Ghost Raven interview
Today’s interview is with Randall, who’s store Ghost Raven Designs is
1. What drew you to opening an online store? Were you in a related field?
Well, extra money is always good to have. In honesty, I'm not all that fond of my "day job," and am hoping to eventually make it to college so I can get a job I actually like. When I found out about cafepress.com, I'd already been doing a bit of work on the side as a freelance graphic artist, and being able to have my designs printed on items for everyone to see, and not losing ownership of them just seemed very appealing to me.
2. When did you open your store?
I opened up my first free store last September, and my paid store in March, I think.
3. What is harder about doing this then you thought it would be?
In honesty, I never expected this part to be easy, but marketing my stuff. My best sellers seem to be my political stuff... namely, my anti-Bush stuff. I certainly am not complaining, but I hope to see more sales on my original artwork sometime in the near future.
4. What do you like best about being an online shopkeeper?
The freedom I have. I can be just about as gutsy as I want to be, do things the way I want to do them, and all that good stuff.
5. During the very first month, what do you wish you had known then that you do now?
Heheh... I'm not sure I've learned anything since then that would've helped me much.
6. Could you share some of the marketing you’ve tried so far (on or off line) and what has worked and what hasn’t?
I take pretty much any free marketing opportunity I can... stickerpedia.com, shirtrank.com, the classifieds on craigslist.org, and the online classifieds on alibi.com (a local alternative newspaper). In addition, I will sometimes leave a couple business cards in a strategic location. So far, though my marketing has resulted in increased traffic, it's not resulted in many sales.
7. What other sites, blogs, etc. do you have if any?
Well, I have a livejournal.com free account, a myspace.com account that I don't pay much attention to, and a couple free pages on angelfire.com
Nancy’s comment – I like and relate to Randall’s own comment on his site “I got into this largely because it's an amazing feeling to know that people are willing to pay for my designs... not so much the money itself, but the feeling knowing that someone is wearing or proudly displaying a design I made is indescribable. I think that's the ultimate reward for any artist”
To go beyond just artists I think it’s true with any small business owner. It’s a great feeling when someone supports your business because it’s a tangible sign that they think what you are doing has value.