What We've Been Up To - Spring 2020

It's been a bit since my initial "welcome" post, which I did write before the intended January launch date, but honestly, we haven't been up to too much. To start off, we didn't launch the website in January, and it's still technically not launched as of writing this blog post even though parts of it can be accessed if you know the url. We were accepted to Almacon 2020 (though more on that later) and waitlisted for JAFAX 2020. We did make some new items indented for selling at Alma and we made the decision to start moving away from Etsy as a platform for selling our merch. Lately Indrid and I have mostly been playing Animal Crossing while feeling unhinged over the current state of the world..

To go into some more detail on the above points:

I have no excuse for not getting the website launched other than just not having the energy to work on it or take product pictures. The website has been, for the most part, ready to be published for a while, I just needed to get the store updated with all our listings and figure out how shipping works with this platform. I am nearly finished with my multiple days long product photoshoot and have started getting the new items up and the old items updated with prettier pictures and accurate inventory quantities. I'm still a little unsure about the shipping but it should be fine. My current hangup on getting the website up is terms of service and policies. I don't know what they're supposed to say? Or how to word them?? I'll get it figured out, but if the date on the tweet announcing the website is significantly later than the date on this post, just know it's that.

Almacon, an enjoyable con, but a little slow when it comes to artist alley traffic. A con I had been looking forward to since getting accepted. It was supposed to take place a week ago as of me writing this but had to be cancelled due to the global pandemic. I don't fault them for cancelling, it'd be worse if it had still happened, but it was sad to find out about a week before the con. Luckily all the artists who were accepted this year will be reserved a table when applying for next year and they posted store links for all the artists and vendors on their Facebook page. I look forward to bringing a lot of fun new merch to Almacon 2021!

JAFAX, a local con for us. A little bummed we were waitlisted but at least we weren't outright rejected (like with Youmacon last year..). As of right now it appears the con is still set to happen in June but who knows how long that'll be true. If by some chance we get offered a table at JAFAX, we will most likely turn it down since June is going to be a rather uncertain time for Indrid.

Since we had been waitlisted for JAFAX, I had decided to try to get a table at Grand Rapids Pride, since it was around the same time and we had been wanting to try sometime. I'm preeeeeetty sure we'll have a table since they took my money for it but I honestly can't say for sure. Due to the aforementioned global pandemic, GR Pride has been postponed to August 1st (shortly before my birthday) and as far as I know, we'll be selling our wares at Calder Plaza late this summer. Definitely will post about it as it gets closer.

New merch! I originally wrote a big paragraph here but I'll move that to a separate blog post now that I have access to pictures and links.

Etsy.... While 2019 was a significantly better year for us on Etsy compared to previous years, we are making an effort to move away from it as a platform for selling. We just are not making enough sales to justify the listing fees along with the other fees and somewhat forced use of free shipping. I will be attempting to link to the store listings in the description of the Etsy listings to try to get some traffic that way and I will be turning off autorenewal on what's currently up there. Most of the merch is being moved to the webstore. The only items not being moved are the large prints and once those listings run out, I'll be using the regular finish ones as scrap cardstock and try to do some sort of give away with the holographic finish ones.

As for most recent happenings, both Indrid and I took the week leading up to when Almacon was meant to happen off as well as the Monday after. That Monday we learned that we were being laid off until April 14th. Luckily we will still have our jobs the same as before when we go back but it's still not great. It'd mean a lot to get some support and while buying from our store is something, it'd help a lot more to directly commission Indrid on their twitter @cryptidcode and maybe toss a few bucks for at least a month or two at my patreon, patreon.com/mjvalentine.

Sorry to end on such a dour note, but such is the state of things. Thank you for reading and stay safe!

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