Archive for December, 2010

Foto Friday

December 31, 2010

Check out this week’s Foto Friday Fun!

What’s Foto Friday? It’s our weekly blog post of customers enjoying their Zazzle products. Want to join in the fun and earn $5 towards your next Zazzle order? Read below for details on how to participate in Foto Friday.


Team Coco Bumper Sticker


Responsibility Champion T-Shirt


Beer? Tee Shirts

Want to join in? It’s easy and fun! For every photo you send us we’ll give you $5 to use on your next Zazzle order. So get started taking those pictures and join in on the Foto Friday fun!
Rules:

  1. You must be in the photo holding, wearing, hugging, or otherwise enjoying your Zazzle product
  2. If the product is available in the public Zazzle Marketplace, include the product link
  3. Be creative and have fun!

You can tweet your photos to @zazzle or do it the old fashioned way by emailing them to community@zazzle.com.

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with JerryLambert

December 30, 2010

Jerry, from the Zazzle store JerryLambert, was kind enough to answer some questions about his inspirations and his time at Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out his store JerryLambert!

Old Leather Speckcase

Zazzle: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jerry: My name is Jerry Lambert, and I live in West Virginia. I first found Zazzle through Google while searching for PODs back in 2007 to host some of my election designs on products. I have a cute little Dachshund named Snuggle Bugs, she is my baby. I am currently working on a robot army to take over the world (in a good way). I can see people’s auras.

Zazzle: When and how did you first become interested in art? How long have you been making art?

Jerry: I have been creating art since I can remember. I used to “sculpt” things out of red clay when I was a kid because some of my family lived on a hill of red clay and that was all there was to play with when I was up there. I started drawing and sculpting when I was very young and started painting in my late teens. One of the first things that I created that I can remember being proud of was a simple drawing of a tree that I did in 8th grade. It was the first creation of mine that ever got noticed as “art”. I am told that drawing still hangs in the classroom now some 25 years later. I don’t think anyone becomes interested in art, I think that artists are born to create so it’s sort of an instinct that one can’t ignore. My favorite things to pass the time have always been something to do with creation from music to sculpting to 3D modeling. I moved over to the digital world around 10 years ago and it pretty much changed the way I spend my time creating. There is just so much that can be done digitally that cannot be done in the real world and it is much less messy and more cost efficient. I do still dabble in oil and acrylics though and I still whittle with my dremel occasionally, just not as much these days.

Zazzle: How would you describe your style?

Jerry: I try not to have a style or niche at Zazzle. I find that offering an assortment to the masses is the best way to go business wise, which would explain my numerous sections. I would like to find a style and stick to it but as I move forward I find myself experimenting with different things. It’s probably because I get bored easily and it helps my motivation to continue trying out new things. Artistically I would consider myself somewhere between a cartoonist and an expressionist. I also dabble in Pop Art and Realism. Some of my stuff might be described as strange, goofy, comic and a little freaky but I also try to inject different types of emotion into anything that I create whether it is a turtle design for a child or a political design. When I am creating designs for children I try to think like a child, which not surprisingly comes very easy for me. When I am creating political or current event designs I actually have to do a little research. But either way, I find it best to inject some sort of emotion into your work even if it is simple humor or happiness or paranoia or something as complex as fear or pain or love. To get someone to buy a product with your art or photography or even just text on it you have to make them feel something when they look at that product.

Zazzle: What’s your favorite Zazzle product to create?

