Introducing the Race to the Finish Line Associate Challenge!

June 30, 2014 by

Today we are introducing the Race to the Finish Line Associate Challenge! Last month we invited you to participate in our Design Challenge, and now that you have all of these amazing designs, it’s time to show off your promotional skills! We’re offering a little something extra for any of our associates who reach the threshold of 50, 100, or 150 referrals in the month of July.

The goal of the challenge is simple: earn as many referrals as you can between July 1st, 2014 and July 31st, 2014.  All Zazzle associates are welcome  to participate - if you have a Zazzle referral ID (which comes with your Zazzle account), you’re invited to join in!  You can find your ID here. Qualifying referrals include referrals earned on orders for products placed between  July 1st, 2014 12:00 A.M. through July 31st, 2014 11:59 P.M. except for any orders that were cancelled or products that were returned.

We are offering the giveaways in three tiers so everyone has the chance to participate in the challenge. Along with the giveaways, the top two associates from each tier will be featured in a Zazzle blog post on August 8, 2014.

Giveaway Tiers

Tier 1:   150+ referrals = $50  Zazzle credit*

Tier 2:   100-150 referrals = $25  Zazzle credit*

Tier 3:    50-100 referrals = $10  Zazzle credit*

 

*We’ll deposit this amount in your Zazzle account, to be used against future Zazzle products.  The credits cannot be redeemed for cash.

associate_contest

 

Here are few helpful links on how to start your race of right:

Making Money with Referrals 

Associate Handbook

Join the fun and start referring today!

 

Party Series: the up all night sleepover

June 26, 2014 by

As we all know, there is a nail design for every woman (or manicure-loving man). Umpteen designs, in fact – so many kinds that we used the word “umpteen” for the first time in years. Each of your nails could have new nail art every day for the rest of your life, without running out.

 

There are nails matched to shoes. There are 3D designs. There are jewels, flowers, animals, glitter, breast cancer ribbons, and bows that are even bigger than the nails they’re stuck to.

 

So obviously, the thing to do is: make a sleepover out of it! Get the gang together, order in dinner, get a playlist going (loud) and decorate the night away.

 

The only thing you have to do ahead is: buy that art. And where do you start, with all the umpteen options?

 

For the friend who loves the natural world, things that flutter and fly and spend their days perched on flowers, the Butterfly Finger Decal is gorgeous and light in purples and pinks, with a touch of white. It’s a multi-hued nod to nature that’s subdued but 100% standout:

http://www.zazzle.com/butterfly_pattern_ipad_folio_case-256517220727457973?pt=minxnailart-256099733628950510

 

For whoever’s feeling punchy and hip, with a flair for the whimsical, the technicolor, the Hipster Stripes Nail Wrap manages to mix teal, black, aqua, and pink and work it — classic hipster. Somehow it’s insane and irresistible:

http://www.zazzle.com/teal_black_pink_and_aqua_hipster_stripes_nail_wrap-256583830288343761

 

Back on Earth, give your chillest friend an ethereal look that’s bubbly and floaty, but with pizzazz. The Watercolor Polka Dots Nail Wraps start with white, dotted with turquoise, purple, and pink – like the funkiest champagne you’ve ever seen (and instantly had to have):

 

http://www.zazzle.com/turquoise_pink_girly_watercolor_polka_dots_pattern_minxnailart-256922116745249975

 

The only question left is: what’s for breakfast?

Party Series: the ultimate baking bonanza

June 25, 2014 by

First up in our party series: we’re throwing a baking bash!

 

You start off with a Sunday afternoon. Make something different every time (OK, a few things). You take your basics, like an apple-cherry compote, and add some surprising twists – raspberry-ginger cobbler, tres leches cake, the smoothest chocolate-orange tarts.

 

You pick your creations based on the season, your mood … and how much time you have. Your recipes get more elaborate every month. Now it’s mixed berry tartlets, English trifle, lemon sorbet.

 

Yeah, you’re ambitious. And getting crafty with the equipment. You need a food processor, a pestle and mortar, a soufflé dish. Your shopping list grows from just the ingredients to all-new gear. It’s a recipe for baking success.

