Friday, November 22, 2013

Hello Spoonflower

Pretty Posies on sale in my Spoonflower shop
If you are follower of my Page on Facebook, then you may have heard that I am now selling gift wrap, fabrics, wall paper and decals in my new shop on Spoonflower. (And if you are not a follower yet, I highly recommend you check it out.). I am very excited about this new adventure since it gives me a chance to offer my designs in a fun new way AND because Spoonflower is such an awesome company.

So in case you are not familiar with Spoonflower, I wanted to share a few things I LOVE about this company and why I am so smitten with them!

Confused by this statement?  Well, here's the deal. Unlike some "sell your art on items" websites, that have everything from mugs to tee-shirts, Spoonflower only offers a small handful of products.  Fabric, wall paper, gift wrap and decals.  So there is a focus there on printing patterns on flat surfaces.  They are specialized, which I believe helps them stay focused.  But at the same time, they offer a lot of material and quantity options within those categories, especially fabric.  You can buy fabric by the fat quarter, yard, or even just an 8x8 sample.  They have about 10 +/- fabrics to choose from, including delicate and sturdy cottons and knits.  So for pretty much any project you can think of, they should have at least one fabric type that will fit your needs.  Beyond fabric, they sell two different finishes of wrapping paper (satin and matte) and three different sizes of decals.  And although I am still new to the site, it seems as though they are often coming up with more variety to add.  Since joining just a few months ago they have already added a new fabric type to their mix!

One of the things that attracted me to Spoonflower was the fact that I could design to my heart's content but not have PRODUCE any of the final products.  Instead of being a mini-factory, cutting paper and folding cards, I can focus on what I love the most, creating ART!  So my fabrics and papers are not physically produced by me but by the awesome folks at Spoonflower.  And where does this all go down?  In the good ole USA!  Which means even though my cards are not handcrafted they are home crafted (for me since I live in the US), and that is something I care about.

I may no longer be the producer of my finished product, but this does not mean that I do not have a hand in the creation of the final product.  All sellers on Spoonflower are required to order at least a sample of every design that they put up for sale in their shop.   This means that for any design I sell, I first have a physical print out sent to me, so that I can check it for scale, color, and print quality.  And if something is not to my liking, I have the chance to adjust it before I offer it to you.

Spoonflower handles it all! 
Unlike Etsy, (where I have been a seller for many years with my shop BdoodleZ ) when you order on Spoonflower you are not ordering from me personally, but from Spoonflower itself.  This has a few advantages. 
First, I do not have to be available to process your order.  I could be on vacation or fast asleep in dreamland.  You can come to my shop any time of the day or night and put your order in.  Now, Spoonflower might not start printing it right at that moment, but the point is, that the schedule of my life does not affect the schedule of your order.
Second, you can buy from multiple sellers all in one transaction!  So you can pick up a cute print from me for some new curtains and a roll of wrapping paper from another seller you might like.

Speaking of other sellers, there is an awesome collection of them on Spoonflower.  I have already begun to "meet" them, simply from the way Spoonflower operates their site.  One of the really awesome features is the ability to leave a comment about designs.  Go to any specific design's page in my shop and you'll find a place where you can leave a comment and read what other's have written.  You can also mark any of my designs as a favorite (giving it a heart!).  It is so much fun to not only ooh and ahh over another's work, but have an easy way to share your admiration with them.

Every week Spoonflower runs a contest based on a different theme.  Often the themes are seasonal or use limited color palettes (so that all the final designs sort of match).  Sometimes it is just a simple print design challenge, sometimes it is for a cut and sew project (so that all the buyer needs to do is cut along the lines indicated on the fabric and sew. No pattern required!).  Each contest runs for one week and anyone can vote!  The winner gets an awesome prize and all of the top ten are featured in a special fabric bundle that you can buy for a discount bulk price.
I love the contests because it is fun to have a specific theme to design for and also to see which style designs are more popular than others.  It gives me chance to learn what buyers like.  And I LOVE seeing how a group of artists can have the same exact theme and create such different designs.

The current contest is a wrapping paper challenge with the theme of mittens.  I have a design in the contest and would love your vote!  My design is called Missing Mittens.  You'll see that title and my name under the image, which is actually a mock up of a what a package would look like with the print on it.  To vote, click the check box in the top left corner AND then you must scroll to find the submit button to lock the vote in.  Click HERE to vote.  You have until Wed. Nov. 27th.  Here is my entry:

And here is one last link to my Shop.  I look forward to you stopping by!

So that about wraps it up!  (Pun intended).  I am excited about this new Spoonflower adventure and look forward to sharing my new creations with you.

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