Jerry: I would say t-shirts because you can put lots of different types of designs on them and they are great ways to express yourself for the designer and the shopper, but I am also really liking the new cases and I also like the binders. The main reason I like the cases a lot are because they are very tactile and can be created in more ways than t-shirts or posters, same is true with the binders. Some of my most popular cases are simple faux designs or novelty designs. When I create a t-shirt at Zazzle I feel like I just stuck some of my work on a t-shirt but when I create a case I really feel like I am a huge part of creating that product. It may just be my perspective but I feel like I am more of a part of the product creation with the cases and binders especially if the design is made to cover the entire product. Binders and cases are going to be carried around as opposed to hung up, set aside or worn, and that opens up a window of opportunity for a wide array of designs ideas. Using my guitar designs, the acoustic version for example, I created every little detail of that design separately from the wood grain background to the shadows of the strings because the idea was to make the case and the binder look like a real guitar and I would have never thought to have gone into such detail for a t-shirt design. So, making binders and cases are really fun because they make me think differently and work in levels that I don’t ordinarily work and I also like creating shoes because of this.

Zazzle: What is your favorite Zazzle feature? How do you use it?

Jerry: I would say my favorite feature at Zazzle is its wonderful community of sellers. The forums are a wonderful place to collaborate and share ideas and gain knowledge but also a great place to make friends and communicate with people just like me and also to support each other. I also like Zazzle Associate’s Program. At the moment I enjoy being a referred seller, but I also plan on utilizing the program to feature fellow Zazzlers on my own websites in 2011. This is actually a part of the community aspect, but I thought that I should point out that the Associate’s Program is a wonderful thing. Aside from the community, the best feature at Zazzle is customization. One can be very creative with this as well. People love personal stuff and shoppers are people. Zazzle makes customization a breeze.

Zazzle: Do you have any fun stories about being a seller on Zazzle?

Jerry: My youngest nephew has paid a lot of attention to me while I am Zazzling and seems to have really grown an interest in it. He is constantly drawing things for me to put on products and I encourage him because it is a great way for him to learn and many people, especially children, need inspiration to be more creative. One day he brought me a very cute little seagull drawing and I decided to work it up for a product. I put it on a few products including a binder, and the binder won a Today’s Best Award! He was all smiles for days after that. That moment stands out the most but there are lots of stories I could tell about my experiences with Zazzle. I don’t want to bore our readers though as I struggle with brevity so I will just say that they have all been great experiences.

Seagull Binder

Zazzle: What got you interested in selling your art on Zazzle?

Jerry: Rob. I had some stuff up here at Zazzle back in 2007 and added a few more things throughout the elections, but never really got interested until one of the Zazzle team members named Rob contacted me and offered to help me get going. He was just such a cool guy that I decided to put some more time into Zazzle and I slowly started putting more and more time into it because I just like the “feel” of Zazzle. It is very seller and community oriented which I really like and creating products here at Zazzle is very easy and even sometimes fun. I also liked the personal interaction so much that I decided to make Zazzle a priority. That seems like a long time ago, because Zazzle has grown so much since then and has become one of the most famous sites on the internet. I am very happy to be along for the ride. With a move back to the other side of the world and the birth of our second child Zazzle has been a godsend.  I do not get as much Zazzle-time (an average of 2 hours a day) as I would like and I am definitely struggling to keep up with all the wonderful new products Zazzle keeps releasing, but I take each day as it comes and would recommend Zazzle to anyone as a buyer and a seller.

Zazzle: What tips can you give someone who is just starting out on Zazzle?

Jerry: Be patient. Just because you created a product 4 months ago and it hasn’t sold, doesn’t mean it isn’t going to. Someone might buy 30 of them on Tuesday, you just never know. In the meantime, create more products. Be organized. Things can get out of control really fast so pace yourself and make lists and try to finish them. Don’t be discouraged. When you come to the point where you are thinking of giving up, don’t! This is a really great thing to be a part of. It has ups and downs. When you are up it’s never as good as you thought it was going to be and when you are down you think you are never going to be up again. Yes, I borrowed that from the great Ray Liotta. Also, never get overly confident. Success is a lousy teacher; it seduces smart people into thinking that they can’t lose. That wasn’t me either, Bill Gates said that. When the going gets tough, there’s always bacon and chocolate. That one is mine.

Create. Keep creating. If art is your passion, then I need not even say this, but never stop creating – that is the most important part. If you use public domain or purchased clipart, keep finding ways to use it on products. There is more than one hat for that penguin.