 

First, the Sweet Cakes Apron protects your threads from the melting chocolate, flying flour, reducing balsamic, and all stages of meringue. Add your name, and we have ourselves a bona fide dessert chef:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/311_sweet_cakes_apron-154545345012255209

 

At your stage, you know most of the recipes by heart, in your sleep. With the Cupcake Mania Scratch Pads at your side you can jot down notes on the fly, like a pro – check the oven in 5, tops should be golden-brown:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/cupcake_mania_scratch_pads-133950136394444698

 

The final flourish is in the presentation. Out of the pan, onto the platter, covered with a lid to stay under wraps. Set on the Doodle Food Pattern Dessert Tray, and you usher it in to the waiting, devouring crowd:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/doodle_food_pattern_dessert_desk_organizers-256390398135059936?pt=piocservingtray-256713301803954525

 

An hour and a half to bake, and it all disappears in three minutes. Success.

 

Tips for Curating Collections

June 23, 2014 by

Want to make a curated experience for your audience? Check out the Zazzle Collection Feature which lets you link to a page with products handpicked by you! Maybe you’d like to share your favorite Frozen finds with your Disney fans, or maybe it would be fun to compile a set of Americana goodies for 4th of July – the possibilities are endless. Today we’ll review how to create a collection and go over a few tips to remember.

collections_feature

How To Create a Collection 

You will need:
1) Your associate ID
2) All the product ID’s (or PID’s) you’d like to show in your collection (separated by commas)

Full link:

http://www.zazzle.com/pd/collection?rf=associateID&lst=PID,PID,PID

Part 1:  Collection URL

http://www.zazzle.com/pd/collection

Part 2: Asscociate ID
?rf=238xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Part 3: Product ID’s separated by commas
&lst=PID,PID,PID

Collection Feature Tips 

Tip #1 Your associate ID is mandatory. In order for the link to work you will need to include your associate ID in your collections link.

collections_feature2

Tip #2 Make sure there are no spaces. Sometimes when creating your link and posting it into WordPress or another similar site, spaces get added into the link and it’s no longer functional.  One way to get around this to use a URL shortner which brings us to our  Tip #3.

Tip #3 Use a URL Shortener. Using a URL shortener like Bitly or Google URL Shortener will ensure that your links will not get extra spaces in them when uploaded to other platforms.  Another plus to using a URL Shortner is that you can view the stats of your link simply by adding “+” to the end of it.

http://bit.ly/1iME8iV –> http://bit.ly/1iME8iV+

 

Special Guest Interview: National YoungArts Foundation

June 22, 2014 by

Vanessa Leitman is Vice President of External Relation and Communication at the National YoungArts Foundation.  She heads up communications and PR – she’s also known for her dance skills (more on that later).  We’ve invited her today to tell us more about the amazing artists and programs supported by this fantastic organization.  You can also buy products and support them at the YoungArts Zazzle store.

 me alone 2

 

Zazzle: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Vanessa! What is the National YoungArts Foundation?

Vanessa: The National YoungArts Foundation (formerly known as the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and support the next generation of artists in the visual, literary, performing, and design arts, and to contribute to the cultural vitality of the nation by investing in the artistic development of talented young artists.  Each year, there are approximately 11,000 applications to YoungArts from 15-18 year old (or grades 10-12) artists, and from these, approximately 700 winners are selected who are eligible to participate in YoungArts programs in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. YoungArts provides these emerging artists with life-changing experiences with renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition, and other opportunities throughout their careers to help ensure that the nation’s most outstanding emerging artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts.  YoungArts has honored more than 20,000 young artists with over $6 million in monetary awards; facilitated in excess of $150 million in college scholarship opportunities; and enabled its participants to work with master teachers who are among the most distinguished artists in the world, such as Marina Abramović, Zaha Hadid, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Plácido Domingo, Bill T. Jones, Robert Redford and Martin Scorsese. In addition, at the request of the Commission on Presidential Scholars, which is appointed by the President of the United States, YoungArts serves as the exclusive nominating agency for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, the country’s highest honor for young artists.

 

YoungArts acquired the iconic landmark Bacardi Tower and Museum building in Miami, Florida in 2012.  These building have become the organization’s first national headquarters.

