Archive for September, 2012

No waiting in line – iPhone 5 cases available NOW!

September 14, 2012

The extraordinary iPhone 5 – taller, skinnier, faster (I know, it sounds like a celebrity makeover) was announced yesterday and like everyone else we loved the first peek at the phone coming 9/21. But what to do while waiting for the new phone? Why not create your custom iPhone 5 case on Zazzle! Starting today, we’re offering custom iPhone cases for the iPhone 5 thanks to our partnership with Case-Mate and want you to get your perfect case now so you’ll be the cool kid in the Apple Store line. Check out some of the new cases already created in the marketplace by Zazzle Sellers.

For those that plan to be a little rough with the new iPhone 5 (I’ve got a permanent “case of the dropsies”) we’ve also got a huge collection of Vibe iPhone 5 cases to shop. These MAXIMUM PROTECTION cases are that crucial layer of buffer between new SHINY iPhone 5 and new CRACKED iPhone 5.

And I don’t mean to point out the obvious but your puppy photo needs an upgrade, because isn’t your puppy already two years old by now?

Bonus! We’re giving you $5 off all iPhone 5 cases if your order before Sunday! Make sure you use the code: GIMME5ZAZZLE. But you may still have to figure out what to do with the other 159 hours until you get your hands on it.

Foto Friday

September 14, 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.

I ordered this apron for my manager’s mother because she always helps out when we need her. She loved it so much we are ordering some for the workers at the cafe! – Melissa

Just got my housewarming invitations!! I am EXTREMELY satisfied with my custom order and design! Fabulous service!! – Karima

Brothers Karamazov (Yozhin family) t-shirt

Occupy Christmas Village Cards

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

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with NiteOwlStudio

September 13, 2012

Vicki, from the Zazzle store NiteOwlStudio, explains creative process and gives thorough advice on how to make it on Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store NiteOwlStudio!

Zazzle: Firstly, tell us a little about your background. Where are you from? When did you become interested in designing?

Vicki: My name is Vicki and I live on the beautiful east coast of Canada with my wonderful husband, Dennis, and our two cats, Scarlet and Cletis. I guess like the vast majority of Zazzle shopkeepers, my interest in art and design came at a young age. I can’t say that I was born with a paint brush in my hand, but I do have very early memories of taking great care in the creation of the title pages of school book reports. I used to paint acrylic and water color portraits of loved ones, and animals, and celebrities, but then moved into photography for a time, where I would make old-fashioned colorized photos of family and friends. Home decorating and renovating, hand crafts, photography, painting, and some graphic design were always a hobby for me until 2010, when I opened my Zazzle store.

Zazzle: How would you describe your style?

Vicki: That’s a really tough question. I know I have a definite style, but not in the art sense like Cubism, Impressionism etc. If girly glam is a style, then that is what I lean towards. I asked the people in my “Zamily” (awesome FB group/family I’m part of) what they would call my style and everyone seemed in agreement on the word ornate. I’ve always been fascinated with shadow and light in my paintings and photography, so even my designs on Zazzle tend to have a look of being under a light source. I think it gives them a little more life than just flat color.

Zazzle: What inspires your designs?

Vicki: In a word: color. I love rich, vibrant colors, especially those in nature. I get a lot of my inspiration from the colors in a flower bouquet, or from magazines, bedding catalogues, and online inspiration boards. Inspiration can strike at any moment from something as simple as a color in an earring I saw someone wearing. That will just click something in my brain that will make me think how nice that color would look paired with some other color and then I’m off doing another wedding collection. Take the purple petunia photo of mine for instance. I would pick a shade or two of purple and pair them with a shade or two of green and maybe add some ivory or white, and a new design is in the works.

Zazzle: How do you get out of creative ruts?

Vicki: Knock on wood, ruts are rarities for me. Sometimes I’ll just need a rest, as opposed to having a rut. The ideas always seem to be there, but there’s not enough time to get them all out, so if I start to feel overwhelmed, I’ll just change gears for a few days and do things that are less creative, like using existing designs on some of the new products Zazzle is always giving us. Sometimes a customer will ask for a color combination change and that may be the start of another collection.

Zazzle: What is your favorite product to create?

Vicki: Hands down, that would be invitations! Wedding, Anniversary, Sweet 16, Quinceanera, Bat/Bar Mitzvah, and Birthday, primarily…..for now.

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

Vicki: Oh boy is that a hard one to answer. The most meaningful/favorite thing I’ve made was a recent gift for my Mom and Dad. Their beloved German Shepherd dog passed away and my Mom was having a hard time putting away his collar, leash, and special bandana. We were also getting him cremated, so I thought I would make them a memory box that they could either store his ashes in, or keep his special things in. I designed a large jewelry box with the photo of Buster on the ceramic tile top, along with the dates of birth and death and a little verse on it. I knew it was a hit when my Mom cried when she saw it. She now has his special things tucked inside it sitting on her living room end table. FYI: the ashes of a 120lb German Shepherd will not come close to fitting inside the large jewelry box.