Promote. No one will know you are there if you don’t get the word out. Zazzle has a huge pool of artists and the internet is pretty big too. Facebook and Twitter are great and seem to be the main tools for promotion at the moment, but also get some business cards and hand them out wherever you go. Be healthy. One of the most dangerous parts of what we do is sitting behind a computer for hours on end. Get up and walk around, stretch, pace yourself and limit your bacon intake (eat well).

Back up. Back up everything that you do from your artwork to your store code on separate drives. CDs, USB drives and online storage is worth the effort when you lose something that took you hours to do and can’t get back.

Learn how to use customization templates. As I stated, Zazzle’s customization tools make our products stand out so if you aren’t utilizing them you are missing out on one of Zazzle’s best tools.

Have fun. We all get moody and sometimes goofy, but have a good time with this and everything that you do in life. If something goes wrong, think about how much more wrong it could have gone and be happy it didn’t go that way, because that was the more likely scenario. Zazzle is the gift that gives back.

Thanks Jerry!

Seller Wednesday – Valentine’s Day Prep

December 29, 2010

Two-Thousand Eleven will be here soon and before you know it, Valentine’s Day will be here.  Now is the time to start thinking about getting your store ready for this holiday of love. Here are a few tips to get your store ready.

Think outside the box, and utilize Zazzle’s new products:  We released a lot of new products in 2010 that are perfect for the unconventional gifter:  iPhone/iPad Cases, Ornaments, Photo Jewelry, and Coasters.

Zazzle gifts for sweethearts: T-Shirts, mugs, cards, and postage stamps are always great sellers for Valentine’s Day.  Additional suggestions for boyfriend custom gifts include hats, ties, posters or even skateboards. As for girlfriend custom gifts, keychains, necklaces, binders, bags, aprons, or even stationery would be great.

Unexpected Proposals: Like Christmas, Valentine’s Day is a time of year when quite a few people get engaged, and you can use a Zazzle ornament to help pop the question.

Valentine’s Day is not just for couples: Families often send each other Valentine’s Day cards, even gifts, so think about tweaking your designs to fit families as well (and don’t forget pet clothing for the 4 legged members of your family).

Anti-Valentine’s Day: Single people (or people who just don’t celebrate v-day) raise your hands! There have been a lot more Anti-Valentine’s Day parties cropping up, so Anti-Valentine’s Day invitations would be a great addition to your personal V-Day prep list.

Share your favorite Valentine’s Day products and prep tips in the comments section below! Happy 2011!

Foto Friday Christmas Edition!

December 24, 2010

Check out this week’s Foto Friday Fun!

What’s Foto Friday? It’s our weekly blog post of customers enjoying their Zazzle products. Want to join in the fun and earn $5 towards your next Zazzle order? Read below for details on how to participate in Foto Friday.


Team Coco Logo Pet T-Shirt

Want to join in? It’s easy and fun! For every photo you send us we’ll give you $5 to use on your next Zazzle order. So get started taking those pictures and join in on the Foto Friday fun!
Rules:

  1. You must be in the photo holding, wearing, hugging, or otherwise enjoying your Zazzle product
  2. If the product is available in the public Zazzle Marketplace, include the product link
  3. Be creative and have fun!

You can tweet your photos to @zazzle or do it the old fashioned way by emailing them to community@zazzle.com.

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with edgeplus

December 23, 2010

Kat, aka Zazzler edgeplus/simplysweetart/holidayboutique, answered some questions about her inspirations and her time at Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her stores edgeplus, simplysweetart, and holidayboutique!

Love Birds Magnet

Zazzle: Give us a brief bio, where you are from and when you started making art.

