Thirteen of my group slots are directly or indirectly associated with role play!! I have touched quite a few (read that as too many) subscribe/unsubscribe signs in shops. It would be discouraging to designers, but I look at all of the design names, then maybe glance at a third of the notices that greet me as I log on.
Occasionally I'll decide I need something to complete an outfit, or I need a particular sort of outfit and start mentally running down shops I am familiar with to decide where to go shopping.
I also read blogs when I get a chance. I'll read friends blogs first, then a few, very few, fashion blogs. Almost all of the time I shop via notices and blogs. If something strikes me, I will go check out the shop.
Yesterday I TP'd into a shop to pick up an item I had seen on a blog that is constantly updated. The lady who blogged it has her own blog and contributes to another. She is dedicated to bringing us a loads of wonderful shopping opportunities. Before I left, she happened to TP in. I said "Hi" and thanked her for her efforts.
Let's face it neither designers (unless they have a dedicated fan base and an active chat group) nor bloggers are thanked often enough compared to the hours of work they put in.
We chatted for a few minutes and said goodbye. Then much to my surprise I received an IM and an inventory offer from her! It was so little when it started rezzing, that I was afraid I had buried it in the sand.
Then what to my wondering eyes should appear but this cute little toy sheep in a space ship! What a delightful surprise!! It scoots around on it's own. I laughed and laughed. Totally unexpected and was sooo sweet of her!
This is gacya-ufo-sheep by dazai Voomf of D-LAB a talented toy maker. I don't see this one available for sale in his shop, but there are other cute toys and plants.