Mistakes are tricky. They can really make you feel like crap or you can learn from them and move on. I made a ton of mistakes with the first go at BLD. One of the major ones was the business model of printing the shirts myself and managing my inventory.
I taught myself how to screen print, hand printed every shirt in my garage, bought my own inventory of blank shirts, and was super proud of what I accomplished. But it meant I was left with several wasted shirts while I was learning how to print. I spent a ton of time preparing and coating the screens and then cleaning them. Many times I would have to make a screen twice because the image wouldn’t come out right the first time. Adding new designs was a slow and tedious process.
Inventory was a constant nightmare. I wanted to offer as many colors and sizes as possible, but it meant we were also forced to keep inventory and print shirts for each color, size and design option. This model resulted in too much overhead and too many expenses.
This time around, we are working with other screen printers to handle the printing. This change has allowed us to focus more on our designs, offering more colors in our prints (both in shirt colors and design colors).
BLD also added home decor prints and stationery into the product lineup, featuring my own original artwork (usually animal portraits). We purchased a professional large format digital scanner and professional printer to ensure we can print high quality cards and prints (up to 11″x14″) on our own. Larger sizes and canvas options are still available – they are simply printed by our POD suppliers.
We have added printable downloads and are excited to announce the arrival of our new EQ Journals, which are already available for download at our BLD Etsy shop. These journals are just the tip of the iceberg, and we can’t wait to add more printable products.
Finally, we are exploring some tech options for making a wide variety of new products ourselves with a focus on customization. Stay tuned for this one – it is going to be fun!
Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to share what was driving some of the changes here at BLD and give you an idea of what is in store for the future.