Kat: My name is Kat Massard, I am from Australia and am a Zazzle-holic!  I am a mummy to two gorgeous girls – Bella Boo (Isabella – 4 years) & Lucy Goose (Lucia – 8 months), and am completed by my very patient & supportive husband Rob.  Art has always played a big part of my life so it seemed only natural for me to pursue an artistic career. It all began with colouring in competitions at the ripe old age of five with the challenge of keeping in the lines, progressing on to what wonderful patterns I could incorporate in the background. My love of all things arty continued through my school life and then I completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at University majoring in Illustration and Graphic Design.  My first job was in a print shop, which gave me an in depth understanding for designing for print and how to achieve the best quality possible.  This progressed to freelancing and then opening my own small business.  I have now been in the Industry for over 12 years and can truly say that I LOVE my job!

Zazzle: What’s your favorite style to create?

Kat: My background as an illustrator means all my designs are created digitally in a vector based program. 90% of the graphics used in my designs are original illustrations created by me.  I love a clean look I have a slight colour obsession… I love seeing how different colours work together in order to create different looks.

Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for you designs?

Kat: Inspiration is everywhere – I have a huge scrapbook of notes, ideas, layouts and clippings to come back to at a later date to trigger some inspiration when I need it – you never know when or where a good idea can materialize.  I work from my sketches, photographs and sometimes directly from my head.  My girls are a constant source of inspiration, and my husband likes to give me his male perspective, which I take on board… sometimes.

Zazzle: What’s been your favorite design you’ve created, and why?

Kat: Ummmm, is an extremely hard question.  This changes constantly with the creation of new designs – this is my fav at the moment, in fact I loved it so much I used it for my own sister’s baby shower!

Baby Shower Invites Baby Patterned Letters

Zazzle: What’s your favorite Zazzle product to create?

Kat: I love it all!  I really enjoy the challenge of making certain designs work on different products. I suppose my main focus is on business and events stationery although I am getting into the fashion side of things in my simplysweetart store.  My aim is to create completely coordinated items for each design range – I love it when everything matches!

Zazzle’s new invitation range is fabulous and so affordable for consumers. Plus, I am loving the new speck cases – great gift for any occasion!

Zazzle: What is your favorite Zazzle feature? How do you use it?

Kat: The customize feature is a spot of brilliance – from sizes to colors to fonts, the whole “Do it yourself” feature for customers makes it so easy!   All my designs are setup as templates for this reason.  And that everything is online – I have moved from one country to another and it has not affected my stores at all – I have a traveling office!  I can take a week or two off and my stores keep generating an income regardless. Plus the fact that Zazzle is a brilliant advertising platform for my designs on an international level.  I have completed many custom designs including business & events stationery and logos for people all over the world.

Zazzle: What got you interested in selling your art on Zazzle?

Kat: I first discovered Zazzle in late 2008 through a recommendation from a friend. We were living in the UK at the time and I was at home full time with my first child. I had spent the previous 12 months selling personalized baby announcements, invitations and cards through an eBay store – which I thoroughly enjoyed but was becoming far too busy to manage efficiently.  Firstly there were the designs, then advertising, sourcing suppliers, proofs, printing, then packing & postage – I was trying to handle it all and the lack of sleep was starting to take its toll. From what started as a way to engage my brain in something a little more stimulating than nursery rhymes had got way out of control.

I started slowly and then I got the ‘Zazzle bug’ and haven’t looked back.  I closed my eBay store and focused on Zazzle with what little child-free time I had.  I have been teaching myself html to improve the format and functionality of my stores… if only there were more hours in the day

With a move back to the other side of the world and the birth of our second child Zazzle has been a godsend.  I do not get as much Zazzle-time (an average of 2 hours a day) as I would like and I am definitely struggling to keep up with all the wonderful new products Zazzle keeps releasing, but I take each day as it comes and would recommend Zazzle to anyone as a buyer and a seller.

Zazzle: What tips can you give someone who is just starting out on Zazzle?

Kat: Hhhmmmm, where do I begin…

1. Patience – it doesn’t happen overnight and it takes a lot of hard work.  Zazzle is not a get rich quick scheme; you get out of it what you put in.

