While doing final testing for DevoutGeek.com, I ran into a problem with the Shipping and Tax Estimator – it did not appear to work. When I entered the state and zip code, nothing was returned. I looked at the USPS shipping options in Magento’s admin – the values I entered seemed to be correct.
My father used to say that anything and everything can be used to start a conversation. Well, geek t-shirts are definitely a conversation starter. When I wear a geek t-shirt to the gym or to one of my kid’s games, I always receive positive comments – from non-geeks and geeks alike. These situations convinced me that I should start a business selling geek apparel (and other products). So today I launched DevoutGeek.com.
In this initial launch, I will only be selling t-shirts. And while there are a few sites that already sell geek t-shirts, I want to be more than a geek t-shirt company. I’m trying to create a brand – like Nike, but a geek apparel and products company. Most of the other sites sell a variety of products from many contribut0rs (which admittedly, may be a better business model). But I intend to sell Devout Geek products only. Some of my initial ‘designs’ are similar to (or variations of) designs that I have seen (and liked) from these other websites – but the vast majority of the shirts are of original design.
I started with the name RockPaperGeek. I spent months searching for a domain name that had the word ‘Geek’ in it. I liked RockPaperGeek for a couple of months. And then I didn’t. I told my wife that I like names with two words – GrasshopperPebbles, GreenScorpion, etc. So I pivoted to finishing up the development of MobilePebbles.com while I thought of a new name. Yes, I’m a procrastinator, but I always have other things to do. I’m a web developer and I stay fairly busy working on other projects.
Now that DevoutGeek is complete, it’s time for me to move on to another project.
I have purchased products from a few of the other t-shirt sites – and I probably will in the future. But I think that geek branded apparel is an intriguing concept. In many circles, geek is no longer synonymous with nerd (although, there is clearly overlap). But I’m proud to be a geek in any circle. I have been a self-professed geek before it was popular. I am what one would call a Devout Geek.
Note: I created a special coupon code for the initial launch. It’s 10% off your order (pre-shipping cost) and can only be used once. It will only be available for a few days and you must be logged in to use the code: P4UZ6JNLVBYY.
So I am close to launching my t-shirt website. In a previous post, I discussed that I plan to print the t-shirt designs myself using a heat press and a vinyl printer. To increase my brand awareness, I plan to replace the existing t-shirt tag with a label that included my logo. While researching the market, I found that I have multiple options. I also found that the Federal Trade Commission has a rule (The Care Labeling Rule) that requires manufacturers and importers to attach care instructions to garments.
The blank Gildan t-shirts that I purchased contains two tags – the first displays the Gildan brand name and the other tag displays the size and care instructions. I had to decide whether to remove both tags or just remove the Gildan branded tag.
Well, it’s not actually the second day. I have been working on creating the t-shirt business for quite some time – albeit inconsistently. I started creating the t-shirt designs (mostly words) about 9 months ago. While designing, I spent a couple of months trying to find a domain name that I liked that wasn’t already taken (nearly impossible). And once I found a name, I began working on the website design and e-commerce development (Magento). And then I fell out of love with my domain name choice, so I began to work on another project (MobilePebbles.com). Now I’m back working on the t-shirt business (thus, day 2).
One of my first purchases for my t-shirt business were t-shirt templates for my website. I initially purchased the Ultimate Mockup Template Collection 2 from Go Media. This collection contains Photoshop Mockup Templates for Men’s Polo, Men’s crew neck, ladies crew neck, Pullover hoodies, Ringer Tees, ladies tank tops, and Men’s longsleeve. I used the mockups to create the color options for each t-shirt design. After creating the t-shirt color options, I decided that I wanted to display a folded t-shirt for the initial display of each design (on the home page, category pages, etc). But a folded t-shirt was not part of the Ultimate Collection.
I recently decided to start an apparel company for geeks. My initial products will be t-shirts, so I had to learn a bit about the t-shirt business. I spoke with a cousin, Marc Clark, about all aspects of the t-shirt business (he designs/sells t-shirts, bow-ties, and foxtails). He gave me invaluable advice as to what the focus of my research should be – t-shirt quality, printing options, and t-shirt tags.