs for the labels of our many different products, and stellar windows. She also scavenged, conceptualized, analyzed, put this here, over-analyzed, moved it over here, and did about a million other things to help us come up with the overall look and feel of the store. When people comment on how professional our products look (Overheard Saturday night: “So, Better Bot’s? Is that a national brand?”), it’s all her. Thanks Mollie!

1. C. Jason DePasquale. In addition to being one of our most long-term volunteers, Jason is responsible for deciding that we should stage a robot takeover of the Monster Union. He is also responsible for leafing through a hundred toy catalogs with me, deciding (sometimes haphazardly) what to order, repurposing toys into robot needs, researching and ordering new packaging, writing the copy on the repurposed products, and using his incredible doodling skills to not only translate our ideas to Mollie, but also to decorate some of our products. Honestly, though, this only scratches the surface. The number of hours he has put into the store cannot be gauged. It is truly his vision, his sense of humor, and his creation. Thanks Jason!

Working on the store was one of the best, most creative, most exhilarating, most frustrating, most hilarious, most stressful, most engaging, most overwhelming, and most thought-provoking projects I have ever worked on. I truly, truly cannot put a fine enough point on how incredible working so closely with Rachel, Mollie, and Jason was. I don’t know if I have ever been part of a team that so wonderfully supported and helped one another, or one that was able to function on so little sleep. And, of course, a million thanks to the many people who helped in ways little and big, who also made the store a reality.

And thanks to everyone who came. And thanks to you, for reading what is probably the Longest Blog We’ve Ever Posted. What can we say? It’s exciting! Stop by and see it for yourself!

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