Archive for February, 2012

Empowering the Customization of Social Good: Zazzle Launches Custom Housewares with American MoJo

February 29, 2012

New products on Zazzle traditionally meant new opportunities to customize a product that has never been customized before (see Rickshaw Messenger Bags) and opportunities for Zazzle Sellers to create a worldwide marketplace of content (instantly). But the power of the Zazzle platform is expanding beyond the customers and Zazzle Sellers universe and starting to empower social good right here in the US of A. Recently launched Liberty Bottles and Rickshaw Bags have extended opportunities to MADE IN THE USA/ecologically friendly partners. Now we’re extending opportunities to the economically disadvantaged with the launch of the socially good American MoJo custom houseware products. Our new line of custom pillows, kitchen towels, dinner napkins, and placemats are hand-stitched by American MoJo’s sustainably employed single moms in the USA and contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty for single moms and their children by providing them with better than minimum wage salaries, career training, and freedom from the daycare costs that keep many single moms from re-entering the work force. The below video does a great job explaining what American MoJo is doing today.

American MoJo was a company before Zazzle and would have continued to be a successful company without this partnership. But, what really gets my juices flowing is that this partnership allows artists around the world to design millions of products on Zazzle and customers to shop and customize something that is beautiful and socially responsible – a powerful thing you can’t find anywhere else on the web. Checkout some of my favorite socially good and high quality new American MoJo pillows below.

What social good do you see Zazzle bringing to the world? What do you think of the American MoJo products on Zazzle? What’s the next housewares product you’d like to see on Zazzle? Share in the comments!

Zazzle Million Dollar Open Innovation Challenge Finalists Announced!

February 28, 2012

We are extremely excited to announce the five Zazzle Million Dollar Open Innovation Challenge Finalists. The Challenge evolved from our sponsorship of the World Conference on Mass Customization and Personalization last fall.

We didn’t know what to expect, but we received nearly 1,000 high quality entries. As a whole, it’s a testament to the evolution of mass customization, from a science experiment to a thriving business model for today’s economy. Individually, each is an inspiring story from an entrepreneur pursuing a big idea.

Narrowing the list was very hard, but we believe we’ve identified the most innovative submissions in interesting product categories. The Finalists will work with professors from MIT and UC Berkeley to refine their concepts for final evaluation. The winner will be announced on March 22 at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. The Finalists are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please click on the logos to enjoy their videos, and join with us in congratulating them for making it to the next level!

The Finalists are competing for the opportunity to sell their products on Zazzle. As part of this launch, we will develop online design tools to be used on the Zazzle platform and will work with the winners to develop a marketing campaign. Also, we will make introductions to potential investors! Click here for more information about the Challenge.

In addition, we wanted to acknowledge a few additional entries and share their stories and videos as Honorable Mentions. Unitedstyles and Fabric on Demand are disrupting the apparel industry. Happy Toy Machine, Modify Watches, Waggers Pet Products are bringing customization to new product categories. And Spek and Easy DIY Nail are early concepts that show real innovation.

For those who entered the Challenge, many thanks. You have inspired us with your creativity and passion. We wish each of you good luck on the journey toward making your ideas and dreams come true.

In another month we will be announcing which of these five Finalists wins the Zazzle Million Dollar Open Innovation Challenge, so stay tuned!

St. Patrick’s Day Pinterest Challenge

February 27, 2012

We know that many of you have been extremely excited by the new image sharing site, Pinterest! We love it as well, and wanted to create a fun St. Patrick’s Day themed challenge that incorporates both Zazzle and Pinterest.

A Little Info about Pinterest

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows users to organize and share images that they find on the internet. You can create your own boards for any topic you can think of, pin images to those boards, and browse pinboards created by others. Once you create an account, you can add the Pin-It Button to your Bookmarks Bar which will allow you to easily “Pin” any image from any page on the web to one of your pinboards.

Challenge Details

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, so show off that Irish pride (everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, right?) by joining in our Pinterest Challenge for your chance to win a $100 Zazzle Gift Certificate! Here is how it works:

  1. Create a pinboard with the title “My Favorite St. Patrick’s Day T-shirts”.
  2. Pin your favorite St. Patrick’s Day T-shirt designs to your board! You can pin as many designs as you’d like, but make sure that at least 10 of them are from Zazzle! (You can definitely add more than 10.)
  3. Send an email to pinterestchallenge@zazzle.com with the Subject Line: “St. Patrick’s Day Pinterest Challenge” containing a link to your pinboard.
  4. That’s it! Have fun with it and feel free to browse other people’s pinboards!

Prizes:

  • 1 Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 Zazzle Gift Certificate and their pinboard featured on the Zazzle Blog
  • 4 additional winners will receive $25 Zazzle Gift Certificates

All entries must be received by Sunday March 4th at 11:59PST and a winner will be announced by Wednesday March 7th. 