As for my most favorite item I’ve posted for sale, I think it would have to be this double photo 50th Wedding Anniversary greeting card. I really enjoy making the 50th wedding anniversary products. It’s such an amazing accomplishment for a couple to achieve. I make each of these designs as if I was making it for my parents, knowing that some child is looking for just the right card for their parents’ 50th, and hoping that mine fits the bill.

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

Vicki: The short version is that my sister, who has the Zazzle store, Wasootch, opened her store in late 2009 and asked if I would proof/critique some of her early designs. I was so hooked that a few months later I HAD to open my own store. The Zazzle experience opened up a flood gate of pent up creativity and ignited a passion in me that I didn’t want to let dwindle away.

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

Vicki: Hmm. “Every waking hour” would probably sound bad, huh? Truthfully, when I first started with Zazzle, I worked very long hours because I also had another job where I worked 12 hour shifts and would come home and put in several more hours on Zazzle. Because of the shift work, I would have 2-3 days off between rounds, so I would still work 14-18 hours on the store during those “days off”. A year after opening my store, I ended up on disability from my old job, with the strong possibility that I would not be able to return to that career. I hunkered down and focused on my Zazzle store. I was determined to build up my sales enough to be able to replace that other income, in case I couldn’t go back to that job. I’m at the point now where I don’t have to put in really long hours anymore. There are days that I still do, but there are lots of days where I don’t put more than a few hours in too. It’s never felt like work to me. It’s always felt like a favorite hobby, so it’s hard to make myself stop when I’m having so much fun. I get a lot of custom requests, so some weeks I’ll just work on those while I wait for the next glimmer of inspiration to strike. I’m not a very structured person and having worked shift work for so long, I never really had a wake/sleep routine. My natural inclination is to stay up late into the night, which is where the store name NiteOwlStudio came from.

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

Vicki: Well, contrary to popular belief, imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery on Zazzle. Here we call it copying, and it is not appreciated. Develop your own niche, and your own style within that niche. If you are easily influenced by designs in the Zazzle market place, don’t look there for inspiration. Go and look at magazines, catalogues, trade shows, craft shows etc. If you want to open a store about dogs, give the customer something that is not already everywhere in the market place now. Do something different with the subject matter. Don’t title things with pretty sounding names like “Perfect Wish” if it’s a photo of a rose petal. Instead call it “Pink Rose Petal on Grass” or whatever. Title it how people would search for that item. Use tags that people will also search on to find that product. Write your descriptions as if you are describing it to a sight impaired person. Be specific and relevant with key words. Be patient, and work hard. Don’t be afraid to ask a question in the forum. Most Zazzlers are happy to help. I lived by two sayings when I first started on Zazzle. The first was a play on the ever-popular “If you build it, they will come” line from the movie Field of Dreams. I changed it to remind myself that “If I make it, someone will buy it”. For certain, people will not buy something that’s not there, but they might just buy something that is, so don’t let your inner voice talk you out of posting a design you are unsure of. The second saying was/is “a watched pot never boils”. I would use that one when I found myself incessantly checking my account to see if anything sold. We all have slow days/weeks so it’s easy to get discouraged during those off times. When I hear myself thinking “a watched pot never boils” now, I know that I am focusing on the wrong thing and I’ll turn away from the sales report and remind myself why I do this, which is for me, for the absolute love of it! Zazzle has been life-changing for me and my family. Build your brand and it can be for you too!

Zazzle: Can we get a sneak peak of future designs?

Vicki: No, I just finished up an autumn collection and will soon start on some winter/Christmas designs.

Zazzle: Thanks for sharing Vicki!

Astound Labs Creates Zazzle Gift Recommendations from Facebook

September 11, 2012

Ever wondered what to get your friends for their birthdays, anniversaries, or as Christmas gifts? Wonder no more! Astound Labs has created a fun application that searches Zazzle and finds great gifts based on your friend’s Facebook profile information (hobbies, interests, favorite books, etc.). You can find gifts for close friends, all your friends, and even something for yourself. Check it out!

Making products just got even easier: Introducing Zazzle Instant

September 7, 2012

For those of us who are rather attached to our smart phones, there is now an even easier way to use Zazzle. Starting today Zazzle Instant is now available in the iTunes Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. With Zazzle Instant, you can easily see your favorite photo on a variety of products from stationery to pillows simply by swiping.