YoungArts acquired the iconic landmark Bacardi Tower and Museum building in Miami, Florida in 2012. This building has become the organization’s first national headquarters.

Zazzle: Tell us about the amazing U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

Vanessa: The 20 Scholars in the Arts, all 2014 YoungArts Winners, were nominated to The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars by YoungArts, and were selected based on academic, civic and artistic achievement.  The award is the highest honor that an artistically talented graduating high school senior can receive. The 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts represent 12 states from across the country, and are filmmakers, dancers, photographers, classical and jazz musicians, actors, visual artists, singers and writers. They join an illustrious group which includes Tony Award-nominated dancer and choreographer Desmond Richardson, American Ballet Theatre Chief Executive Officer Rachel Moore, novelist and National Book Award Finalist Allegra Goodman, Grammy Award-nominated violinist Jennifer Koh, BRAVO’s “Work of Art” winner Abdi Farah, OBIE Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin, and recording artist Chris Young.

Young Arts Miami 2014

Zazzle: How can we watch tomorrow’s performance in Washington, D.C.?

Vanessa: On Monday, June 23 at 8pm, the Scholars in the Arts specializing in dance, jazz, theater, music, and voice will participate in “A Salute to the U.S. Presidential Scholars,” a free public performance that celebrates all of the awardees directed by Tony Award-winner, dancer, choreographer and YoungArts Artistic Advisor Bill T. Jones at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall. The performance will be streamed live on PBS’ Facebook page and YoungArts’ website.

Zazzle: Tell us more about the Smithsonian exhibition that is ongoing from now until August.

Vanessa: On Tuesday, June 24 at 7:30pm an exhibition of the work of the visual artists, writers and cinematic arts scholars will open at The Smithsonian Institution, S. Dillon Ripley Center and will remain on view through August 7.

Zazzle: So you have a store on Zazzle – which Zazzle product is your favorite?

Vanessa: We do. We love our Zazzle store and every day we think of more items we want to create and sell. My favorites right now are the kids t-shirts and little onesies. We actually just made a onesie for an alumna of ours who just had a baby. It is white & pink and  says “Future YoungArts Winner in Theatre” on the back. The coffee mugs and clock are also pretty cool – they make awesome gifts.

Zazzle: What is your artistic talent?

Vanessa: I absolutely love music and dance and there was a point in my life that I thought I would make a career out of it. I actually tried out for Star Search when I was 10 years old – my best friend and I did a jazz routine to Michael Jackson’s “Bad”  but unfortunately we didn’t make it on. I think that was the end of my dancing career!  Now I enjoy watching all forms of dance, listening to music and writing.

me dance

Queens for a day: LGBTQ wedding invitations

June 20, 2014 by

The tide is turning. Country after country, state after state, is recognizing the right of couples to marry regardless of sex. Same-sex marriage first became legal in the Netherlands in 2001, and now it exists in 15 countries (with many more to go).

 

Here at home, we’re at 20 states and counting. Bottom line: bring on the LGBTQ weddings!

 

After the question comes the question: what type of invitation to send? As in the dating world, so much choice …

 

You could go the incidental route: pick a typical-looking wedding invitation, where the couple happens to be same-sex. Take MP Maurice Williamson’s amusing, moving (and viral) speech to New Zealand’s Parliament last year, which helped get same-sex marriage passed there:

 

“All we are doing with this bill is allowing two people who love each other to have that love recognized by way of marriage. [...] We are not declaring nuclear war on a foreign state. We are not bringing a virus in that could wipe out our agricultural sector forever. We are allowing two people who love each other to have that recognized, and I can’t see what’s wrong with that for love nor money.”

 

Like his speech, the Bold Black and White Wedding Invite is low-key about the sex and very much about the union. Note the ginormous ampersand:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/bold_black_and_white_wedding_invite-161579729021286462

 

The Two Brides Wedding Invitation has a little more color, a little more swirly detail, same amount of chillness about the dual fiancées:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/two_brides_wedding_invitations-161141587915032881

 

Or, go the statement route: make clear that it’s an LGBTQ wedding, people, and get ready. Take 13-year-old Duncan McAlpine Sennett, who used his recent bar mitzvah speech (which also went viral) to argue for same-sex marriage. Compared to Biblical times, he said:

 

“Today, in the United States, marriage is very different. No longer do the fathers arrange marriages, and women can marry whoever they want. [...] The traditional definition of marriage is nothing like what we think it is today.”

