Five Year Old Kimchi: Part 1 – The Shops

August 6, 2013 at 6:11 am Leave a comment

I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since I started this whole venture. This will be the first in a multi part series about all the things I’ve experienced in those 5 years as a small business owner.

I’ve always wanted to make money with my artwork. Over 5 years ago, my mom saved me a newspaper clipping about this site called Cafe Press. It was a print on demand site where you could upload your original designs and put them up for sale on various items like shirts, mugs, buttons, etc. She thought it would be a really good outlet for my artwork and I agreed. However at that time, I was busy with other things in my life and so it got filed away as ‘something to do in the future’.

One of the items available through Cafe Press.

One of the items available through Cafe Press.

I had some things change and suddenly, I decided to tackle this and take a step out to see if I could make some money off this. I did a little research to find out what I needed to do to get started (and probably over researched and over prepared as I tend to do, but it put me ahead of the game in the long run) and set up shop. Cafe Press was the first public outing for Kimchi Kawaii – though at the time, I was called Soy Happy (more on that in another post). I also bought my dream computer iMac and Adobe Illustrator – which freaked out my credit card company who then froze the card and called my land line to make sure it was really me doing this fatty purchase. That in turn freaked ME out at the Apple store cause I thought someone had taken all my money, lol! Thanks to my friend and her cell phone (was cell phone less at the time), we got it all sorted out and I went home with my computer and got to work on all the bad puns and kawaii style art Kimchi has become known for.

About a year later, I heard about another print on demand called Zazzle and decided to open another shop there to reach as many people as I could. While at times it’s been a bit of a pain to maintain both shops, there are some things in each site that are not carried by the other. I really like the cocktail dishes through Cafe Press and love the messenger bags through Zazzle.

Fast forward to another year or so down the line when I started crafting items. Zazzle and CP have their items that are available to the shopkeepers, but if I wanted to create my own crafted items, I had find another site to sell those items through. I looked at some sites including Etsy, but honestly didn’t really like their fee structure so I went with Art Fire. I started selling my acrylic charms, jewelry, and Frosted Fleur de Lis (sweets and lolita related items) there. Basically, it was the same stuff that I was selling at anime cons, but this could reach beyond the one city I was in for a con. I had a some what good run there, but in the end, it just wasn’t working out for me, so I closed that shop down and moved to Storenvy this year. I’m still building things up in there, but I’m hoping with some marketing and the fact that Storenvy is getting more well known, I hope it can do well.

And finally, I started selling my original fabric designs through Spoonflower under the Frosted Fleur name. I love making original lolita dresses, but let’s face it, cute boarder prints are super hard to come by here in the states unless you want country kitsch. Which I didn’t. So, you want something lolita, you gotta draw it yourself 🙂 As I’m trying to pack a lot of detail into my designs, progress is slow there. I have a huge list of designs I want to do, but not enough time to do them in. I’m hoping to get some more done during Christmas break which is when I tend to do most of my art for the year.

Yep, I’m pretty much all over the place with my shops and always looking for more ideas/products to do under the Kimchi or Fleur name. Btw, if you want to keep up with everything going on, the best place to do so is on the Facebook pages listed below. I update there the most about all the various shops.

Kimchi Kawaii Facebook Page

Frosted Fleur de Lis Facebook Page

Ok, that’s all from me for this first post. Time to call it a night!

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