Aug. 25, 2019
How to Sell on Spoonflower
How to Sell on Spoonflower

A lot of people ask me how to sell designs on Spoonflower, so I will lay out exactly how I create, digitize, and upload to Spoonflower and other platforms for my business. Most importantly, I will walk you through how to grow your sales by thinking about trends and connecting with your audience. 

 

The Technical Stuff

If you are intimidated by putting patterns into repeat, there are great online resources on sites like Lynda.com, YouTube.com, and Skillshare.com Once you start putting patterns into repeat you'll get the hang of it.

 

Here are a few ways that I prepare my artwork into digital files:

  1. Scan artwork with an Epson scanner at 300 DPI TIFF format 
  2. Work in sRGB color mode
  3. Use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create and digitize artwork
  4. Check saturated colors for out of gamut colors and correct
  5. Check and correct repeat seams for errors using the Photoshop offset tool
  6. Print designs out before uploading to get an idea of how they print 
  7. Upload a GIF, PNG, or JPG format files to Spoonflower, I usually do a GIF format
  8. Order a swatch collection of all designs to proof on fabrics

 

NOTE: Use Spoonflower Color Map for tricky colors like blues, dark or saturated colors. Colors vary on different fabrics. If there is a fabric you or your customers use frequently, order a Color Map on that fabric. Click here to order the Spoonflower Color Map. HEX codes are used on Color Map, and are universally easy to use across most design programs.

 

Keep in mind that there are two types of printers used in digital fabric printing for natural and synthetic fabrics:

    Natural – Non-reactive dyes are used in the printing, which can sometimes be tricky with achieving dark or saturated colors

    Synthetic - Sublimation printing can achieve rich, saturated colors

 

Follow the Trends

After getting the hang of creating patterns, the next step is to learn about the trends and marketing. If you have already made some sales on Spoonflower or another platform, then you are one step ahead because you now have some sales trend information to start with. If you haven't made any sales yet you can look at what others are selling.

Staying on top of trends is essential for your business. A trend is a current style or preference that generates interest, especially online or in social media. Trends are recurring patterns of what’s in fashion in the market, in your shop, on social media, in stores or on a platform.

Keep in mind that a trend for someone else doesn't mean that it is a trend for your shop. It is best to evaluate the overall trends and see which fits your creative style and audience.

Several trends to pay close attention to are:

  • Sales trends within your business (what’s selling?)
  • Marketplace trends (what’s for sale in other shops or other platforms?)
  • Specific trends (color palettes, subjects, style, product, or brand)
  • Microtrends - niche market trends (what’s happening in a distinct segment of the market?)
  • Seasonal trends - i.e. holidays, summer, or back to school etc.

 

Get Social!

Connecting with other artists, influencers, or makers who you relate to, is a great way to get to know your potential audience which will ultimately help you design better and sell more. These are some hashtags to get you started in finding people to follow:

Follow hashtags to find other designers who influence the market and use relevant hashtags to get exposure to your designs. Additionally, look for product specific hashtags that relate to popular products made with Spoonflower goods. 

Popular products made from Spoonflower fabrics include:

  •   Baby Products: nursery decor, baby and children’s clothing, and accessories
  •   Fashion: women’s wear, clothing DIY projects, and fashion accessories
  •   Home Decor: interior design projects, bed and bath, and soft home products

Stay in touch with customers and build relationships. The more interaction you have with your customers, the more you will know who they are and what is important to them in terms of designs they already buy and evaluating what their preferences are. A few great ways to engage with your audience is to do the following:

  • Follow your customers on social media to see what they are making and doing
  • Engage with your customers about their latest creations
  • Feature customer creations with your designs and tag them
  • Create a community around your shop

Spoonflower customers sell handmade goods through a variety of marketing platforms including Etsy, or their own e-commerce websites and other marketing platforms for small businesses. Your audience could find and purchase your designs through places like Etsy, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Wayfair, Ebay among other affliate sites that Spoonflower has a affiliate partnership with so it's always a good idea to get familiar with those platforms to see how your customers are finding you.

The last thing is don't forget to take advantage of these valuable designer's resources on Spoonflower:

  • Designer analytics
  • Message function
  • Design challenges
  • Affiliate program
  • Spoonflower tutorials

Staying tuned into marketplace trends, and connecting with your audience will help you to create relevant designs that will improve your sales or help you start making sales. Building a community of like-minded designers, creating a meaningful association with your brand in the minds of your customers will help sustain your business relationships and bring new business. Engaging and marketing with your audience will ultimately enable you to create salable and trend-savvy designs that your audience will be excited about.

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