Monday, August 14, 2006

Hold That Thought

As Stitches Midwest 2006 recedes into memory, I find I'll need more than ten minutes to write about it. I learned a lot of lessons, some of them about knitting.

Shop Sizes

I don't want to wait any longer, though, before addressing a comment left anonymously regarding the sizes (not) available in the shop.

My shop is one of scores that operate as part of the Café Press system. Café Press is a company that consists in the main of three things: online shop tools, a customer service office, and a large warehouse and production facility where orders are fulfilled and shipped.

At the moment, Café Press is my only option for selling things online because I lack the financial backing needed to procure my own stock of products, shipping materials, etc. And even if I had all the above, I don't have the resources to house merchandise and fulfill orders (i.e., see who's ordered what, pack it up, ship it, keep the books, and provide customer service). I'm still just a guy with a demanding day job of 50-60 hours a week living in a small city apartment.

The upside of Café Press is that they make it possible for me to put my stuff out there for those who like it. The downsides are 1) I make almost no money (usually a dollar or two per item); and 2) I can only sell what they choose to stock.

When I first opened the shop I got a query about extended (XL and above) sizes and I wrote to Café Press asking why those sizes were not available for most garments. I also asked whether they might consider making them available. The response I got was, in effect, "because they're not, and no."

It bothers me to no end that XL is the upper limit for much of what's there, and if I were running my own operation this would not be so.

So, yes, Anonymous, I would like "to make a mint," but even more I would like anybody who wants Dolores on a t-shirt to be able to have Dolores on a t-shirt. I happen to be related to many bodacious, ample women and men and count even more of them among my friends. It drives me cuckoo what they have to go through to get decent clothes. When my financing materializes, we'll make it happen. Count on it.

In the meantime, I'm working on buttons. One size fits all. It ain't much, but maybe it will help.

27 comments:

cindi said...

I keep hoping to see a mug of the "It itches" lamb. Thanks for explaining how things work at Cafe Press. I've often wondered. Can't wait to read about Stitches.

Alyssa said...

I just ordered an itchy lamb shirt last week and I can't wait to get it. I hope the sizing issue is resolved someday. Everyone needs a Franklin sheep shirt:)

Liz in Nowhere PA said...

um, I keep looking to see if you've finished your idea about the Rapture.

Living in rural PA, where the first question people as you is, "what church do you belong to?", I'd really like that on my car.

The second question is "did you hear about the bear in whozit's back yard?"

Anonymous said...

Franklin --

For larger-size t-shirts, you might want to check out Zazzle.com. Similar to Cafe Press in body and spirit, but I know from experience that their sizes run large. Huge, as a matter of fact. I put some of my own work on a t-shirt for a 300+-pound friend and it fits his like a dream.

Michael

Yvonne said...

I've used Zazzle before and while their products are nice, there's a serious downside for the shopkeeper. Once you upload an image and make a product, it remains up there--forever. You grant them a license to use your image "in perpetuity", and have no way to get them taken down.

pacalaga said...

Eeuww, screw Zazzle then - keep your wonderful designs all to yourself (except continue sharing, thanks). Yes, it's true, Cafe Press has a limited selection, but there are mugs, knitting bags, stickers, etc.
There is also printer-friendly fabric, believe it or not. Perhaps you could make a special design available somehow (don't ask me, I don't know) for people to download and either print on the fabric and make a shirt with it, or print on an iron-on sheet and iron it onto the t-shirt of their choice?
In the meantime, I LOVE my sheep-kicks knitting bag.

tb said...

Franklin, what about iron-ons? Then I could put Dolores on any t-shirt that suits my fancy....just a thought. I'm a pretty ample woman and would LOVE a t-shirt of your design.

hillary said...

I second what they all said. I'd love a Dolores shirt but I'm a little larger than I'd like to be at the moment. I'm patient though and I'll wait till larger shirts are available.

Lee Ann said...

I second the request for an "it itches" mug. I have too many mugs, but that one...well...let's just say I have experience with this little lambie phenomenon.

