Eric did a great job with his second Linty Fresh live show! There were about 40-50 viewers watching the live feed the entire time which is a great turn out. For those of you who missed the show and want to watch it check out the embed above. I’ve also provided a transcript of the show below, for those of you who rather not watch the full 2 hours, or just missed a few questions, or just like text better. Thanks again, Eric!
The following Q&A was taken from the Linty Fresh Live Show #2. I had to type really fast so they are not direct quotes. But it’s as close as I could get. Enjoy with tea and a comfy tee!
Is it a good idea to use models for product shots or not?
Difficult to use models every month so very hectic. Can be flexible, time wise, if you don’t use models. More professional to use models and people may be more likely to purchase your product.
What do you use for your newsletters?
I use campaignmonitor.com to keep people in touch. Don’t over do it or it will be ignored like SPAM.
Do you change your style when doing commission work?
Yes, like to keep the LINTY FRESH style for LINTY FRESH.
How do I define LINTY FRESH’s target demographic?
Online: Guys 15 to mid to late 30′s. In person I sell more to the ladies, between tweens and 30′s. Girls less likely to buy things online vs. guys. Hipster scene if I needed to classify it, though a lot of people enjoy it.
Is LINTY FRESH your full time job?
How many shirts do you order per month?
100 shirts at a time. Try not to order to many because not a lot of space. Trying to get a lot of designs out there and making each one really special instead of printing thousands of one design. I like putting out new things that are fresh.
How many of each size do you print?
I have a formula. Less and less girls shirt every month because they don’t move as much. Last shirt I did the Davy Bunyan was guys: 17 small 22 mediums 20 large…. [didn't get the rest of the numbers but most were guys small, medium, large, doesn't stock much of the rest].
Did you have another job before LINTY FRESH?
Did signs for Home Depot before I quit for Linty Fresh.
For $1000 how much shirts can I print?
Could probably get a good 200 shirts for that amount if you use something like Tultex?
Is you creativity stifled working alone?
When working for client I typically produce my best work. Feedback I receive is typically very good. One of the reasons I decided to collaborate was so we could really produce something awesome based on each others critiques.
How did you figure out what kind of legal paperwork/forms you needed in the beginning? How do I figure out if I need a wholesaler’s license or anything else? Basically, how do I follow what needs to be done legally?
I have business license as a sole proprietor.
With working fulltime on Linty Fresh and it being a major source of funds for you how do you determine what to keep into Linty Fresh and what to use for personal stuff like food, movies, etc.?
Put 80% of what I make back into the company.
What’s the percentage of sales at craft shows VS your Big Cartel store?
On average at a craft show, it’s hard to say, for example in 7 hours I came away with $1300. It depends on the show. Day-to-day I would make more at a show then a single day online.
What beer are you drinking?
Dundee honey Brown.
Trying to get LINTY FRESH into clothing stores?
Yes I already am in clothing stores. Not in big clothing stores but am in small boutiques in Japan and the UK. Moto in Japan. Also in Spain and France.
At any point during LINTY FRESH did you wish you had another career?
No not really.
Do you prefer to see a new brand grow organically or to have everything perfect right out of the gate in terms of finishing garments and the quantity of designs they have available?
Not sure what your asking but it’s rare for a company to be perfect instantly.
Will you ever dive into cut and sew?
I want to but it’s expensive and is a big investment.
How did you go about making the transition from working for an employer to running your business full time? [sorry if this is a repeat question]?
More about scheduling than anything else. Must have a to do list. Easy to slack off. Not hard in the work sense, I work less than when I was working for an employer.
How do you know that your designs are going to be good, do you ask people before releasing it? Or you just hope it will sell :)?
No, I just hope they’ll sell.
Does your work come from hand illustrations or is it all done on the computer?
No, all on the computer.
How did you get your stuff in stores?
They always find me.
Would you rather get shot once in the leg or twice in the arm?
Twice in the arm.
How did you deal with the international mumbo jumbo for shipping and selling wholesale selling overseas. Can you discuss the steps of the process of how they or you found the accounts and international rules and laws etc.?
Need two things: Invoice and Certificate of Origin. Invoice. Certificate of origin must describe what the items are. Items must come from the US. Check out Vimeo video.
What drives you to find other accessories such as belts, decals etc. in the market? Just thinking it up and pricing it out?
Trying to get into other things other than tees. Allows for other price points. Want to support brands but tees may be expensive so have cheaper products at different price points. Makes things accessible.
How do you find craft shows to attend?
Best way is to go to a craft show, there are a lot of big ones ;like renegade. Bizarre, craft-tabular. India Craft Experience. Guaranteed fliers for next show. Go from one event to the other.
