Pink Bathrooms Unite!

My Pink Bathroom

Thanks to social media, I took two hours of vacation last Monday to scour my shower to a glistening shine. I went inch by inch with a toothbrush and despite what my dentist would say; I did draw the line at flossing. What does my obsessive cleaning of the bathroom have to do with social media? And why were there a bunch of people hanging out in my sparkling bathroom? While it is a somewhat convoluted story, it serves to show how social media allows you to make interesting and unique connections no matter how esoteric your interests.

Two and a half years ago, my wife and I purchased a mid-century home with an original pink bathroom – the type of bathroom inspired by Mamie Eisenhower and apparently beloved by many people (please forgive the author for knowing very little about bathroom styles). At the time we purchased the home, my wife posted quite a few photos on Flickr, including one excited reference to “Our Pink Bathroom!” That caption led to her being contacted by the head of Save the Pink Bathrooms, a group she later joined on Flickr. From there, she learned about Retro Renovation, a sister site to SPB, which she friended on Facebook. When Retro Renovation put out a call for pink bathrooms in the Twin Cities metro area, my wife emailed them. A little while later, we had a writer and photographer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, as well as my wife and I, crammed into our tiny pink bathroom for a thirty-minute photo shoot.

If that story wasn’t enough to tire me out, the alchemy of cleaning supplies created a dangerous haze that I was probably warned about in the film strips of my youth. So even a week later, I might just be a touch light-headed.

What’s really interesting with this story is how social media helps you make connections—often more quickly than traditional means of communication—and those connections allow you to network in ways that may have been previously prohibitive. Just five years ago, it would have been a far greater challenge to find enough bathrooms to write a lifestyle section article on something that’s retro cool. With one picture on Flickr, a whole set of dominos fell into place, leading to a metro newspaper hanging out in my bathroom for an evening. There are a myriad of inventive ways to grow participation within your group or businesses using social media. Sometimes you can even be creative enough to get someone to clean their bathroom. And if that isn’t cool, I don’t know what is. Actually, that my wife and I could become “retro cool” and hip without doing anything is much better.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go sit on the couch and wait until my flannel shirts and grunge aesthetic are in fashion again.


4 Responses to “Pink Bathrooms Unite!”

  1. pam kueber says:

    This is a GREAT STORY — and you are exactly right. Social media have created an amazing, wide-open world for connecting folks of all stripes, fashions and mutual interests — pink bathrooms included. I’m the publisher of Retro Renovation and Save the Pink Bathrooms and could not have been more delighted to “meet” you and Fiona in this wild, wacky and wonderful way!

  2. Thanks Pam, I really appreciate it. This was a fun opportunity and the story would have been so more of a challenge to develop without the facilitation of social media – such as your blog and Facebook page. One of the most interesting things is social media gives you access to experts around the world in any field at any time. People who are happy to discuss their area of expertise and to share there stories. Of course, you get to experience that every day. Thank you again!

  3. Amanda says:

    I’ve made a lot of interesting and weird and awesome connections via social media. But this was quite a lot of steps to get into the Strib! I think it’s awesome that so many pink bathroom people have found each other via the Internet.

    While househunting in 2006, my husband and I passed up a house in Crystal, MN, with a lovely Pepto-Bismol pink tub, sink, and TOILET! But it had a crummy layout and rental house neighbors. I often wonder if those fixtures are still there and if they’re treasured.

  4. Matthew says:

    I was at a friends house this weekend with a late 50′s pink bathroom, and his 80 year old mother brought up the Star Tribune article in the course of conversation (nice photo on the back page BTW).

    Talk about the 6 degrees of social networking.

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