The SubZero Street Fair is next weekend. Friday & Saturday. It’s an art festival that I’ve been vending at for a few years now. Today I went online to order blanks to print more San Jose tees but they were sold out at all the places I shop at. Luckily, I have 45 blank tees sitting in a box that were originally going to used for my original Eyes, Mouths & Noses design. EMN will have to wait because the San Jo’ tees sell better. I’m waiting to hear back from my screen printers to get the ball rolling and drop off the blanks. I hope I can get them back in time before next Friday.
What Day Is It?
I went to bed real late after the Street Mrkt event on Friday. Only got a few hours of sleep. Didn't drink any coffee. Was really tired from working and hiking so I stayed in bed and watched tv, and soon after I was out. Zzzz... I don't know how long I slept for but it had been 4 hours since my first missed call. I didn't get shit done today! I still have all the gear from Friday to organize & put away, and I need to count all my t-shirts and update my inventory online. I guess it'll have to wait till Sunday.
Black 1.0 Restocked...
Tonight I got all my black 1.0 shirts back from the printers, finished, and a few of the pre-orders & customs too. I'm still waiting on a shipment of blanks to arrive before I can take them to get printed. Today I also picked up the Frankie Mcfly USA maps I reordered in every colorway. I also printed some Frankie Mcflyers at home. All this is for Friday's Street Mrkt & Art Walk where I'll be vending my usual gear.
At The Printers...
The second shipment of shirts arrived today! I took them, and the shipment that arrived yesterday, and dropped them off at Downtown Screen Printers. I'm still waiting on 5 more shirts to arrive but they're gonna start printing, the ones I already dropped off, tomorrow. I'm pretty stoked because now I'm back on track and should have my shirts for Friday's event and be able to ship out the custom & pre-orders next week.
I finally got around to taking pictures of my Frankie Mcfly USA prints. The pics are for my online store, I just haven't added them to the site yet. I also created a printable form to log every print that goes in or out. I use something very similar for my t-shirt inventory. There are currently 5 different flavors of the Frankie Mcfly USA map as seen in the animated gif below.
The First Ever Frankie Mcfly T-shirt Sale...
Incase you missed the sign on the front page or my Instagram posts earlier this evening... I put my t-shirts on sale for $25 each (including shipping & handling) by using coupon code IGOT5ONIT at checkout. The offer is limited to t-shirts currently in stock and runs until December 25, 2020. This sale is in response to Black Friday, (which was today) Small Business Saturday, and all live vending opportunities being shut down due to covid. It’s a small effort to make a few sales before the end of the year and get rid of some inventory that’s been sitting in boxes all year.
I also made my FRANKIE MCFLY kiss-cut stickers 2 for $5. No coupon necessary.
Today I and counted all my shirts after the Local Color Daytime Market on Sunday and updated my inventory online. This is the part of the job that sucks the most so I'm always trying streamline and improve the process to make it faster and easier to do. Everything from the way the shirts are folded, stacked, stored & logged has had some thought put into it. I recently made changes to how I log the info so I can see how many total shirts I have in stock per design/style and made it so I can quickly figure out how many of each size & style has gone out. Making those little tweaks are fun and the data it provides is valuable.
It's time to reprint more EMN shirts and replenish my inventory but first I'm going to make a few edits to the artwork. There were too many fine details in the digital artwork that came out blurry or washed out when screen printed onto shirts. I took this into consideration when I made the EMNSJ (San Jose) shirts and made sure not to make any lines that were too small. Now that it's time print more I'm going to fix the mistakes and get a better looking image next time around.
The Shipping process
Today I packaged and sent out some online orders. I've listed the process below.
There's plenty of room to simplify the process but the truth is currently don't have a lot of online sales going out the door. I'm hoping to change that!
Leftover treats & a Busy weekend
There was a bunch of Halloween candy & mini comics leftover from last night. The comics are pretty rad, they come in 25 packs to give away to trick-or-treaters or use as party favors. Today I thought it would be cool to slip a comic and some candy into the bags of anyone who orders a shirt online. I also made shipping & handling free.
On Saturday I'm working a wedding in Soquel and Sunday morning I'm DJing a memorial in San Jose. This is a first. I've never worked a memorial before. All I was given was a loose timeline and bunch of music. Normally I'd be a lil nervous going into a situation like this but I'm working with a professional event planner, that I've worked with before, and after our phone call today I'm feeling alright. We'll see how it goes.