 

Amen! The Top Hats and Bow Ties Gay Wedding Invitation features his & his hats and ties, in case it wasn’t clear that it’s two men taking their vows:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/top_hats_and_bow_ties_blue_gay_wedding_invitation-161658534288504340

 

The Chalkboard Heart Doodle Wedding Invites are even freer – you can totally customize the text. Go with the sample “Mrs. and Mrs.,” change it to “Mr. and Mr.,” use your own abbrevs, or do away with gendered language altogether. It’s your day. You can celebrate love and freedom and commitment in a beautiful way:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/chalkboard_heart_doodle_wedding_invitation-161762001915893799

Congratulations on your special day!

Get into the swing of baseball season with the new MLB Players Shop

June 19, 2014 by

Today we’re announcing a new addition to the Zazzle team.  The Major League Baseball Players Association now has a Zazzle store. You can find products that are inspired by your favorite Major League players.  We’ve got all baseball fans covered from Arizona to Washington.  The season is in full swing, so get ready to find and create custom merchandise for yourself or for any baseball fan.

MLBPA-Zazz-Mantle-A-2360x400

Zazzle is offering a large selection of products from t-shirts and hoodies, to wall clocks and pillows.  The history of baseball goes back almost 150 years when baseball’s first professional team was founded in Cincinnati in 1869.   The MLBPA is the union that represents the players of professional baseball.  The MLBPA was founded in 1966 and changed the landscape of professional sports dramatically.  Zazzle is honored to partner with the MLBPA on their first-ever Zazzle store!

If you’re a fan of Justin Verlander and crew, you might enjoy this wall clock because it’s always time for victory-


http://www.zazzle.com/detroit_roster_vinyl_magnets-160725298486224290?pt=clock-256444233593291700

If you’re a fan of Buster Posey and crew, then perhaps this pillow would be a good luck charm for the black and orange (perhaps for the sofa in front of the TV where you watch all the games)-


http://www.zazzle.com/san_francisco_roster_flexible_magnets-160388062461320712?pt=pillow-189095032939003198

There’s no doubt Mike Trout is one of baseball’s greatest, young superstars, so show off your Trout fandom with a high quality Mike Trout poster-


http://www.zazzle.com/mike_trout_posters-228588271667663752

Or, if you’re a Miguel Cabrera fan, check out this cool Miggy iPad case-


http://www.zazzle.com/miguel_cabrera_ipad_covers-256648306453351290

In addition, Zazzle artists and designers are welcome to be a part of our FanMerch program.  The FanMerch program is a special opportunity designed to bring you and your favorite players together on Zazzle. This is where you’ll be able to submit your own original designs, inspired by and on behalf of the MLBPA!   Now let’s get out to the ball game!

A rose is a rose is a … strawberry?

June 18, 2014 by

Until recently, we lived in ignorance about everything strawberries do for us. Wow, are they high achievers! Did you know?

 

Eight strawberries have more Vitamin C than an orange – that’s 140% of our recommended daily intake.

They’re full of ellagic acid (which can help fight cancer) and flavonoids (which help lower cholesterol).

They have zero fat.

The acids in strawberries naturally help whiten your teeth.

And, they’re part of the rose family! (Along with raspberries.)

 

They also taste amazing on their own, in salads, in trifles and crumbles, over ice cream or pancakes (or both), in strawberry shortcake and pies. Strawberry-rhubarb pies …

 

Can it get more summery than strawberries? Let’s kick off this most bursting of seasons with a bang!

