Touch of Modern is a fickle mistress.
If you’ve never been, please check out that link above. They market lots of different products that have a “modern” appeal. Stuff like house decor, watches and other clothing are popular on the site. Sometimes they have a particularly adventurous dildo for sale. It’s really a mixed bag. The one thing you’ll notice is they have fantastic photographers. Every product looks like something that I absolutely must have. It’s a wonderful site to browse around and look for your newest addition.
The products themselves…well, I’ve had different experiences.
The first thing you should know is their shipping lead times are often extravagantly long. It might take 6 weeks for them to start shipping your product. It’s like we’re ordering off the sears catalog. The reason for this is Touch of Modern tends to feature crowdsourced or otherwise underfunded businesses: the company’s wait for ToMo’s deal to be over, and then start producing whatever number is needed. This reduces their upfront cost. But in the age of the internet, this can be a bit unnerving. I can happily say that I’ve never not received an item. But I’ve been disappointed in the quality before.
See, Touch of Modern is also not a bargain basement site. Many of their items are particularly expensive. I spent $90 dollars on some cityscape art, shown here:
Only to receive 2 rolled up posters. It’s not that they didn’t describe what I was getting, it’s just that…the photographer really sold this thing to be more than it was. It looks like I could hang it without a frame. I still like the pictures, but I wanted more.
The most interesting experience with the website was buying some more interesting wall art. I found these through a Facebook ad some months back, and thought it would be perfect for my wall.
Now, that’s a weird thing, but it’s super interesting for a wall decoration in my apartment. The fiance and I were in love from the moment we saw it. I’m going to quote the actual description from the sales page:
“Inspired by classic animal trophies but informed by Postmodern art and origami, PAPERTROPHY is easy, eco-friendly art perfect for the home or office. Using a complex polygon structure to create minimalistic, cubic renditions of animal busts and bodies, these easy-to-assemble pieces are made in the highest-quality, FSC-approved paper”.
We were in. FSC approved paper?!? That’s a big deal. (Please note, I’m not really sure what that means, but it sounds like it’s a good thing). So I spent something around $60 and ordered, and waited 4-6 weeks for them to ship. The anticipation was killing us. When I finally got the notice that the package was at the mailbox, I ran down right away.
As I think you probably know, It was not exactly as I expected.
First, I expected a box of pieces of deer-head to assemble. What I got was an envelope, inside was several pieces of construction paper, and a directions sheet with 4 steps. I was to take the pieces, and fold them in directions noted by the type of dotted line (In for just dashes, out for dots and dashes). Each edge on the deer was either a fold, or a tab + edge that I was to glue together. The edges were labeled with numbers: so the tab labeled 1 should glue to the edge labeled 1, 2 with 2, and so on. The directions said “you should start with 1 and keep going from there, but you don’t have to”. A casual glance at the numbers showed that they went well into the hundreds, so I was going to need a lot of glue. They didn’t mention what type of glue I should try to use. Elmer’s glue sticks didn’t hold at all, so I went with crazy glue applied with a brush, which worked well enough in the beginning.
So, I waited until the first Saturday I had available to piece this thing together. I spent 8-10 hours that first day, straight through, and only got about half of the thing finished. There were several rips and tears that day. I glued tabs to the wrong side a few times and had to rip and re-do, causing marks. I over-glued by accident causing stains to the paper. The next day I spent another 4 hours before I had to stop the insanity. “Easy To Assemble” means something different at Touch of Modern.
I kept the partially finished bust in my office for a few more weeks. It took a while for the sting of the sunk cost to fade enough for me to throw it away. It’s gone now, and I still consider ordering another one. It’s not a good idea at all, the thing was a huge waste of time, but I can’t get the challenge out of my head. I think papertrophy might be my Everest.
So, should you order a Papertrophy for yourself? Do you like being disappointed in yourself and the things you spend your money on?
However, I would recommend a cursory browse at Touch of Modern. Mostly because these are all affiliate links, and I’d love it if you found something there you really wanted after clicking one of them. But also because it’s a site that I enjoy browsing, even if some of the products are a bit lackluster. Those photographers really know how to do it.