How many designs did you start with when you set up Linty Fresh, and how did you estimate your first order amount of tees eg. how many of each size did you order?
One design and ordered about 50 shirts.Â
How many shows have you done?
5 shows so far.
Would you consider having a partner?
No. Don’t need one.
Do you get more traffic to your website through blogs/tutorials or through ads?
Definitely through blogs. I don’t pay for ads.
The lines I draw in Flash aren’t really smooth (blotchy?) when I use the brush and pencil tools. Do you use these tools, or do you use shapes and distort them?
I use pencil tool and then smooth them.
Have you ever run out of ideas for new designs and what do you do to get out of a rut to create new designs?
Nope. A lot of my designs are story based. As long as I can keep thinking up of stories I won’t run out designs.
Probably not I don’t think my stuff will sell there – I could be wrong.
What drives you to push LINTY FRESH further?
My need to survive.
How old are you?
I’m 22. 19 when I started LINTY FRESH.
What brands do I like and respect?
Brands that have done a good job branding. When a company can brand – its impressive. JC, The Hundreds, Fuzzy Ink, EZ. A lot of brands that I respect.
Have you ever had to deal with a huge bulk of orders?
Most ever was 50 or 60 and I was able to fill them overnight.
Ever get sick of the color green?
I should. I don’t think I will. It became synonymous with LINTY FRESH.
Dream item to make?
Vinyl toys. If it did really well, I would stop making t-shirts. I would love to make vinyl toys.
Best return on profits?
Belts are most profitable. 120%. If t-shirt ells 20 bucks then it costs me 8 bucks to produce. You need to calculate everything else that goes into making the product.
The new site?
Coming when it’s done.
Crocodile or Silverback Gorilla?
Gorilla would murder a crocodile.
What do I think will be the next big trend?
All over prints, huge prints. Blank apparel.
Are any of your designs trademarked?
I’m working on it.
Music into right now?
Have you ever made a mistake about your company?
Been really fortunate. Haven’t made any huge mistakes. The semi-big mistake was not really having a vision when first starting out. Mind set was to have as much variety as possible and that didn’t really work out for me. Not having a plan is a big mistake.
What is my business plan for 2009?
Work with other artists. Search out some artists who have similar styles. I’d like to work with some artists in Mexico, there are a few I’d like to contact and see if we can collaborate. Want to increase the quality of every product. Want to make every shirt really special. Potentially thinking of making just 100 of every shirt and then it would be gone.
Thinking of running a print ad for Craft magazine in the spring – sometime in April. Online ads – I’m not paying for any.
Have you ever taken out a loan?
I did borrow money last year that I have since paid back.
Starting up money?
Invested $500 in Linty Fresh.
Where do you keep the midgets?
In the filing cabinet. I feed them pretzels.
Do you file the midgets by name or height?
Favorite designers on Emptees?
The Shantz brothers. Olly Moss is awesome.
What do you use to ship?
USPS insured always.
Do you want to learn screen printing?
I would. But I would not want to screen print my own. Costs too much to be good at it.
Is the new site going to a Big Cartel site?
New site will be Big Cartel but it won’t feel like Big Cartel.
What would you do if you weren’t doing Linty Fresh?
Freelancing, illustrating or writing.
You look like you know Kung Fu.
I can’t tell you that.
How much time does it take to prepare a design?
Typically have a design done the first of the month.
Is LINTY FRESH an LLC?
Not an LLC, LINTY FRESH is just a sole proprietorship.
Will 2009 be more profitable than 2008?
Yes, I think it will. Sales are better in January than they were last month.
Will you be limited working on LINTY FRESH when you are in China?
No, it shouldn’t. A friend will be living in my place and will be handling the shipping. I will still be updating the blog and checking emails. Everything should be just as it is.
How does a sole proprietor work?
It’s a business with a single owner. Check out Wikipidia for more information. With limited liability, if you are sued you can sue the company not personal assets.
How long will you be in China?
How many shirts in 2009?
12 shirts, may do more.
Snowboard, how do you do those?
I sand off the clear plastic layer. Sand it off. Primed it 3 coats. Got a sharpie marker and drew all over it. Then coated it 4 times over.
Do you feel like going to China will risk the business?
No, I don’t think it will risk it anyway.
How many shirts do you think a new tee company should sell a month?
For a while, when first starting out, I would sell maybe 5 to 10 shirts a month. Then I started branding and it has grown a lot since then. I sell about 120-130 shirts a month.
What things are important?
For me, 1. Quality of Product. 2. Quality of presentation. 3. Customer Service.
Do you want to do an Obama caricature?
I don’t want to involve politics in my designs.
Are there many indie tee brands at the craft shows you attend.
There were maybe 5 at Renegade. Not so many.