The Journey of the Funny Gift Store Begins
So here we are, hopefully the first of many posts by the funny gift store. We are now well into our first month of setting up, and it’s been fun, frustrating and exciting all rolled into one. For years we have been successful website owners and have run our own design company, but this is new to us and the journey has been anything but easy.
We began by coming up with a plan, as you can imagine the novelty gift market is huge, ginormous and saturated, it’s full of great designers and great looking products. However, they’re all sensible and pretty samey. Unicorns, Teddy Bears and Cats, and we mean lots of cats!! So, we decided after a board meeting, involving lots of alcohol, we are going to be different, sure we’re still going to do the funny t-shirts, funny baby products and funny notebooks. But, we are planning to be a little bit more risqué and adventurous.
Our initial designs have seen the faces of Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin and Hulk Hogan imprinted onto our range of funny flip flops. We have also used some more iconic faces such as Bob Ross and Johnny 5 on some of our baby items. But why stop there? We plan to have over a 1000 designs available for our customers by the end of October. Pretty scary Eh?
The equipment we use to make our funny novelty gifts is really important to us, as well as the goods we sell. Everything we have paid for is sourced within the UK. Supporting British businesses is very important to us, we want to encourage the creative community to come together. We are conscious of our environmental impact and we take this into account when sourcing our materials such as packaging.
But oh the equipment, what fun we have had with that. As a team of designers we are used to making things look great on screen. We’re experts at it. But when it comes to physical goods and getting the equipment to work properly that’s been a journey all by itself. Sam, the Master Sergeant of all that is quality has been testing and testing again to make sure that we are right first time with everything we dispatch. Her attention to detail is the key to what we all do. If she doesn’t think it’s good enough for our customers then the kids in our team have to wear our goods. So as you can imagine, it’s in our best Interest to get things working as they should be. Trust us, a t-shirt of a North Korean leader isn’t the best thing to wear in a Welsh Village.
The method we use is a technique called Sublimation printing. An age old printing process, it uses the art of heat pressing using special dyes. Using this we are able to heat press our designs onto our products. Our products are handmade to order and this cuts down on the stock we have to hold. We have been able to get some great stock from some awesome sublimation suppliers which has allowed us to guarantee quality to our customers.
The Website, Etsy and Amazon
So the funny gift store don’t do things by halves. We are already a successful web design business in our own right so we know how to scale things up quickly and efficiently. We already have our website up and running, (as you can already see), we also have our funny Etsy shop which is already making sales. These provisional sales give us the confidence that we are doing the right thing and customers love what we are doing. So the next stage in the plan is to progress onto Amazon and then social media. This is where the geekiness of Ian comes in. He loves getting this type of stuff done. Very soon you will see all of our funny gifts scattered everywhere.
The Christmas Rush
With any start up business we need to understand when the peak times are. With a huge range of Secret Santa Gifts and Holiday Presents we know that people want what we sell over this crazy time. So as well as designing, production and keeping the team coronavirus free (I had a bet that I could get covid into this first post) we need to make sure that we are ready for the peak season. So as you can imagine, our offices and personal space are covered with boxes and heat press equipment.
This is such an exciting time for or business and we are loving the way it’s coming together. Sam hasn’t lost her cool once and Ian hasn’t thrown his laptop out of the window, so where considering this a good start. The journey ahead is very scary, but very exciting. Whoever thought that we would be in a position where dye sublimination, 11oz mugs and Etsy fees would be the topic of conversation around our dinner table? (Well we don’t have a table as that is covered with boxes of stock) but you get the idea.
So stay tuned for the next exciting update in our journey.