May 2008

Roadtrip Unpacking

Unpacking from my recent West Coast Road Trip with Tara Brown and I thought I’d go ahead and list some of the stuff that I brought back.

– Foam Cutlass (sword)
– High powered water gun
– Several packages of industrial glow sticks
– Shotglass on a necklace
– 3’x5′ pirate flag
– Minor sunburn
– 2 packs of vegan marshmallows
– iPod radio broadcaster thingy
– Sterling silver skull ring (needs resizing)
– 5 lbs
– Lots of stories I’ll tell over and over again
– Even more stories I’ll never tell once

Two things about yesterday

One: We almost died. But didn’t. On the 101 south, just into California from Oregon, where the freeway has a divider between north and southbound lanes, some fucktard was driving FULL SPEED in the wrong direction into oncoming traffic. We were in the fast lane and came around a corner to see a car barreling right at us. I was driving and swerved into the slow lane to avoid the car and just barely missed getting hit head on. After that we decided it was time to stop driving. Which leads me to point number Two: I don’t know the name of the tiny ass town we stopped in but EVERYTHING in the town closes at 9pm. Which is terrible when you get to town at 8:50pm and just want to sit down and eat. When we asked people what the hell people in this town do if everything closes at 9pm we kept hearing “well, we just make sure we get everything we need for the night before then.”

Also, if you want to follow along at home, visually at least, watch my flickr stream or better yet watch Tara’s since she’s being a much better documentarian. I have more pics I’ll upload once I get back to LA but for the day by day she’s way more on it than I am.

Dear Lazy Web, T-Shirt Manufacturing/Selling Help

A friend was asking me about this earlier and while at one point I was able to answer it off the top of my head I’m now sorely lacking in the info for the best answer. Rather than do the right thing and respond with “I don’t know” I’m turning to you all for help. The basic question is in 2008 if you wanted to print and sell a couple of T-shirt designs on the web, how would you do it?

Things I think I know:

  • Proper screen printing is a requirement, no “print on demand” using iron on or heat transfers.
  • Printing a gross of shirts at a time is way cheaper than small runs.
  • Men’s S, M, L, XL are required.
  • Local printing with in person pick up is always cheaper than printing elsewhere and shipping.
  • Storage of and fulfillment is a nightmare.

Things I know I don’t know, but would like to:

  • Of men’s sizes, which are the most commonly ordered?
  • Which women’s sizes are most common and worth producing?
  • Does the shirt printed on still matter (American Apparel vs Hanes Beefy T, etc)?
  • Is it better to have a simpler shirt with no branding of who made it, or some credit somewhere so people know where it came from?
  • Are there any companies doing storage & fulfillment that are worthwhile? (I know at one point there was a guy in Chicago who ran a business where he did nothing but stock products for other people’s companies and handle their mail order in exchange for a % of the sales, but he’s long since stopped.)
  • If selling the shirts online, is it worth taking orders from outside the US or is shipping still prohibitively expensive? (Or is the exchange rate so good that it doesn’t matter?)

Any info (e-mailed to me or posted in the comments) would be super appreciated. I know for a fact that this person is looking to add merchandise to their existing non-merchandise related company so options like Threadless are out of the question from a business standpoint. Suggestions? Ideas? KTHXBAI

Meetups in Vancouver and Portland this week

metblogs.png As you know I’m running around the Pacific Northwest visiting Metblogs authors and using that as an excuse to see new cities and visit friends. We’re doing a few public meetup things and if you are around and want to come out, we’d love to have you. Tonight in Vancouver we’re meeting up at the Library Square Pub. This officially starts at 7:30 but it seems like folks from the Third Tuesday meetup will be coming over after they are done as well so we’ll probably be around for a few hours.

Then tomorrow night I’ll be in Portland for a meetup there at Rontoms which will begin around 5pm and run until who knows when. Both meets should be fun and I’m looking forward to meeting folks I’ve only talked to online or brand new people all together. We’re also looking for a few authors in both these cities so if you are interested in that at all, come out and say Hi and see if you want to give it a shot. See you then!

Heading to the Pacific North West

I’m flying out today en route to Seattle and in the next week or so will be spending time there as well as in Vancouver and Portland. I’ll be checking out new cities and meeting with Metblogers in person who I’ve only known from e-mail, super exciting. Full travel plans (and suggestions from friends) have been posted on my wiki. Next week I’m taking the longcut back to LA and should make it in just a little bit before the end of the month. Reports from the road, as always.