Cafepress Community Spotlight - September 2007
How long have you been a CafePress.com Shopkeeper and how did you "discover" CafePress.com?
I've been a shopkeeper since 2003. I created and maintained websites for the two high schools I attended. When one of the schools was having a reunion, I created reunion designs and posted the information on the website. Then I designed just alumni items and, again posted the information on the website. I was doing a lot of web design so I'd create a shop for my clients with a few designs pertaining to their business. I decided then to open a shop and put a couple of my own designs in it. I now have over 60,000 items.
In 150 words or less, what's the story behind your shop?
I guess I just did that with my "discovery" of CafePress.
How do you find inspiration for your designs?
I've been drawing and designing since I was a child. It's my own world, and I love doing it. As corny as it sounds, I compare finding CafePress to finding my Prince Charming. I'm a grandmother, not married, who gets pestered by friends and family about why I'm not out trying to find a husband). I realized that in a way - I have found that what makes me happy isn't another person, but the chance to create and have my shops. It's a big world, and even though I'm home a lot, I'm a part of it.
How are you currently using CafePress (e.g. supplement website, raise funds for charity, creative outlet...)?
I have the alumni sites I've previously mentioned and I have many other websites that I use to affiliate with other shops. I have several blogs, and stay informed from talking to other shopkeepers.
Tell us what you do to market and promote your shop?
I use feeds for Google, MSN and Yahoo. I promote my designs on myspace.com, Squidoo, my own blogs and by creating interesting and informative websites. I know there is so much more, and I try to learn as much as I can everyday.
What has been your biggest shop accomplishment since you've become a Shopkeeper?
I sold 70 I Believe in Flamingos Journals in one sale. I love getting my monthly check. I'm crazy about the CafePress "donuts" and have my mail program set up to ring a bell whenever one is received.
Do you take part in the CafePress Community Forums and if so, what do you like best about it?
Yes, I do read the Forums. I love everyone sharing ideas. I have learned a lot.
What future plans do you have for your shop, or using CafePress?
I plan to open more stores as I come up with new ideas. I'd like to do a few shows a year. I also have begun going through the class reunions in my local paper to work with reunion planners on setting up a shop for their reunion.
Is there another CafePress shop/Shopkeeper that you admire?
Jean of Rotem Gear. Her shops are always designed so well, and she's always there to help when asked a question.
Do you have any "tips" to success or word of advice you can give to other CafePress Shopkeepers?
I noticed I started doing better when I started adding more designs. At first I did a few and then waited for them to sell. It seems the more I create - the more ideas come out. When I sold my 70 I Believe in Flamingo Journals, I ordered one for myself to remind me that it can happen. I keep it close by at all times to write ideas I have into it.
Additional Shopkeeper Feedback:
If this is something you think you'd love, then do it. I do foo foo cutesy designs but there are designs and ideas for everyone. The list of subjects is endless - whether cartoons, politics, hobbies, food, sports - you name it.