Foto Friday!

February 24, 2012

Check out this week’s Foto Friday!

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? See details on how to participate in Foto Friday.


Wall*e’s Wall*e and Eve Pixel Heart Disney Shirt


Mickey & Friends Goofy Mug
Mickey & Friends Goofy Tipping Hat Tshirt


Chocolate World Tee Shirts

Join in the fun now! Learn more about submitting your photos and videos to Foto Friday!

Zazzle Featured Interview with LeeLeeandtheBee

February 23, 2012

Lee, from the Zazzle store LeeLeeandtheBee, talks with us about her art and her time as a Zazzler.  Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store LeeLeeandtheBee!

Airships Plate

Bio: My name is Lee Leplaw Deichmann – also known as Lee Lee. I am the artist and designer responsible for the ‘Lee Lee and the Bee’ network of stores on zazzle . I am an Australian woman, but I live in Denmark with my Danish husband and our mad cat, Kalimah.

I spent many years back in Australia working in retail stores as both a sales assistant and later as a manager, but I always felt that it wasn’t really my ‘thing’. When I moved to Denmark to marry, I was given the opportunity to re-invent what I wanted to be, career-wise, and so, with the support of my husband, chose to follow a lifelong dream and become an artist.

I am also an avid internet junkie, a crochet nerd, a MASSIVE Doctor Who and sci-fi fan, a social networking geek, a lover of all things steampunk, a vegetarian and a proud ginger.

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

Lee: I think I have always created art, well, for as long as I can remember anyway. I always loved drawing and painting as a kid. Luckily it was always something that was encouraged in me and I carried on trying to find time for it in my life as I grew older.

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

Lee:  I think the interaction with the Zazzle community is always fun and helpful, be it via the Zazzle forums, or through other groups that I am part of on Facebook or other sites (and a big shout out to my ‘Zamily’ — you guys know who you are!). Most of the people I have met through Zazzle have been helpful, informative and always up for a bit of fun and silliness. It makes me happy to think there are other folks like me out there in the world who love doing this. I love the challenges that the Zazzle community sometimes sets for each other and how everyone strives to be better every day.

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

Lee: Anything flat really – where one can see the whole design – like posters, mousepads etc.  It’s probably because when I create a piece for Zazzle, I usually start with making the image for ‘flat’ products first and then tweaking it to work on other types of products later.  T-shirt designs are quite fun too.

Zazzle: How would you describe your style?

Lee:  Eclectic, colourful, sometimes a little odd. My husband likes to describe it as ‘talented but sometimes a little crazy-insane’ but I usually prefer to leave out the ‘crazy-insane’ bit… although sometimes he is probably right. Case in point:

Shrunken Head Dilemma T-Shirt

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

Lee:  Probably ‘Holiday’. I was asked by my best friend’s husband to create a cover image for the album his band was going to release, and after being given the brief, came up with this design. The band ended up going with another design altogether, but I was really pleased with it and posted it for sale through my main store. I loved the feel of it, and that the original ‘sketch’ ending up being perfect for the end design and the effect of the overall piece. It was nice to experiment with the textures of it too. I was quite proud of the end result.

Holiday Print

Zazzle: What is the first product you ever sold on Zazzle?

Lee:  A Christmas design called ‘Robin’ on a magnet.

Zazzle: How many hours do you typically spend working on your Zazzle store?

Lee: I’m lucky that I have a husband that is happy to support me in my artistic endeavours and so I’m pretty much a full time Zazzle. I try to follow a normal ‘working’ schedule when it comes to creating art for Zazzle and other projects. I would say that 8 hours of most of my days are dedicated to creating pieces, posting products, marketing and blogging. I am learning to love every part of the process and finding more and more ways to streamline the work I do.

Zazzle: What got you interest in selling your art Zazzle?

Lee: A good friend of mine – the awesome and very talented Mireille Sillander, aka Boogybunny – mentioned to me back in 2009 that she had just joined Zazzle and created a store. She suggested that I also give it a try as it was free and kind of fun. I’ve been addicted ever since, so she’s the one to blame!

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

Lee: Be original and find your own voice! Just because everyone else is creating products in a particular style, doesn’t mean you have to as well – remember that trends have to start somewhere and you could be that trend starter!

Try and respect the intellectual property and copyright of others and keep the marketplace original and fresh – it not only helps you to stand out from the crowd, but it helps the rest of the Zazzle community as well.

Make sure your images fit the products you are posting, use the guide files Zazzle provides and really showcase your creativity!

Strive to ‘be better’ with every design. If you feel like your style is becoming stale or you are stuck in a rut, take time out to read some online tutorials, put pencil to paper to just draw, or go out and photograph the world around you. You will be surprised where you find inspiration and how that inspiration can motivate you to build your skill base.

