The Friday Fillip: Stuff

There are fabric shops and lumber yards (well, there used to be), stationery stores and the occasional real hardware store — all places where you can get the wherewithal to make things. Stuff. But there’s a whole lot of material that would be nifty to work with that’s either hard or impossible to come by. Think about all the different kinds of plastic that you come across every day — but where do you go to find a decent selection of that mundane substance? It’s difficult to locate even certain types of metal or metal that’s been worked into this or that pattern.

translucent concrete

Sure, if you’re an architect (with a client), you can get access to pretty much anything useful in the making of things. But for the merely handy Rita or Ray, it ain’t so easy.

I once considered (and still think about) starting a store, or a chain of stores called — what else? — Stuff, where some of these new and hard-to-come-by materials would be on offer for the likes of you and me. But until then, it might help me (and you, and Ray and Rita) to turn to Inventables, “the innovator’s hardware store.”

There, online, you’ll find such wonders as:

And much, much more. Stuff.


  1. Shaunna Mireau

    Simon, I will be your Edmonton area franchisee for the Stuff store. Thanks for the Inventables link. While the site doesn’t have the oiled wood floor smell of a real hardware store, it does have some groovy products.

  2. Do they have transparent aluminium? I need to get these whales back to the future right away.

  3. Michael/Lawviathan

    Thanks for sharing the Inventables link. As a long time fan of this seems to be a supply chain that could supercharge the DIY efforts on that site. What’s holding you back from starting the Stuff store? It is a brilliant idea that screams free media attention, and would be a particularly handy addition to many communities.