Monthly Archives: August 2010

state of the “odd guy art” union

As we approach the end of our first quarter in the business world, it’s nice to reflect on how far we’ve come – as well as how far we have to go.

Hmmm...

Graham and Marie, contemplating.

After preparing for months (designing, researching, promoting), we opened our virtual doors in early May with an online launch party, intending for “odd guy art” to be solely internet-based. The next four weeks, however, saw us biting our fingernails to the nub; sales were slow.

Then a local coffee shop invited us to sell our wares at an indoor event they were hosting, and bingo! Our stuff sold like hotcakes! A whopping 20% of the people who stopped by our booth purchased something. This event led to other face-to-face sales opportunities, and again, we found that our merchandise sold very well. We stopped biting our nails and started eating real food again.

And now we’re entertaining the notion of selling wholesale to a variety of small shops in larger cities. We’re researching which shops’ clientele best match our demographic so that sales benefit not only us, but YOU. We want to continue to discover where you shop so that we can share our designs with the type of person who’d most appreciate them.

Not that we’ve given up on the internet. We’re still plugging away at establishing a trusted and creative presence. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon. We update our website and our blog regularly. We post quirky videos that invite equally quirky responses. In time (and with patience), we’ll increase our internet sales as well.

You can help us grow by sharing our links with your friends and family. We’d very much appreciate your input and your support during this exciting time of growth!

Thanks, mates.

Marie

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how to sell T-shirts at outdoor markets


Even though “odd guy art” has been around for over three months, we really aren’t the wily veterans of the trade that we appear. We can, however, provide you with the wisdom of our experience, as outlined here in trusty Top Ten List form:

Top Ten Do’s and Don’t’s For Selling at Outdoor Markets
10. Your friends, family, acquaintances, parole officer, etc. may ask for special discounts. Be prepared to shake your head “no” emphatically while still maintaining some semblance of a relationship.
9. If you’re setting up shop at a local art fair, stake your space far enough from the music stage so that you are not screaming information to your customers, many of whom might be intimidated by flying spittle.
8. Toddlers go straight for the cash box. Plan accordingly.
7. If you live in a windy area, stake down your canopy, weight it with sand bags, or set up underground, if necessary, in an armored bunker.
6. While you’re spraying the ground in your booth with toxic mosquito repellent at an environmental awareness festival, try not to laugh too loudly at the irony.
5. Your goal is to get your shirts on as many bodies as possible. Now’s the time to cash in on favors.
4. Don’t forget to pack a ping pong paddle for the wasps. With the right swing, you can get a pretty good spin on them.
3. Hungry? Most pizza places will deliver directly to your booth if you give them exact coordinates.
2. Calculating exact change requires the skill and efficiency of an expert. Have one of your kids do it.
1. If you’re not selling as much stock as usual, you might want to check your teeth. Remember the old adage, “Spinach in the teeth ruins shirts lying beneath.”

We wish you all the best:).

Marie

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Bike Me at Earthfest

At this very moment, our two newest T-shirt designs are being printed at our excellent screen printer, Mountain Promotions of Oostburg, WI. We are very excited about these shirts, which we’ll introduce at Earthfest in Sheboygan this weekend. We’ll feature the shirts on our web site at the new low price of $24.95.

Earthfest is a huge 2-day local event that celebrates our planet by encouraging responsible living and environmental awareness. How better to promote earth-friendly activities than to offer new designs featuring… bicycles! So along with our other earth-friendly merchandise, we’ll have these new designs for sale.
Bike me!

The new designs will also be printed on our recycled canvas tote bags. We print these bags ourselves, so we are able to offer more variation on each design. The tote bags have been selling fast recently and apart from looking good they are both earth-friendly and practical. Keep an eye on the bags page at our web site for these special versions.

Marie and Graham

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All content and images;
Copyright © 2010 by Hetzel and McAllister. All rights reserved.

what to do with that extra $2

Dear T-shirt-buying public,

Hello! We’d like to see even more of you wearing our T-shirts this summer, so we’ve decided to reduce our shirt prices by $2.00. Each. And if that weren’t enough, we’d also like to save you the mind-numbing quandary of deciding what to do with that extra money.

Things to do with my extra $2.00:

Include biscuits with tonight’s supper.
Buy candy for the baby.
Spend on two “Dollar Menu©” items from McDonald’s.
Add to Junior’s college fund.
Fold up bills and use as shim under broken coffee table leg.
Pay 1/500th of this month’s mortgage.
Hire babysitter for ten minutes.
Fold in half, and presto: Drink coasters.
Stack eight quarters. Unstack. Repeat ad nauseum.
Accordian fold, use as fan.
Use to place wagers on the PGA (Go Tiger!).
Shred. Toss in lettuce bin at local salad bar.
Launder.
Knot together and use as emergency tourniquet.
Fashion into hip origami coin purse.

I’m sure there are some ideas I may have forgotten, so please add your thoughts here; they’d be much appreciated. And then, visit our website (www.oddguyart.com) to take advantage of this exciting offer. We look forward to hearing from you:).

Thanks!
Marie

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scratching the creative itch

Prior to our grand opening three months ago, we designed shirts ’round-the-clock like fiends – staying awake some nights until 3 AM, squinting at the monitor through bloodshot eyes, nodding off onto the keyboard, dribbling drool atop the desk, and eventually falling off our chairs onto a pile of spent Diet Coke cans. Man, how we’ve missed it.

As of today, we’ve got two new designs “in the can” and several more in development. The process, as we’ve said in the past, begins with preliminary sketches and ends with the delivery of our digital files to the screen printer (a shout-out here to Mountain Promotions in Oostburg: Woot!). But between start and finish, there exists a huge amount of time spent sharing ideas, scratching heads, making suggestions, explaining jokes, and defining drawings.

In some partnerships, that process might result in a few disagreements (if not spewed insults and painful kidney punches). But Graham and I work together well, thankfully. I attribute this to a high level of mutual respect. That and the exorbitant sum of hush money he pays me to keep his biological gender a secret.

All writers have experienced the soul-crushing liability known as “writer’s block.” You sit in front of your computer waiting – pleading – for inspiration to come in any form, but nothing happens. It’s utterly exasperating. We’ve found, however, that working within a partnership helps to eliminate writer’s block almost entirely. While one artist alone can certainly create a design, two artists with similar talents and senses of humor (in this case, “twisted”) can not only create great designs, but can have an incredible amount of fun doing so.

The muse behind our caffeine-induced creativity.

So that’s my advice to you this evening: If you’re stuck, bounce things off of others. Share ideas and stories. Learn how to best relate to your audience by getting to know it well. Art, design, writing: It’s all about communication. And you, as the artist, designer, and writer must (must!) convey your message thoughtfully and clearly. What makes your audience think? What makes it laugh? What makes it learn?

Good luck to you. It’s time for me to sign off for now. I’m starting to drool.

Marie

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