Make it Bigger! Grown-up Size Designs from Pithitude
Make it Bigger! Grown-up Size Designs from Pithitude

 

Tamara Kraft's customers at Pithitude.com keep coming back for more, and they are asking: Can you make it bigger?

In March of 2010, I started out with pin-back buttons and magnets. It was a fun and quirky hobby. I did all the illustration and design and order fulfillment myself. The response was great, and I connected with terrific, funny people all over the world.

My first sale on Etsy

My First Sale on Etsy

The feedback was positive - but people expressed that they would enjoy the designs more if they were bigger! At the time, I didn't have enough confidence in my illustration ability to comply, so I stalled on making any changes.

By the time I had close to 250 designs to choose from in my shop, I felt like I could try some larger items. I had a few t-shirts. They were cute, but I wasn't satisfied with the process. I kept dabbling with shirt printing, trying to find a way to produce a consistent product I could stand behind. I also sewed fabric pouches, created silly journals, purses,wall art, and gift bags. All the while, customers asked, "Can you make it bigger?"

Wall Art

Wall Art

Then I discovered dye sublimation printing. Dye sublimation uses a specialized ink that is printed onto a coated paper. The paper is then heat-pressed to a substrate (mug, fabric, aluminum) that has a poly coating or content. When the dye reaches 400 degrees, it vaporizes to a gas, and permanently combines with the poly. There is no fading or chipping of color because it is now bound together. The paper is then peeled away and discarded.

I was nervous about that investment, but the results were so professional that I couldn't resist. With the encouragement of my friends and customers on Etsy, I began producing sublimated mugs. They look great, they last, and they have been a great seller in the shop. I also offer neoprene coin purses printed with this method. I love the results. 

Mugs

Mugs

But the t-shirts still called to me, and I'd been fielding requests for them this entire time. If I was going to do t-shirts, I wanted them to be great - not just a plain white T with an 8 x 10 rectangle pasted on the front. Sublimation would be the key to getting amazing color and softness - but size was still an issue. My sublimation printer can print a page that is 13" x 19" and my heat press is 16" x 20". Great for mugs and coin purses - even little baby clothes - but not bigger. So how do we make it bigger? Answer:

#1.  Epson 6070 44" printer $8500

Epson 6070

And....

#2. Geo Knight 44" x 48": Heat Press $15,500

Geo Knight Maxi Press Air

These two pieces of equipment are the reasons for this Kickstarter campaign.

I have the designs, I have the knowledge, I even have the customers - but I don't own the equipment. I can finance some of it, which is why this campaign goal is not starting at $24K. I can get started if we reach the Kickstarter goal of $8K. If the campaign is a hit and stretch goals are met so that the equipment is paid off, terrific new rewards will be unlocked, and we can all do the happy dance and make exciting new things sooner!

THE REWARDS:

$5 Magnet Reward

$12 Neoprene Coin Purse Reward

Don't Speak Cat T-Shirt (option A)

Don't Speak Cat Shirt (Option A)

Pithitude Ostrich T-Shirt (option B)

Pithitude Ostrich Shirt (Option B)

Coffee Poop Fish T-Shirt (option C)

Coffee Poop Fish Shirt (Option C)

Eye Punch Cat T-Shirt (option D)

Eye Punch Cat Shirt (Option D)

Sea Turtle T-Shirt (option E)

Sea Turtle Shirt (Option E)

Bacon Body Pillow Reward Choices

Bacon Body Pillow Reward Choices

Pledge now! Get your stuff!

 

Pledge now! Get your stuff!

Feedback from Customers:

Fabulous Zipper Coin Purse! I love it! Thank you so much Tamara for making this special order for me. It's awesome! I love your shop and everything I have ever purchased from you has been perfect and hysterical. You bring joy to everyone who has your fantastic items! Delightful customer service and super fast shipping! I highly recommend this shop to everyone!

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This is so fun. Fast shipping. Wonderful product from a wonderful shop and owner.

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So funny. Perfect for our Granddaughter! Great shop, fast shipping, will return!!

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Ha Ha Ha thanks for another fun item :) Super fast shipping. Great Shop....You can never have too many laughs...Thanks!!

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Thanks for the wonderful selection, friendly service, and great prices!

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VERY COOL MUG.. BEAUTIFULLY MADE.. I LOVE THIS SHOP!!

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Once again, SO pleased with this seller! Thank you for a wonderful transaction!

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Wonderful value! So beautiful! Thanks so much! Always a pleasure doing business with! Highly recommend this shop! xoxo

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LOVE THIS DARLING AND HYSTERICAL BAG! Thank you so much Tamara for creating wonderful and funny items! They make me giggle everytime I look at them! Superior customer service and super fast shipping! I highly recommend this shop to everyone!

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YAY!! Love, love, love it!! Thank you! Great customer service and tons of fun products keeps me coming back. :-)

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WWW.ETSY.COM/SHOP/TAMARAKRAFT

WWW.PITHITUDE.COM

Risks and challenges

 

 

1. The heat press is too large to fit in the house.

We were able to reallocate some space in the garage and wall it off to keep the area free from debris.

2. The house electrical system does not carry enough power to feed the heat press, and the garage is not wired.

We had the house electrical panel replaced and extended to the garage at a cost of $3200.

3. Fulfillment: I have established accounts with the paper, ink. fabric and shirt suppliers. Any delays for production would be a result of back-orders on their end. With an expected delivery after project funding of June, I feel I have taken this into consideration.

4. Shipping: From having an online business for the past four years, my husband and I have a fairly smooth system of packaging and shipping worked out. No expected problems there.

5. Massive over-funding resulting in many, many rewards to make and ship: this is a challenge I would love to work out. Bring it! I wore my Big-Girl panties today.

PLEDGES:

  • Pledge $1 or more

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    Ju-ju Boost: Thank you for being a supporter! May your day be especially pithy!

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  • Pledge $5 or more

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    Kiss My Fridge: A keepsake Pithitude magnet shipped to you as a token of our thanks to keep on your fridge and make you smile.

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    Add $2 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $12 or more

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    Back Away Now: Keepsake Pithitude neoprene coin purse featuring our crazy mad ostrich.

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    Add $3 USD to ship outside the US
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    Tie Me Up: Awesome Pithitude bandanna in your choice of 5 designs.

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    Add $2 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $29 or more

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    I Don't Wanna Grow Up: Hilarious Pithitude T-shirt in your choice of 5 designs.

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    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
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    Matchy-Matchy: Hilarious Pithitude T-shirt in your choice of 5 designs, plus an awesome matching bandanna!

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    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $55 or more

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    Great Value!: Your choice of 2 hilarious Pithitude shirts!

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    Great Matchy Value!: Your choice of 2 hilarious Pithitude shirts, plus 2 matching bandannas!

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  • Pledge $100 or more

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    OMGTHISISSOCOOL:Super-soft, super-cuddly, 3-foot-tall micro-fleece bacon body pillow in your choice of 3 characters: Girly, Glazed, or Bandit! Pithitude Kickstarter Exclusive!

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    The Best Deal Ever: All 5 hilarious Pithitude shirts with all 5 matching bandannas!

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    What Could Be Better Than Being Buried in Bacon: All 3 super-soft, super-cuddly giant bacon characters delivered to you!

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  • Pledge $500 or more

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    You Like Me. You REALLY Like ME!: All 3 Bacon stuffies, all 5 shirts, all 5 bandannas, a coin purse and a magnet!

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