Our visualization technology allows you to use a photo that you’ve just taken on your phone – or pulled from just about anywhere – and instantly see what it would look like incorporated in a variety of products. This technical framework makes images as real as possible, even before the products exist yet. Whether it’s Bicycle playing cards or Rickshaw Messenger Bags, you can see your photo come to life on your device. Then once you order it, the product is manufactured and sent to you.

Zazzle aims to make it easy for you to customize and create any product imaginable. Today there are 15 different products available in Zazzle Instant. Maybe it’s a summer concert photo that you’d like to memorialize forever, or images from your amazing vacation in Venice – now it’s easy to collect and share with friends and family – even if you don’t buy anything. We also provide fun photo treatments and allow you to view and share via the tab marked ‘Live.’ This tab is a live stream of brand new products created by you and other Zazzle Instant users.

With minimal effort, you can create beautiful products and gifts, and share them easily around the web. This simple shopping experience makes it easy for you to define and create exactly what you want. The options are endless so you can let your imagination run wild.

Foto Friday

September 7, 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.

Super Fry (Funny Blaxploitation) Aprons

Metal Shield Dragon Chain mail Personalized Announcement

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

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with fmcinvitations

September 6, 2012

Felicia, from the Zazzle store fmcinvitations, discusses how Zazzle gives her the freedom to work more creatively, yet keep organized. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store fmcinvitations!

Zazzle: To start, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Felicia: My name is Felicia and I graduated college in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. I currently run my own freelance business. When I am not designing I enjoy photography, hiking, crafts, cooking, and baking.

Zazzle: When did you been come interested in designing?

Felicia: I get the artistic gene from my mom and grandmom who are always making crafts and painting. I have been designing websites and graphics for 10 years now.

Zazzle: How would you describe your style?

Felicia: I would say my style is clean and modern. I like to keep things simple, but fun.

Zazzle: Where is your favorite place to create?

 Felicia: My fiancé and I just moved two weekends ago to a new house and are currently in the process of setting up our office. I can’t wait to fill it with some of my Zazzle prints :) As for now, I am working at the dining table!

Zazzle: Your products are very occasion oriented. What occasion is your favorite to design for and why?

Felicia: I really enjoy designing “Save The Dates” for weddings. They don’t have to be as formal as the actual invitations so it gives me a chance to use more bright and funky colors, shapes, and graphics.

Zazzle: How did you become interested in selling your designs on Zazzle?

Felicia: I joined Zazzle in January of 2008 after stumbling across it. I saw it as a great opportunity to design and then sell products I knew I couldn’t do on my own. Zazzle gives me an outlet to use my design skills and create fun things and gives me a break from the day to day corporate designs.

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

Felicia: I really like that Zazzle now allows you to have multiple stores under one account. I can now separate my products into stores where they won’t be mixed in with products that aren’t relevant. I can keep my invitations and announcements in one store and I have my t-shirts and bumper stickers in another.

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

Felicia: The first product I ever sold on Zazzle was a set of thank you stamps from my original store. It was actually one of the first designs I put up for sale.

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

Felicia: My advice to anyone just starting out is don’t get discouraged! I know it can take a while before you finally get your first sale and even after that you may not sell another item for several months, but continue to design and post and remember quality over quantity!

Zazzle: Can you give us any sneak peeks of future designs? We’d love to see!

Felicia: I am currently working on a new line of Save The Date announcements and some holiday cards! I figure it’s better to start now and be ready for the holiday rush.

Zazzle: Great idea! Thanks for sharing Felicia!

HUGS, HUGS, Read All About It!

September 5, 2012

Did you know that hugging ranks 3rd on the list of most important traits in a partner or friend?

Naturally you ask, how do I make sure I’m up to hugging speed?  Well it’s simple, the more hugs you capture, the better you become at hugging.  So we’ve highlighted a couple hug friendly products to ramp up your hug life.

Free Hugs PinLove Hugs Peace T Shirts
Hugs are always free, but for this week only that cute little yellow shirt is a special $9.95 as part of the Zazzle T-shirt of The Week program.  Learn more about the program and see the past week’s designs here.
Have you hugged anyone lately?

No Thumb Tacks Needed: Walls 360 joins Zazzle with Custom Wall Decals

September 4, 2012

Welcome custom wall decals, the newest product on the Zazzle platform! Launched right before Labor Day in partnership with Walls 360, wall decals are a great way to put art on your walls without putting holes in your walls (you’ll save a fortune on nails and/or Spackle). To make them the funnest ever, we’ve created a TON of free template shapes in the design tool from letters to ladybugs that are sure to complement any space or style. But the best part about wall decals has to be that you can peel and re-stick these decals up to 100 times without ever losing stickiness. It’s great for people like me that constantly find the Feng Shui misaligned with the solstice of my chakras. Check out some of the great new designs posted by Zazzle Sellers below!

Share your favorite wall decals in the comments!


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