Hi! My name is Ali Heston and I, along with three other group members, recently covered a story on Appendage + Bough, a local store in San Luis Obispo that sells upcycled furniture along with other eclectic and vintage items and home goods.
Allison Martinez, one of my group members, proposed the idea during story pitches and we all loved the idea. She explained that Appendage + Bough was a “hidden gem” and that, to her knowledge, very few people knew about the store. “My roommate showed me this place. I’d never heard about it before, but it is so awesome,” said Martinez. We figured this would not only make for an interesting story but would also aid Appendage + Bough in getting the word out about their business.
After getting our project topic approved, the four of us went to Appendage + Bough to ask permission of the store owners if they would consent to a story being written about their business, with the possibility of being published in Cal Poly’s student-run newspaper, Mustang News. Only one of the store owners was there at the time, but he seemed very excited about the idea and immediately gave us permission to cover the story and offered to help us in any way he could, whether it be coming into the store early or staying after hours so we could get all of the footage we would need in order to be successful.
My role in covering the story was in regards to strategy and engagement. Through the use of social media and other forms of community engagement, I was able to learn what members of both the San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly community were interested in learning about Appendage + Bough. Here are some of the responses I received via my personal Instagram account and through posting on the Cal Poly Class of 2018 Facebook page:
Martinez was in charge of the audio and video aspects of the story. I attended the interviews with both her and Riley Rhodes, our group member whose role was to create the written text for the story, and despite some minor technical difficulties regarding the microphone, the initial round of interviews went very well. Store owners, Malik Mike Thorne, Tim Beebee, and Ryan Ratzlaff all contributed beneficial information to the story and even posted a photo to the Appendage + Bough Instagram account.
All store owners seemed very passionate about Appendage + Bough. It was very inspiring to listen to what they all had to say. “Having a space where I can do a small show and invite people, or get some art up on the wall from someone who’s just starting out, or even just create a space where people can come in and find things and talk about music or books, for, that’s it,” said Thorne.
Tori Leets, another group member, was in charge of the interactive aspect of the story. After being inspired by a story previously published in Mustang News, “Cal Poly caveman: Psychology lecturer builds art caves under his property,” we decided it would be awesome if we could use a 3D scanner, such as the one used in the article about the underground caves to create a virtual reality tour of the store. After a short tutorial from our professor, Brady Teufel, Tori and I went into the shop and gave the Matterport 3D Camera a try. “I loved using this camera. I felt so excited to try something that’s so cutting edge that few other schools have the ability to use. This is one of the reasons why I love journalism, you can tell your stories in so many different ways,” said Leets.
Due to time constraints and minor technical difficulties we had to come into the store a second time, but we yet again faced technical difficulties. We are going to troubleshoot during the upcoming week with our professor and complete the 3D scan when the camera is functioning properly.
“I loved this store when I first saw it and I love it even more now. It was so fun learning about such a cool place with such a cool story,” said Rhodes. We are proud of the result of our story and believe that our feature on Appendage + Bough gives insight to all aspects of the store that both the Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo community will be interested in learning.