And hey, sugar. Missed you. :-)

Anonymous said...

i could kill myself for not getting one of the dolores shirts from before. now i would like to get a shirt or bag with the rapture image on it. i think it is really funny

Daphne said...

yes to iron-ons! or something adaptable--buttons are good, patches would be nice. oh, maybe a Dolores chart!!!! maybe SEVERAL dolores charts. only problem is her speech could infringe upon the territory of Subversive Cross Stitch. better let folks make up their own captions.

Julia said...

Dolores thongs, please. Pushing the frontiers of taste? Perhaps. But I'd buy a set.

MindofWinter

Anonymous said...

Franklin! Guess what??!?? I went over to your shop and found plus sizes! Oh joy! Frabjous day! I could only afford to buy 2 shirts, but one of them was the famous 'you have two eyes'. Maybe your query did some good. Thanks!
WHERE'S DOLORES????

Roz said...

I'm a little confused. All of the Dolores shirts come in sizes greater than XL except the Baby Doll T, the Jr. Ringer T and the Spaghetti Tank. A couple of the shirts max out at a 4x.

d2 said...

Franklin!
Ted mentioned something about a Queer Knitcamp. Is this true? When is it going to take place? Where? Or was it just an idle comment? Would one have to be queer to go to Queer Knitcamp? What degree of queer would one have to have, in order to be queer enough to go to Queer Knitcamp? I ask, because I'm going to need to practice so I can attend. Please can I attend Queer Knitcamp?

Christina said...

I did a test-run on plus-sized tee-shirts for Cafe Press. They sent me two tee to try on for fit. They ran really small, though. So, perhaps they will one day have plus-sizes.

Felicia said...

I think it's just peachy a person can get your designs on tote bags and other stuff.

I wouldn't want to mess up your artwork with all the stuff I spill on myself, so I figure-- not being able to buy a t-shirt in my size is a bonus!

Laura A. said...

Couldn't you just press Dolores into service making and mailing those t-shirts instead of paying rent? ... Oh wait, of course she doesn't pay any rent already.

Holly said...

Franklin:

I'm a bit behind in my blog reading - I live just southwest of Coalville. This cowboy friend of mine came by and asked if he could borrow my RV and some knitting needles for the weekend. It seems he met this cute little sheep in Coalville and there are no hotels up there and the rodeo's in town .............

mk said...

Another "me too!" for iron-ons - for you, it would probably be easiest to make images, flipped in reverse, available as downloads for a small fee, with some info on iron-on transfer paper that can be run through a printer. There's also the option of printing an image on regular paper and taking it to a print shop to have it made into an iron-on. I believe Lulu.com offers the necessary download services, and I'd be delighted to pay a few dollars for a download - honey, had I known you made so little off the Cafe Press, I would have asked for this sooner and done all the Aloha Knitters WWKIP Honolulu tees and totes that way. Dolores is not a cheap roomie, after all.

Leslie said...

I've used Lulu as a consumer and find them reasonable and capable. I (an Ample Knitter) would love the opportunity to put Dolores (where I want her) on a shirt of my own choosing. She, Mar and Wendy (Bad Ass Knitter) are all women I strive to emulate. In other words, downloadable Dolores on a transfer fabric would just warm the cockles of my heart :)

Monicapdx said...

Argh. Just left a comment re T-shirts in comments for your pre-Stitches entry. Ok, *now* I feel really intelligent... Hi! I'm your official idiot blogfan today!

jacquieknits said...

I love your Dolores! I just discovered your website. I don't why it's taken me so long but I absolutely love it. I'm in the same knitting guild as Luz, the lovely Peruvian lady you photographed at Meg Swanson's Knitting Camp. I've always wanted to go but your photos convinced me that I must take action.

marie in florida said...

there, the first feedback comment i see is for the "it itches" lamb, which is my favorite funny bit.
i wish you much luck with your clothing line, the images are wonderfully funny and funny.
how about a rubber stamp?

Linda said...

I can't wait to see the buttons.

Mark said...

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theguildedpage said...

It cannot have effect as a matter of fact, that's exactly what I suppose.