I've been doing some exciting things in the world of commerce. After Pumping Station: One got a laser cutter I started cutting stuff from Thingiverse and thinking of products I could make with it. I fixed the Thingiverse files for Tetris blocks and made some of those. Then I thought of making glasses out of the Look of Disapproval from reddit. Then Gretchen wanted me to make her something on the laser, so I made her a pendant with the kiss emoticon. After a while I put all these things on my etsy store, Optical Awesome. The Look of Disapproval Glasses started really taking off, and I've now sold over 150 of them! Exciting stuff. I've decided to move all my e-commerce to etsy since they make it so easy and deliver me traffic through their search.
I also sold things at Maker Faire NY, which was great. My necklaces and t-shirts were big hits and I just about made enough money to cover the expenses of the trip. (Lesson #1, don't dig so big a hole that you have to have a ton of success to get back out of it.) I kept track of a few things I started out doing wrong and did my best to fix on the spot, so hopefully those mistakes won't happen again:
- Post a price or people don't know it's for sale. With all the makers just exhibiting things, it's easy to get confused.
- If you put t-shirts out on a table people will look through them for their size. Either have sizes out there or hang them up behind you.
- Don't underestimate the number of women there. I didn't think necklaces would sell well, but a ton of women came by and loved them.
- People loved trying on the look of disapproval glasses and sending pics to their friends. If I had a kiosk to do that it would be nice for collecting emails.
Also I got a bunch of new product ideas from people coming up to my table. I haven't acted on them yet, soon though!