I believe in wasting no time getting things on track in the new year and this year I'm starting with a particularly big bang : my work is now available on spoonflower!
For those who don't know it yet, Spoonflower is the leading fabric print on demand company there is out there and they have been on my radar for years. BUT! Unfortunately I couldn't join them sooner because they had policy going that made it extremely difficult for people based out of the US to make it worth their time, especially if you were based out of India like I am. This policy was that to make any designs available for sale, one had to purchase it as a sample swatch and proof it first.
I'm not and never was against the principle, the problem was that on top of the swatches being priced in USD against a weak Indian rupee, there was a big shipping fee, and a custom duty fee to graft itself on it all upon delivery, which inevitably would take 3-4 weeks to reach...if all went well. This meant possibly paying 3 times the price of the swatches if you cumulated all the fees and then spent weeks hoping your package didn't get lost somewhere in transit before you could FINALLY check the boxes saying you proofed the design and that yes it was fine to go on for sale.
All this is no more! Sometimes in December 2023, Spoonflower announced that fro December 31st onwards, they would do away with the sample proofing via paid swatches and replace it with FREE digital proofing. Yup! No more buying swatches, and waiting for them to reach you via post mail anymore! This is the kind of news I got to learn via the Facebook communities of surface designers I joined, which is why being part of a group is always a good idea. Otherwise I would probably have been totally oblivious to that change and miss out on joining Spoonflower for a while longer. Needless to say that the instant I read that news and got it confirmed, I took my pen and wrote down "Join Spoonflower" in my 2024 planner first chance I had last week.
The catch though is that to compensate for the fact they no longer demand a swatch purchase, they limited the amount of designs you can upload each week to 25, probably in an attempt to still encourage quality uploads. But if you pace yourself, that shouldn't be an issue at all. The process to verify your account could take a day or two as well. You have to enter all your taxes information which is quite easy to do and once you filled all the forms they take 24 hours to validate those changes, you also need to validate your postal address and there are two ways to do it : Either buy anything from the website and your shipping address gets saved automatically, or contact their help desk and provide them with a residential address of your choice. I went with option B and it took a day and a half for them to validate it. You can still upload designs while you wait to be a fully verified account, you just can't make them available for sale until that part is done, so get cracking on it as soon as you join.
I'm gradually uploading my work over there and started with adding the whole Tiger Safari and Mediterranean Patio collections, and am currently adding the Pacific Beach one as well as I type these words. I'm also working on entries for their design challenges which is something every designers should consider doing on this platform.
All in all, I started the year strong already and I am super excited to see what comes next.