|Walking into this virtual world nearly 4.5 years ago, I had no idea, nor hope that I would sell a single item, let alone make a steady flow of sales. I have been using computers since the mid 1980s and had learned my first Boolean equations and surface knowledge of the basic computer's workings back in the Air Forse Reserves in 1975. In late 1994 I went back to collage (I had gone for several years studying graphic and fine arts) to study Multi-Media and then finaly website design and development. So, entering this new world of Print-On-Demand on-line virtual stores seemed a long shot at best. It seemed hopeless, but I was desperate, disabled, in constant pain, and living on Social Security Disability. I had to try something, anything to bring a bit of desperately need extra money to help pay for, well, just bare neccesities. But this seemed an impossible new venture, having been in the dot-com boom and chrash, I knew how big the internet is and how many people I would be competeling with for limited attention, let alone sales. To my surprise a year later, after 4 or 5 barren months, I began to have a steady income from sales. A small income, averaging about $50.00 per month, but hey at 10% royalties, that is approxamently $500 in sales each month. I was in shock .... and hooked!
Since then my royalties have risen, BUT also due to changes in the market place at Zazzle (my main store), and other sites, they have stagnated and has become harder to maintain. My disability is both degenerative, and the pain will increase till the day I die. SO, the idea of this site, where you can browse the items in all my on-line Print-On-Demand stores (some old and some very new), in one place, came to mind. The final push came in the wake of Disney and other mega corporations getting on the Print-On-Demand band wagon and swampping the marketplace and shoving the small designers that made this a viable on-line buiseness, like myslef, aside, floundering in the shallows of search results. Now, I do not begrudge these POD (Print-On-Demand) companies taking on clinets like Disney, since they both drive people to the site AND they pay the bills, thus keeping the free-to-use nature of the POD shopes for small designers, again like myself. But it does make one to have to work harder and longer hours to keep up, and with my disability and pain, I could no longer do that. I had to find a way to get both seen and increase sales with the same amount of work.
I have created over 5,000 graphic images that are now on nearly 9,000 items at Zazzle alone. I have also been working towards increasing the numbers at CafePress, SpoonFlower, and my other stores to expand and diversafy my products and designs. One of my main goals is to also offer more items that cover some rare niches such as Pagan Themed items, winter holidays other than Christmas (which I cover as well), step-parenting for mother's and father's day, LGBT and people of color wedding invitations and wedding suites, as well as including adults, children, and babies of color in as many images where caucasions are traditionaly used almost exclusively, and so on.