For these photos I used the Canon 50mm 1.8 II lens. It’s difficult to use for selfies because it has difficulty auto-focusing. So basically I estimated by manual focusing and using a remote. This is the only full-selfie photo that turned out.
I saw the ad for Six Dollar Shirts as a Google Ad on Ride the Tempo. I was lured in by their promise of cheap T-shirts. The shirts are $6, but if you want a fitted female one they are $6.50. This is still not bad compared to other sites like Threadless. The more you order, the cheaper it gets. I think 10 shirts are only $50. The shipping doesn’t cost an arm and a leg either. I was testing if they were a legit company so I went with a safe 3 shirts. I chose geeky tees like the one pictured above.
The selections aren’t the greatest but I took the time to dig through and found ones I liked. This Adventure Time design is definitely worth the price. For the most part the prints are monochromatic, but are available in multiple shirt colours.
I also purchased this simple and cute, konami code shirt. The girl shirts fit well and are not boxy, so they are worth the extra 50 cents. The shirts shipped in like 2 weeks. While I waited though, I actually thought they might be a scam. I didn’t receive any notice of the items being “shipped” even though the original order confirmation said there would be. I thought I’d mention that as a warning. However, I received my shirts so the company is totally legit!
The July Lootcrate is almost on its way but I didn’t have time to talk about the June one until now. June’s theme was “mashup”; the joining of two separate ideas.
My favourite item in June’s crate are these 8-Bit sunglasses. Mine came in Loot Crate’s orange and black colours but apparently some people got plain black ones in their crates. They are also selling pink and white ones in their gift shop. I’m super tempted to grab a pair of those too.
This sticker Harebrained shows two classic characters helping each other out.
It’s a pen. No, it’s a stylus. Wait, it’s both. The 2 in 1 pen from Bic is a smooth ball point pen and stylus in one. I hope I don’t actually use the wrong side on my iPad.
Loot Crate got mashed into this a robot on this sticker from Danger Brain, a really cool company that makes logos.
I was so excited that this crate had a T-shirt which was totally worth the price of the box. The design (from Graphic Lab) mashes up antihero Deadpool with Kool-aid to make DEADPOOL-AID.
Lastly, there was a golden ticket for Stan Lee’s Comikaze. It’s a coupon where you have a chance to win admission or a percentage off. Personally, I don’t have much use for the item but I think they just added it as a bonus in the crate.
Though there were a lot of stickers in this month’s edition, the T-shirt and the sunglasses more than made up for the price! Next month’s theme is VARSITY. If you’re interested in subscribing use the referral link below:
I’m 25 so I’ve already sat through many lectures as a university student, college student and the conferences of music festival. By far the most inspirational has been Johnny Cupcakes‘ talk during Toronto’s NXNE. I could be biased because I am a huge fan of the T-shirts myself and it has become a large part of my own personal branding. However, I’ve seen a lot of my favourite bands, labels and companies speak over the years and few have come close to being so memorable, not to mention hilarious.
I had not planned to go to many panels this year during NXNE. I didn’t even look at the schedule. I thought I would need the sleep or extra time to edit photos. However, I ran into @plafleur and she had saved me this Johnny Cupcakes history booklet she found on the ground. Apparently it was in all the delegate bags (with exception to the media ones). I then looked at the program and discovered THE Johnny Cupcakes was doing a panel. Of course I HAD to go.
I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve done festival conferences before and most panels just say what everyone else is saying (THE CLOUD IS THE FUTURE etc etc) or gloss over fancy points. Johnny Earle aka Johnny Cupcakes taught us to think outside the box, and showed us examples of how he has integrated this philosophy with his brand.
Johnny began by telling us his history. He told us how at a young age he tried to make money in different ways such as selling his father’s tools at yard sales (he got in trouble of course) and selling candy, lemonade, whoopee cushions and yearbooks. The name Johnny Cupcakes was something random that co-workers at Newbury Comics had given him. He played with the idea and that’s how the shirts were born. He began selling these shirts to friends and it spread by word of mouth.
Johnny Cupcakes now has stores in Boston, LA, London and of course online, where they ship internationally. The stores all look like bakeries and smell like frosting. Everyday somebody walks in mistaking it for a place that sells food. Delivered packages look like presents and often come with trading cards. You’re meant to be treated like it’s your birthday. Johnny had set out to sell more than just cupcakes. He wanted to give people an experience and it’s a huge reason why he has been so successful. In fact, he even gave the audience members a glimpse of the experience. At the end of the lecture, he told us he had put little gifts under our chairs. When we reached down there was a little packet of stickers, buttons, candy and a trading card. He had even gone to the trouble of making sure we each had different trading cards so that we could trade with our neighbours. After the lecture, he hung around and took pictures with fans old and new.
Anyways, I had written down a lot of the things Johnny said in a notebook but I lost said notebook on the streets of Toronto. It was later picked up by some American musician who brought it home with them. Long story. Here are a few important points I did remember about entrepreneurship and about life:
- Building a brand is hard work, Johnny Cupcakes mentioned that he doesn’t do drugs, drink or play video games. He had put all his energy on video games. He even hired his family to help.
- Connecting with people is important. When he sold things growing up he always went back to the people who had purchased something form him once. Then when he started making T-shirts it was their word of mouth that got things started.
- Small details make a big difference. If you buy a Johnny Cupcakes the tag is an oven mitt. Online boxes are patterned and in-store ones look like cupcake boxes.
- Name 10 things that make you unique. It’s good thing to brainstorm for both job hunters and brands.
- Weird is Good. It gets people talking. Johnny Cupcakes has sold breakfast themed t-shirts with breakfast, put shirts inside icing jars and much more.
- Make things exclusive and limited edition because people like what nobody else has. Johnny had declined offers to mass produce his shirts because he didn’t want to be another fast fad like Ed Hardy T-shirts.
and most importantly:
“Real success is being happy doing what you love”
This week I received another exciting package from Rocky the Zombie. I really loved the previous cupcake shirt I bought on Ranon’s Etsy and wanted more. While exploring her shop a second time I saw these adorable cupcake prints and asked if she could make them into shirts. She was happy to and even threw in a few extra things including more candy. Yay!
This one is a slash-neck magic cupcake t-shirt. Right now a black and white version is 40% off in her Etsy shop.
This summery cupcake T-shirt is also on sale. I love how it reflects the upcoming season.