Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Interview with Super Sweet Tshirts

Please tell us a bit about yourself?
I Moved here about 10 years ago from Rochester. I was always into art, but as many of us know, making money with art can be tricky. I was always big into music as well, and what goes hand in hand with the music scene are totally awesome shirts. So I learned how to screen print, basically making shirts for things that I find awesome. It kinda captures a niche audience.
woody allen shirt for Ann.

What do you create? How long have you been working on your craft/art?
I create what I call, "Tribute Shirts', where I pay tribute to the things I love, like bad action movies, cult hits, bad TV shows, obscure jazz acts, etc. Basically whenever i think, "Hey, I wish there was a shirt available for this weird thing"....then i make it.

How did you come up with your store name?
There is a terrible skateboarding movie called, "Grind". The kid in the movie created a skate team called "Super Duper Skates" or something stupid, and of course I loved it, so I kinda borrowed that.

How does Buffalo influence your work?
Buffalo is the perfect place for me. Nothing comes easy for this city, yet it gets better and better each day through hard work. I was never great at school and was always the kind of person that wanted to just dive into something and get good at it. Buffalo and I are a good fit, I could have moved anywhere, but this city is what I call home.

What inspires you?
My wife and, in a few weeks, my kid!

What is the best thing about having a etsy shop?
Theres things I love and things I hate about etsy. Its by far the best online place to sell handmade goods. I would say the best thing about etsy are the people and the customers. I sell all over the internet and have my own online store as well. the customers on etsy have more of an appreciation for what goes into the work.

How do you promote your work to the world?
You have to look at promotion like a spider web. Everyone wants to just have this one stop place to start advertising and then, all of a sudden, business just starts pouring in. Thats not how it works. It takes time, patience, and planning. You post here, open a store there, interlink your sites all over, while at the same time, developing a reputation. Thats the key part. I'm not perfect, and occasionally I'll mess up an order. But customer service is what I pride myself on. If i am awake, Ill respond in minutes usually.

What is the hardest part about selling online?
For me, its the communicating any problems with orders via text (email etc). Its hard to be able to understand the tone. Is this person totally pissed, or are they cool about it but they just want it fixed? Or if I have an issue with someones order and I need to contact them, I always know if I see , that the person probably checks their email once a year....then all of a sudden i have no way of contacting this person that just ordered.

Where can your work be found locally?
It can't actually. Sometimes I do shows around Christmas time, but I'm so busy online, that its hard to find time. I've had a few offers from some shops in the area, but they take so much of the cut, that its not really worth me doing.

Do you have any up and coming art shows/craft shows that you would like us to know about?
I don't currently, but if you haven't checked out the folks at Mayday Underground in Rochester, they are by far the best in the business around here. They throw top notch shows and I had a blast doing them. I wish we had something like that here.

Do you have any advise or suggestions for new sellers to etsy?
Be patient, your not going to quit your job any time soon. And don't just depend on etsy to get you sales, get aggressive, start your own website, open an ebay store, start networking your name.

do you do this full or part time? If full time how did you get yourself to that status?
I am full time now. Its taken about 10 years maybe. Theres no quick way to do it, or there wasnt for me anyways. I did live shows, met with people, while at the same time sold online in every outlet I could. I blogged, I forumed, its a lot of work. You basically need to insert yourself everywhere. Also if you have an idea for a product, look online, if you see there are 14 other people with the same idea, pass on it. If there are 2 people with a similar idea, then make yours the best.

Have you had any formal training in what you do?
Not at all, self taught.

Do you teach any classes in what you do?

Where do your ideas come from?
Things I loved growing up.
Steven Seagal Earth Day T-Shirt Original Screen Printed T-shirt
What do you do when your creatively blocked?
I start watching movies, and take a break. Forcing ideas is bad. Also our smartphones have notepads, any time you have an idea when your out and about, take an note.

Where can you be found online?

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