SNAC Proposal - We Need A Community Merch Shop!

Problem:

WE NEED A COMMUNITY MERCH SHOP! An awesome shop, that’s upbeat, exciting, and gives the community wearable designs that they can plaster…wherever they want.

Everyone needs merch!! It’s awesome! It makes people happy to wear designs that represent them, their beliefs, and what they’re excited about. We are all excited about $SCRT! We talk about it, we want to talk about it more…we want our friends and family to care about it like we do. With shirts, stickers, and hats that peak people’s curiosity, there’s a natural door-opener and invitation to talk about the things we love.

After I bought in and fell in SCRT (agency) love (cough, cough, blame @Ewais001), the first thing I asked was…”Do they have shirts?” Well, the simple answer was yes. But designs were somewhat limited and not exclusive to our ecosystem. There’s so much more that can be done with it!

Solution:

Enter this lovable weirdo. I love design! And I love seeing designs in action, in textile and tangible form. My experience in design, and history creating designs that can be worn and touched and felt, have led me to contacts locally (here in Corinth, MS) and abroad that have great prices. I already have a non-exclusive business partnership with two local print-shops I’ve done some design and marketing for, and three more close friends who also have home small businesses with different kinds of merch. (I plan to utilize them all to varying capacities, depending on their strengths.) I’ve also had experience shipping and packaging products to other locations (all my family and most of my friends are still in Southern California) and have the resources to find reasonable prices with which to do so. I would love to make/operate this merch shop for the community! Additionally, I have my own photography setup + access to artists/models so I can photograph the (actual) products for the website, in-house.

My background in acting and writing (published playwright; unpublished to much more creative writing) have also lead to enjoyment putting out comedic content. And I honestly, would just love to see some fun and hilarious shirts, hats, stickers (etc.) for us. You guys are so creative. The memes and snark on Twitter kills me daily. Let’s put some of this on wearable designs!

(Side note: I am completely and utterly new to the crypto - and finance - world. So this is a tangible way for me to contribute to the ecosystem, while still learning all the ins and outs of the language, lingo, and navigating how everything works.)

I can see this merch shop tying into Awareness, Education, and the Secret Agent Program…. If it goes the way I’m envisioning, I think it can really get people excited about what we’re doing. In-person, in addition to online.

About Me:

  • California Baptist University, B.A.: Theatre Arts: Performance
  • 15+ yrs. of visual design experience.
  • 2+ (almost 3) yrs. formally operating my own small business.
  • 8+ yrs. in (in-person) sales.
  • 5+ yrs. social selling.
  • 2+ yrs. experimenting with funnels & taking online classes & workshops in this vein.
  • 20+ yrs. of writing experience.
  • 13 yrs. writing purposeful content for other people (social media, websites, advertising, books, PR projects).

Plan for the Shop:

  • merch store
  • selling:
    • shirts, hats, sweaters, sweatshirts, polos, stickers, water bottles, mugs, (open to

suggestions for more?) …

  • affiliate program:
    • funneling $/crypto back into the community/ecosystem
    • discounts on bulk orders
    • paying commission to designers on their designs that sell
    • ability to link to other sites and do promotions that give proceeds to other parts of the community

(I.e. Limited run of shirts benefitting Secret Code Podcast; or Limited run of cups/mugs/stickers benefiting WhisperNode’s Youtube channel…etc.)

  • Store Operation
    • I will ship out merchandise at least once per week (or as needed).
    • I will place print orders twice per week (or as they come in/as needed).
  • Pay
    • Items will be reasonably-priced, for high-quality goods; with shipping at market price.
    • Paypal incorporated
    • Credit/Debit incorporated
    • I’d like crypto integration for payment, especially SCRT, but will need help with integrating this.
    • 10% of sale price will go to the designer
      • Paid out monthly or by appointment
    • Bulk deals could get better deals (including lowered but not zero commission) at rates TBD.

