Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Small Business Saturday

This Thursday is Thanksgiving, and I know many of you who celebrate it will be spending it with your family and loved ones.  Following that are Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, which I'm sure at least a few of you also 'celebrate'.

For many, small business means the local mom and pop shops in our towns, stores that have been around for decades, and that's great.  But small business ALSO includes digital storefronts such as mine.  If you've made a vow to shop local, please don't disclude online shops- check (or ask) for location information.  Many of us cannot afford a physical storefront of our own, and many brick and mortar shops aren't willing to pay fair prices for our work without extreme markup on their end. Some aren't willing to carry our work at all, even those that advertise that they sell locally produced items! The only real option for selling our work and making a living is through is a digital storefront.

If you love giving unique gifts, purchasing from an artist's digital storefront is a great way to give something that's one of a kind.  From Christmas commissions of kids, pets, couples, and more to hand bound mini comics assembled with love, or unique prints to deck the walls of a teen's room, taking your Small Business Saturday shopping online can really land you something special.

Some notes on buying from online shops:

If you want a commission, please order it BEFORE December.  Every year, I get a couple last minute Christmas commissions the week before Christmas, and in the past, I've ruined my visit with family by trying to juggle last minute Christmas commissions with Christmas shopping and spending time with my family.  While the thought (and the money) are both very appreciated, I would appreciate it even more (and save both of us the overnight shipping costs) if orders were placed in the last week of November, or the first week of December, and I think many of my artist friends feel the same.   This gives us time to do a wonderful job on your custom art, send it off, and for you to receive it so you can wrap it up for your winter holiday gift giving.

 Regular shop orders are a little different- up until I leave for Louisiana in mid December leaves me plenty of time for me to pack and ship your order to you, and I don't mind mailing copies of 7" Kara up into Christmas week, as I leave copies at my mom's house.

If You're Buying in Bulk, Please Email the Shopowner Beforehand

Some creators don't necessarily keep a lot of stock on hand at any one time, some need advance notice in order to make enough for a bulk order.  Some are willing to do reduced or wholesale rates, and some may need to make shipping arrangements.  If you're buying in bulk (lots of grandchildren, nieces or nephews, stocking stuffers, gifts for teammates or co workers), please let the shop owner know ahead of time what you have in mind.  Many are quite happy to accommodate your requests!

Your Shopowner/Artist is a Person Too!

We wear many hats as small businesses- creative team, production, promotion, site maintenance, inventory, and mistakes sometimes happen!  If we fail to respond within a couple days, it's alright to send us another email or message, sometimes emails end up missorted into the spam folder, or sometimes your message may not get delivered the first time.

If you're a reader of this blog, now would be an EXCELLENT time to peruse my shop.  You can take advantage of my Small Business Saturday coupon code for 20% off (thinkdigital)   or my Cyber Monday code for 30% off (shophandmade)  and your order not only helps to support this blog (as always) but it helps me purchase airfare home to visit my family for the holidays, it keeps my cat in kibble, and it enables me to continue to produce content and art for you to enjoy.  By ordering now, I have plenty of time to lovingly package your order and send it out to you so that it can arrive in time for Christmas, with no need for rush shipping.

Due to a combination of untimely hand injury and website maintanence, I'm still getting everything updated, but the shop should be good to go by Saturday.


Mini comics and Ashcans:






Favorite Fictional Femmes
Magical Girl March
Artistically Challenged (2014-2015 sketchbook)
Japantrip
Another Year of Watercolor (Hardbound watercolor collection from 2014-2015)

Comics: 




7" Kara (comes with your choice of wooden Kara charm)
Chainmail Bikini (shown above)

Wooden Charms (available 3 ways- phonecharm, keychain, or necklace)




Utahraptor
Pterodactyl
Raccoon
Red Panda
Acorn
Leaf
Sabertooth Tiger
Jackalope
Llamas
Kara with Acorn
Kara head

Sassy Buttons:





Bored with Boys
Cuties Makin' Comics
Just Nope
Don't Touch
Shonen Hero
I'm Not Your Baby
Go Away
Shoujo Heroine
You Don't Know Me
Don't Wanna
I Got This
Former Shoujo Heroine
Never Not Cute

And many other designs just restocked!

Stickers and Sticker Sets

Mini Prints

Dino Mini Print Set
Cowgirls Mini Prints
Individual Chibi Mini Prints


Original Art

This year, my online shop will finally start offering large-scale original art.  Below are a few examples of one-of-a-kind pieces that have been recently listed.











Commissions

For detailed commissions, or commissions with multiple characters, please email me in advance for a quote.

8"x8" Mini Watercolor Commission
10"x14" Watercolor Commission
Copic Marker Illustration



Physical Stores that Carry My Work:

Brainfreeze Comics  (Nashville, TN)

Less than 100 Pop Up Shop (New Orleans, La)


Other Artists and Creators

I'm not the only artist with a digital storefront who could benefit from your support this holiday season!  Check out these other fantastic artists and crafters, and make your holidays a little more handmade.

Comics and Art

Fine Sometimes Rain
JLMK Art 
Altar Girl
Vanessa Satone
ZambiCandy (also has a lot of homegoods and apparel!)
Bekyoot (another shop with homegoods and apparel options!)
Zorilita
Chromatic Press (small comic publisher)
Italsma
Paragon Ketch
ElectricAbyss
Aisazia
Cowboy House (comic subscription service!)
Mike Freiheit
Goni Montes

Browsable:
Gumroad- mini comics, Photoshop brushes, and other downloadables

Fiber Arts

Merry Manias

Household Goods

Pixel&Print
TofuBeast
JantheSpinner 
Angles and Dangles
Kimchi Kawaii (phone cases and boxes)

Plushies and Kid's Toys

BeeZeeArt 
Giggle Tree
Gentle Moon Bell (custom plushes)

Clothes

Tuttolv 
SnortMonster
YYYYs
Knot Fade Away (knit goods)
BriAbby (knit goods)

Jewelry

Kristin Made Stuff! (acrylic charms and earrings)
tittybats 
Aimee Petkus (I know her site looks SUPER professional, but I assure you, it's a two person operation, one Aimee and one Greg)
Beth Cyr Jewelry
C'lay La Vie (clay jewelry)

Indie Games

http://itch.io/
2 Player Productions
The Dream Machine
Brian Wolf (Tabletop games)

Tech

The Color Hug

 Small Business Saturday isn't just for your local brick and mortar mom and pop shops.  There are lots of fantastic small businesses that do the majority of their business online.  These online shops are artists, skilled crafters, designers, and programmers who are all trying to make a living from their digital small business.   By purchasing directly from their shops, you're ensuring that these people get the majority of the profit for their hard work, rather than the much smaller margins that selling wholesale to local retailers often demand.  Your order is often one of a kind and customizable, and it may not be available in any physical storefronts or in mass quantity.  When you want to shop Small Business, please also remember to consider ONLINE small businesses, especially during the holidays.