2. Marketing yourself is almost as important as quality products.  Try networking with free applications such as facebook, blogs, squidoo.  Or if you are serious you can pay for advertising.  Get some business cards, promo cards or t-shirts (printed through Zazzle of course) and be your own walking promotion!

3. Introduce yourself and get involved in the Zazzle community – make some great friends and share experiences – it can be a great support network and motivator. You can pick up some very handy tips from the experts.

4. Design with your customers in mind – keep it simple.  And think quality, not quantity.  Different styles and applications appeal to different people so try and include some variety in your designs with styling and colours.

5. Appropriate tagging and descriptions not only help your items being found in the marketplace, but also on a wider scale such as google, bing etc.  I also cross promote my designs to try and make them easier for my customers to find.  If they stumble onto one of my designs I don’t want them to navigate away from my store.

6. Remember to maintain your integrity – copying from others is simply not on. There is a big difference from being inspired by an idea to a rip off.  Be original and be proud of yourself!

Thanks Kat!

Zazzle Donates to RWC Firefighters (and Kids)

December 22, 2010

Part of the theme of “Give Zazzle,” is to give back. This is something we take very seriously at Zazzle and this year we decided to give back locally. The Zazzle Team pulled together to donate a veritable mountain of new toys, board games, and books (I think there were a couple Zazzle Skateboards in there) to the Redwood City Firefighters Toy Drive. See below for pictures of the donations and the shock on the faces of the firefighters that had to pack and truck all the toys out of the office. We definitely made them work for it ;)

Happy Holidays!

Like This!

New Custom Keychain Styles!

December 21, 2010

Last night, late into a chilly pre-holiday evening, Zazzle Engineers worked magic to release two new keychain styles: premium round keychains and premium square keychains! These early Christmas presents (from Zazzle to you) come in two sizes (1.4” and 2.13” diameter) with zinc/white bronze plating and a heavy-duty keyring. They’re perfect for your photos, designs, or text. They look great as a gift (last day for Holiday express shipping!) that’s both beautiful and durable (UV and water resistant). Learn more about all our custom keychain styles.

As soon as these launched last night, Sellers started creating tons of new style keychains. Check out some of the amazing designs made in just the last few hours – it’s a real holiday treat!

Like This!

Official Fancy Pants Products Now Available On Zazzle

December 20, 2010

For those of you who are familiar with Fancy Pants Adventures, we’ve got great news for you! Zazzle and EA teamed up to offer official swag featuring your favorite fast running, fancy pants wearing hero, Mr. Fancy Pants (and his darling sister, Cutie Pants)!  Check out the fun products below!

For a limited time only, we’re offering 15% off on all products within The Fancy Pants Zazzle store.  Simply play The Fancy Pants Adventures Sneak Peek and collect 200 squiggles to win the 15% off prize!  Check it out at www.fancypantsadventure.com.


Announcing the Winner of the iPad Case Design Contest

December 20, 2010

Congratulations to BeezKneez on winning the Zazzle iPad Case Design Contest! Here is the winning design…

This design recieved a whopping 642 votes and was selected by our panel of design judges as the winner.  Thanks to all who participated. We saw some amazing designs and can’t wait to see what you guys will create next in our upcoming contests.  Congratulations are also in order for our other four finalists:

AlongThoseLines

malibuitalian

rdwnggrl

mike3488

New Yogi Bear Products on Zazzle

December 17, 2010

“Hey Boo Boo, I see a pic-a-nic basket and some Zazzle products!”

Zazzle’s got tons of products featuring the original cartoon art of Yogi Bear and Boo Boo.  There’s no better time to get your own Yogi merchandise, just in time for the Yogi Bear movie (in 3D) and the holidays.  Talk about a great gift for kids and fans of all ages alike.

Check out more Yogi Bear products at the Hanna-Barbera Store.  You might even find some of your old favorites like The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Tom & Jerry, and more.



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