Tag Archives: demographic

win a FREE shirt

Guess what, shirt-wearing public! We have some new designs!

With these, however, we are doing an experiment – of which YOU can be part! If you can help set up “odd guy art” with a shop in your area, we’ll send you a FREE shirt.

Sound like a lot of work?

Not really. Think of all the little gift shops, boutiques, and coffee houses in your locale. Just send us their contact information, we’ll wow them with our goods, and if they order from us, YOU get a FREE Shirt (a $28 retail value).

If you can help us find a home for our new designs – or ANY of our designs – we’ll order them in larger quantities so that we can sell them on our website as well.

 

Cheers!
Marie and Graham

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odd guy’s index

As our one year anniversary approaches, let’s take a look at what we’ve accomplished, shall we?
 • Hours spent defining and researching our target audience: 84
• Number of logo fonts considered before deciding on “Hasty Pudding:” 23
• Number of hours logged on Skype: 328
• Miles from Lake Michigan our OGA studio is located: .2
• Hours spent hand-drawing much of website: 42

T-shirt designs created: 16
• Miles walked/ran for mobile business meetings: 124
• Ranking of “raspberry” among best-selling OGA cap colors: 1
• Hours spent ironing tote bags: 35
• Number of T-shirt-shaped OGA brochure designs created: 2
• OGA YouTube videos launched: 6
• Number of foreign cameo appearances in videos: 1
• Number of cameo appearances by Walmart employees: 1
• Number of small fires accidentally set during filming: 2
• Penalty points assigned for finger quotes during filming: 10
• Hours spent editing footage: 853
• Size of OGA festival canopy: 10′ X 10′
• Ratio of Diet Cokes consumed to ounces of water: 245 to 1
• Miles biked round-trip to printer, per trip: 26
• Ranking of EnMart among most-active OGA Facebook friends: 1
• Number of celebrities named Yoko Ono who follow OGA on Twitter: 1
• Number of national magazines that featured OGA on the cover: 3
• Number of stores in which OGA shirts are currently sold: 3

Thank you for joining us in this, our first year of business. If you have any questions, or if we can help you in any way, just let us know!

Marie and Graham

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are you a good salesperson? take the quiz

Now that Graham and I are wily veterans of the sales world (having pounded the pavement for five solid days now), we’d like to share our expertise with you, dear reader, in quiz form:

1. How should you dress when making sales calls?
a. Consider your potential buyers’ level of formality and dress accordingly
b. Consider the least wrinkled items in your hamper
c. “For success”
d. “Used-car-salesman” chic

 

2. What is the first thing you should do when entering a store?
a. Smile and make eye contact with the manager
b. Browse through the merchandise to see if yours would be a good fit
c. Note exit locations in case of fire
d. Note exit locations in case of humiliating rejection

3. How should you present your merchandise to a potential buyer?
a. Via a well-organized package including product photos, line sheets, contact info, and order forms
b. By acting shifty and holding open one side of your trench coat
c. Through a long-winded, one-sided sales pitch
d. By setting up a display on his or her desk after arm-sweeping all desktop items onto the floor

4. When asked a technical question about your product, you should
a. Be prepared to answer it accurately and succinctly
b. Refer to your company’s specialized handbook, page 315
c. Stare blankly
d. Fake a tracheal blockage and flee the store

5. If a potential buyer says, “No, thank you,” you should
a. Not take it personally; your product is simply not a good fit for his or her store
b. Weep until you’re asked to leave
c. Ask “why?” Repeat ad nauseum.
d. Check back daily until the restraining order is officially filed

6. When the meeting is over, a good thing to do is
a. Thank the buyer for his or her time
b. Mark the building’s exterior with a spray-painted “X” so you know you’ve already stopped there
c. Squeal your tires as you drive off
d. Follow up a few days later with an elaborate gift, such as a flat screen TV (don’t forget to file off the serial number)

We are purposely being elusive with the answers to this quiz so that you can reflect and ponder the kind of impression that “odd guy art” left with its customers. Good luck to you in all your sales!

Marie

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if “Plan A” doesn’t work, there’s B, C, and D

While a successful enterprise begins with a well-researched business plan, one must also remain flexible. “Odd guy art” is no exception.

Our intent when we started this T-shirt design company was to rely solely on internet sales. But when we launched six months ago, we were immediately met with, well, cyber silence – despite months of research and prep and eager attempts at social network marketing.

So we evolved a little. We designed a display stand and began selling at local events and outdoor summer markets. What a relief to see our sales take off! But we had to pack it up when summer came to an end. (If you’ve ever visited Wisconsin in the fall you’ll understand why we don’t sell our wares outdoors after mid-October).

So we evolved again. We researched some more (we are nothing if not stat junkies) and decided to sell our shirts wholesale. So far, we’ve had great initial success approaching retail shops, so we’ll add those venues to our repertoire .

Though we won’t give up on internet sales (patience, Grasshopper…), we are very pleased with the direction that “odd guy art” has taken. Statistics dictate that a successful internet presence takes two years to achieve, after all, and we are happy to do all we can in the meantime to serve you.

Oddly yours,

Marie

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sales calls: “odd guy art” style

 

Yesterday Graham and I packed up our gear and hit the road, hoping to convince area retailers to buy our T-shirts. That might sound simple (and ultimately, it was). But prior to this big event, we spent two months preparing. Here’s what we did:

1. We identified which stores to target. We asked ourselves, “Where would members of our demographic shop?” Based on that (and with our particular designs in mind), we chose art boutiques, bicycle shops, coffee shops, and art-related gift shops.