Thanks Lee!

Cool Use of Baby Shower Stickers

February 21, 2012

I just love it when someone uses Zazzle products in a fun and creative way. Check out how Zazzle customer, Andrea made baby shower party favors with cute boxes, candy, and of course Zazzle custom stickers! Next time, I’m sure she does this she’ll use Zazzle gift boxes ;)

What cool and unique ways have you used Zazzle products? Share in the comments! Or, better yet, send a picture to community@zazzle.com so we can post it on the blog!

Photo Friday? Nope, it’s Foto Friday!

February 17, 2012

Check out this week’s Foto Friday!

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? See details on how to participate in Foto Friday.


Beer? Tee Shirts


axoLOLtl Tshirts


cool story bro, tell it again. sweatshirt


Wishes from home to home card

Join in the fun now! Learn more about submitting your photos and videos to Foto Friday!

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with Turnip_Stew

February 16, 2012

Christina, from the Zazzle store turnip_stew, talks with us about her style and her time as a Zazzler.  Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store turnip_stew!

Matryoshka Dolls Invitation Card

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

Christina: I live on Prince Edward Island with my husband, Shaun and Dog, Dooku. Living on the East coast of Canada has done us well. It’s a very inspirational place to live… a place where your imagination can take over. I was trained as a Graphic Designer but found that my interest in arts was taking over.

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

Christina: I picked up art very young. It was always a great outlet for me. I wasn’t very good with words and I used to draw a lot to explain myself. I guess you could say it came from necessity. I’ve always had a great imagination, and being able to make those ideas come to life was magical. At age 6 I got interested in Polymer Clays. It wasn’t until I was 21 that I found a way to make a profit from my sculpting skills. It was when I made my first custom wedding cake topper of some friends. By age 26 I decided to make this my full time career.

Zazzle: How many hours do you typically spend working on your Zazzle store?

Christina:  It fluctuates from week to week, but since my husband introduced me to the site I have been very excited about the possibilities with Zazzle. It was my goal to use every drawing and sculpture that I’ve made on Zazzle product.   At the moment I have over 350 images spread across my two Zazzle storefronts. Which means I’m averaging 100 images a year

Zazzle: When you’re not creating art, what are your other hobbies?

Christina: I’m pretty focused on art as my hobby, but the line between work and play is always blurry. I enjoy nature and walking with my dog. I do take many photos that I haven’t put on Zazzle yet. Maybe that should be my next storefront!

Zazzle: What is your favorite style to create?

Christina:  I am a whimsical artist. I try to be serious but it’s fighting against my goofy nature. I like comedy, laughter and love.

Zazzle: What is your favorite medium to use?

Christina:  I love using Adobe Illustrator, pencils and Polymer Clay. I use Clay in my day job so it is fun to draw and use other medium in my spare time.

Zazzle: How do you eat a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup?

Christina: Fast :D… and sometimes with ice cream.

Zazzle: What was the first product you ever sold on Zazzle?

Christina: Year of the Dragon Sticker was my first Zazzle product sold in 2009 which seems so strange, because 1) it is 2012 and now it is the Year of the dragon, and 2) that is was three years ago already.

Year of the Dragon Sticker

Zazzle: What got you interest in selling your art Zazzle?

Christina: My husband suggested the site to me. I thought it was a brilliant way of showing my work and maybe making some money in the process. I don’t want to deal with inventory and shipping so why not let someone else do it?

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

Christina: Have fun and promote yourself.

Thanks Christina!

Muhammed Ali Merchandise Promotion!

February 14, 2012

If you know a special aspiring athlete or social activist to be, we definitely recommend taking a look through the new Muhammad Ali store.  This month only, Ali merchandise is 25% off  in honor of Black History Month and Ali’s recent 70th Birthday.  Muhammad Ali postcards are perfect motivators for a locker or bedroom wall.   His sweatshirts are great for keeping those upper body muscles warm after a long workout, or gift that special someone with an Ali phone case that emanates integrity and motivation!

Don’t forget to use the special promo code: BLACKHSMONTH

Zazzle Custom Stamps Featured on the Martha Stewart Show

February 13, 2012

How do you give mail an extra-special-touch? How do you bring a smile to the face of someone across the country without being there? How do you create the delicious glaze on crème brulee? Who can help us??? Martha and Zazzle can. Martha Stewart, the queen of the extra-special-touch, featured Zazzle Custom Stamps on her Valentine’s Day gifts special because she knows that a special mailing starts with how you send the mail and ends with what’s in the box. Check out the clip below.

As for the crème brulee, all you need is a cooking blow torch and some fine motor skills. What’s your extra special mailing look like? What Zazzle Custom Stamps will you use to send a gift this year?


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