T-shirts came first
I’m an author, been publishing various books (mostly non-fiction) since 1994. About two years ago I realized that many more people would be likely to read my words on a T-shirt than will ever read my books.
Besides, books are slow and complicated to write. So there would be years between me thinking of something clever, and anybody but me seeing it. That’s not good. If I want what I have to say to get read and repeated, let alone acted upon, then books alone are not the way to get there.
I need a way to deliver a punch line, without so much explanation. And I need to get the time delay down considerably. Designing T-shirts would accomplish both goals. And they have the potential to reach many more people who could find my advice useful.
Part of the reason I made T-shirts is because of the Amazon MERCH program. I got into that early. It had a seamless way to upload a design and have it offered for sale on Amazon within a day. So that part of the plan was built in.People could buy my T-shirts right away, with a selection of sizes and colors. As Amazon products buyers could check out and pay
My first T-shirts had only words
My earliest designs were all words, using quotes of mine from what I’ve written. My graphics software skills were non-existent since I’d failed at every attempt I had made (years prior) to learn Photoshop. At a certain point, my tech-savvy son said to me, “Mom, promise me you won’t go through that again.”
So I started learning to use other less-demanding graphic programs. And as my skill grew, so too did my confidence. I got so I could add images.
This gave way to this:
Then came mugs and Totes
The same design could be used for mugs and T-shirts, as well as other customized products. At first I only sold my T-shirts on Amazon since it was so integrated – from design through check-out.
But soon realized that finding my designs was too difficult among the millions of Amazon products. That’s what led me to make this T-shirt shop, Seize the Spark Shirts. Still all sales check out through Amazon.
Once I started making mugs and totes, I needed a different answer for getting my designs found. That’s why I set up an ETSY store. .