Request for Funding:

$6,000 (in U.S. dollars, not SCRT)

I propose being paid $4,000 up front, and an additional $2,000 after 2 months, upon successfully completing KPI’s. The goal is for the merch store to mostly run itself (financially) after it is set up and streamlined. I’ll stay in regular communication, and will make some money from the sales, but don’t expect this to be a significant long term profit or time commitment, but will rather fill a niche in a way I’m able to, and help connect me with other designers who can get excited about making their own products available, for sale, too! If it grows into something more…then that’s just an awesome bonus!

$3,000 up front to:

  1. Start website and buy domain name
  2. Get sales tax license to sell physical goods
  3. Buy starter products in bulk
  4. Coordinate with the community and Design Committee to gather up designs
  5. Get initial designs printed
  6. Do photoshoots with the new merch
  7. Make the store and website operational
  8. Get the community in on the fun

$1,000 up front to: pay local shop-owner for in-store purchase availability and visual location, for a calendar year. This will also help us store bulk goods, before shipping out, without taking over my house. So think: we have a display/corner of the store, and we have storage for our extras.

KPI’s:

  1. Make the website operational.
  2. Sell 100 items.
  3. Have 5+ designers earn commission on sold items.
  4. Run the first community promotion (benefitting a specific cause).
  5. Set up affiliate/commission program.

$2,000 after two months to:

  1. Pay for my time and successful efforts & shop upkeep.
  2. Help with another large re-stock.

(I am requesting this SNAC in dollars, as opposed to $SCRT, primarily because the prices are fluctuating (yay!) and I really am not trying to make bank on this. To avoid some potential backlash, I’d rather get paid in dollars and have what I need to get all set up, plus get paid for my time. A.k.a. I like you, please grille me nicely.)

Email: katiewaisanen@protonmail.com & katie@waldronstreetmedia.com

Twitter: @katiewaisanen

Telegram: @katiewaisanen

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Hey Katie, thanks for making this proposal.

I think @Brendan’s store made a good basic store but it would be nice for growing this further and making it a bigger thing! Bit of variety can’t be harmful, right?

I think almost all of it is sound apart from having an in-store presence. As you know, Secret Network has a global presence and while there are concentrated populations in certain areas, it seems a bit unusual to have a store in any one location where the audience may be relatively small. The other difficulty is, I don’t think there are many stores around that are crypto-specific and so we would just be any other brand in whatever store this is.

I wonder if you’d be able to utilise a cheaper method of storage for stock such as hiring out a container as I agree - it wouldn’t be logical to hold this in your house.

Good luck!

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Thx Katie for taking the time to write this proposal. I like the idea of having a Secret Network dedicated merch store :slight_smile:

I guess I have two question that I hope you can elaborate on.

  1. Could you give a little more background as to why you have opted for print-to-stock model compared to a print-on-order model by partnering with a drop shipping company?
  2. As you suggest print-to-stock and running the website yourself. What budget would be allocated to the website, and who will build it?
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For context, this is Brendan’s shop:

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Would it not be cheaper to run a print on demand store.

That way you don’t need to stock the products
and allows for worldwide customers…

Hey guys! Been a busy weekend. I plan to read and respond to all these tomorrow. Thanks for the input/feedback…I’ll be on tomorrow to check & respond. :heart:

100%. That’s why there is one already set up for this. It cost $30/month to run and any design we dream of can be added, printed, and shipped around the world in a matter of 5 minutes. It can also be easily converted to a Secret Network only site which has been mentioned previously using a domain like merch.scrt.network.

It is not a sound plan to do print-to-stock. I’m not sure what the added benefit of this store is versus just contributing design to the existing shop which has zero startup costs, storage costs, etc.

I realize criticism from me comes off as a COI. I make nothing for running the current merch store; in fact I lose money and it’s really meant to be a public good. I just don’t see any reason for another shop or why this is worth $6,000 as a project for fun. I communicated directly with Katie before this was posted. I would recommend working with the current shop if there is desire to contribute. The designs, front-end, etc. can all be modified any way we want for free (minus contributed time of course)

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I agree. I don’t think we need another store even though it sounds nice. Would rather see this money put toward a sticker commitee if we want more in person awareness.