 

The sun’s high above you. Your towel’s under you, surrounded by sand. The waves are coming in softly. Your shades shield your eyes from the bright light. You’re on your back, head on your hands. It’s almost time to meet the gang for (strawberry?) ice cream. You check your Pink Strawberry Wristwatch – ten more minutes of ahhh:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/personalized_pink_strawberry_wristwatches-256768657141866685

 

You’re pedaling at a lazy pace. Families, lovebirds, buff bods amble along the boardwalk. Volleyballs are flying, picnic baskets opening, tunes blaring, shrieks of laughter. Boop, goes your phone. You get it out of your cutoffs, other hand on the handlebars, and it drops. No worries – the Pink and Red Strawberry iPhone Case kept it cozy and safe:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/pink_and_red_strawberry_pattern_iphone_5_cases-179166203488977549

 

Your patio’s decked out. Pandora’s on, glasses are clinking, dinner’s on the grill, smoke smells like BBQ sauce. Everyone’s cross-legged and chatting, sitting back on your latest find, the Pink Strawberries Pillows. “Love it!,” they gush at you, and they’re not talking about the wine:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/cute_and_girly_pink_strawberries_pattern_napkin-185869852048917137?pt=pillow-189600932897930231

 

To summer!

 

5 Tips for Original Designs

June 16, 2014 by

As a custom marketplace, we can’t enough of the creativity and unique ideas of our designers. Check out our tips below for creating new and fun designs that are truly one of a kind.

1. Get creative and learn something new.

Start from scratch, and be the one to bring your great idea to life! A quick internet search can help you find free tools and tutorials for creating digital graphics and images so you can create the perfect match for your Zazzle products. Try free editing software like Gimp, or easy online photo editors like Picmonkey.

2. Do your homework.

Slogan happy? Check out the United States Patent and Trademark Office site and the United States Copyright Office site to cover your bases, and be sure your idea is not already protected content. You can find other good reading on guidelines for your Zazzle designs in our User Agreement and  Acceptable Content Guidelines.

3. Know your permissions.

If you’re creating designs using stock image elements, be sure to read the site’s terms and image usage licenses very carefully. Keep in mind that images found on the web have an owner, and usually require licensing for commercial use on sites like Zazzle. Double check that the license you purchase for your stock imagery does not include any restrictions that prohibit use on Zazzle products.

4. Verify.

Not sure if you can use an image or graphic? Get permission directly by reaching out to the original creator to introduce yourself and explain your proposed use of the image, or by checking in with the service department of the stock image site.

 

5. When in doubt, make it yourself!

You’re the only one who sees the world the way you do, so your designs should be just as unique as you are. Dust off that camera – or even your smartphone! – get out there, and find your next great Zazzle design.

Bonus Tip: Join in our friendly designer community in the Zazzle forums!

Yes I will yes: celebrating Bloomsday!

June 16, 2014 by

We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves.

 

On June 16, what will you be meeting (besides yourself)? Hopefully, Ulysses. Because it’ll be Bloomsday.

 

On June 16, 1904, says history, James Joyce had his first date with his eventual wife, Nora Barnacle. It was love. It was bliss. He set his epic Ulysses on that day. And now, every year, people celebrate him and his novel around the world.

 

If you haven’t booked a trip to Dublin — where walks and talks and parties take over the city for the whole day — worry not. Bloomsday is a celebration that can happen anywhere, because it’s all about a book, and that’s all you need.

 

“I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.”

 

So said Joyce to his biographer Richard Ellmann, who asked him for a schematic plan of Ulysses. And suckers that we are, we’re still arguing and puzzling. Who is the man in the mackintosh? What do we make of the ending? What happens to Stephen?

 

Happy mulling to us all. For some inspiration along the way, let’s all drape over our tablets a Vintage Ulysses iPad Mini Case replicating the first-edition cover (which was initially banned in the U.S.):

http://www.zazzle.com/vintage_ulysses_james_joyce_book_ipad_mini_cases-256604502382625452

 

The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit. Ulysses is a dream of word play, and what better to celebrate its revelry with words than a dedicated Ulysses Word Cloud T-shirt:

http://www.zazzle.com/ulysses_word_cloud_t_shirts-235410414028882796

Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home. For Joyce, having his own statue on O’Connell Street in Dublin is a homecoming he never had, having lived much of his life in self-exile in Zurich, Paris and Trieste:

http://www.zazzle.com/dublin_ireland_famous_author_james_joyce_postcard-239567182156815526

See now. There all the time without you: and ever shall be, world without end.


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