Spreadshirt-Designer KookyShirts makes everyday designs sweeter by adding a pinch of magic. While she is on the road as a graphic freelancer during the day, she finds a release for her own magic potion of creativity when designing T-shirt designs at night.
What made you design unicorns?
When I joined Spreadshirt, I first looked for a niche. So I researched new trends, and unicorns looked to be on the rise. They were far from the big hype they’re experiencing at the moment, but – thankfully – they are everywhere now!
How do you get inspired?
Most of my inspiration comes from everyday life. I found my love for marshmallows and chocolate after visiting the USA. Over there, they say that combining those two makes for a perfect love story.
Can you explain your creative process, from idea to design?
I always have a notebook on my desk and my sketchbook wherever I go. I sketch everything I can possibly think of. In addition to that, I use my tablet for research. When I created the marshmallow design, I first drafted it in all kinds of different positions that I later reworked on a computer until I finished the design. Then I showed it to my sister and a friend, and after they all told me what they thought of it, I made a couple of final revisions and uploaded the design.
Do you have a particular kind of person in mind when creating designs?
I mainly design for women. Surprisingly, they are mostly older than me, about 25 to 35. At least this applies to the customers in my Shop. Last year, there was a little complaint that I didn’t offer unicorn T-shirts for men. So I created a couple of men’s products with unicorns and managed to sell a few since adding them.
How much time do you invest in your Shop and the Marketplace?
It depends. Last month, I worked every evening during the week, about 3 to 4 hours every night. I devote even more time designing on the weekend. So I would think that I spend at least 20 hours per week on the work I do for Spreadshirt. A design usually takes 1 – 2 hours from the first sketch to the finished design – designs with typography take less.
What kind of marketing do you do?
I mainly use Facebook for my Shops. I either go for paid marketing or use the Facebook interest pages. I often do sweepstakes to promote my newest product – that works very well. I don’t do any marketing for the Marketplace.
What considerations lead to releasing a design in your Shop or the Marketplace?
Most of the time, I publish my designs in the Shop. I then look at how it is perceived on those Facebook pages. If it works well, I consider whether it could do the trick on the Marketplace. I try to make sure that the design is unique enough to stand out from the other designs on the Marketplace.
From your experience: What kind of design is particularly popular in the Marketplace?
Designs people can identify with. You look at it and say to yourself, “That’s just like me!” People like buying slogan tees, and cute designs always go well. The best part is, even when you think you’ve seen something a thousand times, you’ll be surprised to still find a niche in the market.
Is doing Spreadshirt work fun?
It’s great to see people happy after buying from me. Sometimes they send me photos, and I can tell that they enjoy their purchase and like wearing it. That’s a great compliment. Also, the payments I receive from Spreadshirt don’t stop, even when I’m on vacation. I continue to earn money, even if I don’t do any work. That’s what seals it for me.
What drives you on?
I sell designs on a daily basis – this is a great motivation. I can tell that people are thrilled when they write on Facebook that they like my stuff. But the main factor is that I have a lot of fun designing t-shirts. This is what drives me, even when sales are not going from time to time.