2. We calculated our wholesale pricing. Graham’s previous entrepreneurial experience was of great help here. We considered our material and labor costs to reach a reasonable wholesale price that retailers seemed pleased to accept.

3. We designed a wholesale marketing package. We bought yellow folders and filled each with the following: A line sheet identifying our products, full-color trifold T-shirt-shaped brochures, a full-color oversized postcard detailing our company, our business cards, and our order forms.

4. We re-researched our products and services. We wanted to be prepared to answer questions about our T-shirt composition, weight, country of production, and sizing, along with information on the screen printing process, shipping methods, and payment terms.

5. We developed a loose script and rehearsed it. Since we chose not to make formal appointments with prospective buyers, we wanted to keep our visits brief but fruitful. Our first question (after a cheerful greeting and an expression of sincere interest in their store) was, “Do you buy merchandise from independent vendors?” The conversations took off naturally from there.

6. We packed samples of our products. Depending on what type of store we entered, we brought in the samples of our merchandise that would most appeal to its customer base.

7. We made a follow-up spread sheet to fill in afterward. We listed the name and location of each store, contact information, date of contact, spaces for dates of future contacts, and notes on the visit and other particulars.

So far we’ve tackled our home city and its surrounding county. (Imagine our delight when the very first buyer said, “Yes!”). Next, we’ll hit the shops we’ve identified in nearby Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay. After that, who knows? Maybe you’ll spot an “odd guy art” shirt in YOUR city. In fact, if you have an artsy/clever/eclectic store in mind, please let us know! We’d be truly grateful.

Cheers!
Marie

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TNN documentary Part 2: The Designing

The second part of the TNN (T-shirt News Network) documentary, “The Making of ‘odd guy art’ Part 2: The Designing,” aired at 1:27 this morning. If you missed it, we’re pleased to provide it for you here, so that you may watch two middle-aged entrepreneurs navigate their way through 21st century design:

Ancestors of Marie and Graham

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we’re goin’ wholesale

This is a big week for “odd guy art.”

We’ve decided to approach several stores in our county to see if they’d like to purchase shirts from us at wholesale pricing. We figured what we’d lose in profit, we’d gain in sales quantity. That’s the plan. Fingers crossed.

If that goes well, we have a list of more shops in the Milwaukee area. And if that works, we’re off to Madison. Then Minneapolis.

"Wholesale Or Bust!"

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The focus right now is on preparation. We’ve developed some glossy, full-color, T-shirt-shaped, tri-fold brochures depicting our designs; an over-sized postcard featuring all of our products; and a “line sheet” including product photos and information.

We’ve identified our target retail market based on our designs, so we plan to approach bicycle shops, coffee houses, boutiques (both art and clothing), and book stores.

We’ve been rehearsing our message; focusing on how our products have sold remarkably well at art fairs, and how that will equate to solid resale success – a classic win-win situation. For now, instead of cold-calling, we’re going to do something called “warm calling.” This involves walking into a shop and leaving behind our materials with the buyer (and perhaps chatting briefly, but never long enough to encroach on his or her time). We’ll then follow up with a phone call.

There are pros and cons, of course, to warm-calling versus cold-calling. But our research suggests that for us, the warm call is the best approach. We can always switch to the cold call if/when necessary.

So wish us luck. We’ll keep you posted, one way or the other. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us below.

And now… Road trip!

Marie

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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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if I had a million dollars

I’m not a horder. In fact, if I don’t use something for a year, it’s gone. I don’t like collecting things; not shoes or thimbles or jewelry or Precious Moments figurines (*retch*). “The less you have, the less you have to maintain.” That’s my credo.

Which is why, if I had a million dollars, I’d prefer to GIVE our T-shirts away. I’d love to see our designs on the backs of all those who love and appreciate them. No more inventory, no more sales, no more taxing and shipping. Just stop by and ask for a shirt, and voila! It’s yours.

A customer browses through "odd guy art" wear.

But alas, that’s a utopian vision that cannot thrive in the real world (not without our inevitable starvation). So we’re forced to ask for your hard-earned dollars in exchange for our merchandise, because that’s how the system works. (We initially tried using the barter system, but weren’t sure how many beaver pelts to ask for in exchange for a shirt).

We do want you to know, however, that we deeply appreciate your business. Whether you’ve bought some “odd guy art” already or plan to do so in the future, our gratitude runs deep. Please pass the “odd guy art” dream along to your friends and colleagues, family members and acquaintances.

Thank you.

Marie

moving forward

Woot!

As I write, Graham is placing our first odd guy art merchandise order: ball caps. After deciding to go with “Anvil” pigment-dyed caps, we chose three colors on which to have our logo embroidered. We’ve spent a lot of time researching blank hats and shirts and decided that the pigment-dyed garments are best suited for our demographic. They look slightly faded and worn, but are of excellent quality and softness (just like us!).

We’re trying to do this in a a sensible order. We can’t, for instance, design the website without first photographing the merchandise, but we can’t photograph the merchandise without first having it printed. And of course we can’t print the merchandise until it’s designed, but we can’t design the merchandise without first understanding our demographic. (And we can’t understand our demographic without first drinking a lot of coffee).

So we’ve spent the past several months doing research. Some of this simply included observing people while they hung out in coffee shops or wandered through art exhibits. But we’ve also been pouring through current marketing books and online forums and garment catalogs. We’ve surveyed our friends and harassed our families. And now, today, all of those months of pondering and studying have evolved into something tangible – and hopefully into something that YOU will find fun to wear!

Excitedly,

Marie