On Sunday night I'll be picking up my San Jose shirts from the printers. Then I gotta count, fold & sort them all and update my online store's inventory. There are a few people waiting on those shirts and I can't wait to get them out.
More EMNSJ shirts coming soon
I spent a lot of time today, and previous days, trying to figure out how many shirts I should reprint. I used to try and guess which sizes & styles would sell more. Now that I have more data I can see what sells faster versus what stays in inventory longer. And because I'm on a budget for the rest of the year (I'm setting money aside for income & sales taxes) I've decided to reprint in smaller batches, starting with my most popular design. I intended to reprint all EMNSJ styles but my supplier was all out of heather gray blanks so I just bought black shirts for now. That's ok since my two most popular styles are the Black/Blue and Black/Pink EMNSJ (San Jose) t-shirts. If I ordered the right amount, and sales continue the way they have been, I shouldn't run out of one style/size too quickly or have others sit for too long. They blanks should arrive soon then they're off to the printers. Hopefully it won't take more than a couple weeks to have the finished shirts in hand.
I counted my shirts today after vending at the Street Mrkt on Friday. I sold out of a few more styles & sizes last week. There are a lot of shirts I need to print to replenish my inventory. I have the money but I can't spend too much because we're almost at the end of the year and soon it will be tax season again. I'm setting aside 50% of this year's revenue for sales, state & federal taxes. That leaves me with little money to play with. So, instead of reordering all shirts at once, I'm going to do them in batches. I'm starting with the EMNSJ (San Jose) shirts then doing EMN shirts (circle.) Last will be least expensive to print, the 1.0s (logo tee)
My t-shirt displays
Last year, before I first went out to sell my t-shirts at an event, I had made two t-shirt displays from a long sheet of two-inch gray foam. I only had one t-shirt design, the 1.0, and it came in black or white. I didn't print any Smalls in white so when I went to go make the displays I was forced to use Mediums. One year later I'm still using the same displays but with more t-shirt styles. All is well until I realized that the Medium sized shirts sell faster than the Smalls. A couple times I've had to pull the Medium shirt off the display because it was that last Medium in that color. Now that I'm running low on inventory I thought it would be a good time to finally cut the foam displays down a size. If only dropping a shirt size in real life were that easy.
200 t-shirts out!
At the two events over the weekend I noticed I was out of Large t-shirts in all styles. Yesterday, when I did inventory, I saw that I was out of a few other sizes & styles too. It's time to reprint more shirts so today I went thru my sales history to see what sizes sell faster and which sizes sit in inventory longer. When I added up all my shirts that have gone out it's an even 200! I couldn't believe it. I thought it would take at least a couple years to reach that number but I did it in 15 months. I'm super stoked about this milestone but also about my short sales history that will help me make better decisions going forward.
Thank You to everyone that wears my t-shirts!
I hate folding shirts, it's one of the suckier parts of this job. At first I was folding my shirts by hand and you could tell because they all came out looking different. Then made my first Folding Thingie out of a thin piece of cardboard. All my shirts now looked uniformly stacked on my table. Everything was good until I bought plastic bags to ship online orders and the shirts needed to be opened and refolded so they would lay flat in the bag. I also bought paper shopping bags for events and the shirts didn't sit quite right in them either. I needed a more elegant solution. I made the Folding Thingie v2.0 out of thicker cardboard and made it just wide enough to fit my folded shirts perfectly into both bags by just folding them in half once. I take it to events to refold shirts that people pick up and I use it again when I count my shirts afterwards. And although I hate folding I do want people to touch the shirts, hold them up and try them on if possible. Making sure the t-shirt is a good fit is far more important to me than how they look on a table.
Since taking these photos I've cut the Official Frankie Mcfly T-shirt Folding Thingie and made it shorter. It needs to be relabeled as v2.1
Folding, counting, updating...
I finally got around to folding & counting my t-shirts, after vending at the Street Mrkt on 9/6, and I updated my inventory online. I try not to wait too long after events because I want my online inventory to match what I actually have on hand. I got bit in the ass once for waiting too long. A couple people bought medium black & pink San Jose shirts online a couple days after I sold out at an event. It was a tiny fire that I was able to put out relatively quick but I don't want that to happen again. So, as of right now the online store inventory matches the actual inventory on hand... so go and buy now!
I also added 3 new options for SJ stickers: