July 8, 2013

There's a New Shop in the Works

This has been on my mind for quite some time—the thought of opening a second shop. I've probably mentioned this before, but as my shop grows my Etsy fees keep piling up. Since October of last year, I've been paying at least $20/month but lately it's closer to $30-40/month. In the past, I've paid as much as $65 during a busy month, which I think is totally outrageous for how small of an operation my shop is. I love the Etsy community and all the exposure it's brought me, but the fees are killing me and sucking up so much of what I make. Aside from being a freelance graphic designer, my shop is currently my only other source of income so I really depend on it doing well.

(And that's probably the most money talk you'll ever hear come out of me.)

I've been dabbling with the idea of having a Big Cartel shop for a very long time. I've had a free account for about 5 years and just upgraded to a paid account earlier this year. I love everything about their platform and their monthly fee is affordable. Their lowest paid plan which is $9.99/month sounds a lot better than what I'm paying Etsy right now. The only major downside is that I get significantly less traffic going to it than with Etsy, which means I have to do significantly more marketing work to get it out there.

About 5 years ago, there was a moment in time when I considered changing my major from graphic design to illustration. I ended up deciding on sticking to graphic design because I had already invested so much time and so many units to it. Going through graphic design really opened my eyes to the world of branding, which has helped me a lot since being out on my own. But since graduation, I been having this itch to pursue illustration again. I've always loved stories and storytelling. When I was younger, I went through a poetry phase that later grew into an interest in creative writing. And what I love about illustration is it's a way of telling stories visually. I keep tons of notebooks & sketchbooks (hell, I even make my own!) and I have so many stories down on paper that I want to turn into real things; either as illustrations or zines.

I've also been feeling burnt out from Quiet Tiger. Because as much as the products do reflect my personality, to some extent they're also dictated by what customers expect from the shop and what's selling. Essentially, I started feeling like I'm just "the witty button girl". But don't get me wrong, I'm extremely grateful that a lot of people really love them. I just want to try something new and do more exploration & experimentation, which is why the new shop I'm working on is focused on personal work. For the new shop, I'm simply just going to make work that reflect me and how I'm feeling. A lot of it will be original drawings, prints, and eventually zines.

I'm currently working on new work for the new shop and hope to have new items up next week, so keep checking back. And of course, you can also follow me on Twitter to hear about when new items are added. In the meantime, some of the new mini pouches and cards are up in the shop.

You can find the new shop here.
From now until September 1st October 1st, you can get 15% off all orders with code: HELLONEWSHOP


  1. Make whatever makes you happy. I'm known for making colorful ladies (and food erotica) but i still make more poignant b&w stuff. And it still sells. I stopped thinking of my brand as a candy wonderland. Instead I am my brand. People with the same interests will find you.

    Some of my fans prefer one thing or the other but it still works out.

    You'll find a way! <3

    (And fuck yeah. i studied fine art and illustration but i'm a sucker for branding! just don't let it eat you alive. don't have to be rigid with it. Most of my living comes from etsy and a little w/ gallery stuff so i understand the fear)

    1. Thanks! <3

      I've just been feeling like…I'm gonna just do whatever I want and if people like it, cool…if not, that's cool too.

      and that's part of the whole wanting to work under my own name again thing too. i've been building these other brands that are supposed to be an extension of me for so long, i'm just like you know what…i'm just gonna be me and that's it. i think it got to the point where i was overcomplicating things and it was getting in the way of my creativity and productivity.

  2. You're lucky that know what do you want to do. I want to be an illustrator combine graphic designer. haha Reading your entry make me thinking again. There're many lovely things on your blog!