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Wen stickers re-proposal

Hey @orageux101, Thank you so much for your responses and thoughts.
That’s an idea, to have a container for it to store in. My idea for the print shop to store it, was kind of just novelty idea, because it would be cool to see it in a real shop, and definitely a cheaper option than renting (even) a small storage unit.

I love that Secret Network has a global presence, and a digital store is perfect for that reason. Love digital stores!

Thank you for the well-wishes!!

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Hey @Stefan-001! :slight_smile: Thank you, and great questions! Happy to elaborate further.

  1. I’ve had a lot of experience with t-shirts through the years, even just as a consumer. And my relationship with them, honestly, was HATE. Up until recent years, quality material in the U.S. was too expensive and not cheaply accessible.

When I was young, I hated paying someone to buy a show shirt, or a softball tee, knowing it was going to be poor quality, feel terrible, and that the words would start peeling soon…after a few weeks and washes. I would buy it…because I wanted the memorabilia…but they sucked. Official and highly professional word there. You’d think that would have ended in the early 2000’s… but even in recent years, depending on who does the printing, I’ve had t-shirts peeling after 2 washes. Call me a perfectionist, but this is absolutely unacceptable.

I’ve even done band merch photoshoots and had the brand-new shirts showing signs of peeling.

So the print-to-stock model is two-fold - 1) so I can ensure quality…that the shirts are soft and prints/designs come out well, and 2) because it’s so much cheaper than print-on-demand. Now yes, there is slight risk of extra stock…but I’ve been talking with some others and we have some cool ideas for that. Like giveaways, and discounts on “extra” supply.

(Just some thoughts.)

  1. I have built multiple websites, but in this case am doing it simply through Shopify. I plan to pick the tier that fits best (and cheapest) for what we need. And shopify does easily ship internationally, so none of that will be a problem. (I will build it and update and implement.)
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Yes, thank you for sharing. Good context.

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Hi @ISP! To my knowledge, print on demand stores are very much always more expensive. If we’re supplying in-person events, and collaborating with the community, it will be more affordable to do everything in bulk. Please give examples if you’re aware of otherwise!

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A whole committee for stickers? :laughing: That’s an interesting idea.
I have lots of ideas for stickers and plan to have them in the digital store!

Hey @Brendan, I realize you have personal reason not to support this, and I don’t have a problem with that in the slightest. I also intentionally wrote the proposal in a way that hopefully didn’t slight you or your store. I’m sorry for the way it does feel (naturally) against you. You know that I think you are absolutely awesome and an essential part of this ecosystem. (To anyone reading, like he said, we did talk about this first.) And also have an incredible vision for the Secret Agent Program/platform which I am excited to be helping you on.

As to the store…I just think a lot more can be done with it, and I would like to be a part of that. You already have so much you are managing and so many people you are helping. Of course you can keep your store, of course you can keep adding designs. But I think the pull for me is to incorporate the community and wrap them into it, with awareness. I’m not asking people to give me their designs and simply make a profit off it. (I’m not going to be like the big man/big chain, getting paid off of the labor of others.) I am offering everyone the opportunity to get in on this and get paid for their shirts and designs that sell! And there is therefore built-in motivation for the community to help us promote this and get in on the fun.

If it were just me, I do not think this would work as well. What’s one more voice in the wasteland? But I already have designs and ideas coming in and they are FUN!!! People are excited about this.

So when I get big-picture, I realize sometimes the things I say become vague. Because I’m literally picturing things in my head. But for the sake of putting things into words for all of you… here are some literal examples.

My friend Madison can do awesome water bottle designs and stickers. And I can get them cheaper from her than a print shop. (I’ll try to get some pictures from her.)

And my friend Bethany can do her own “void” tie-dying. (As can @Pixxie.) When I was talking to Bethany about the bleached shirts the other day. (‘Cause I can get some designs printed on bleached shirts that will look soooo cool) and found out she does foil, too, (think like printed embossing) and the designs looked amazing. With our designs coming out like that. They’re just pretty much going to look amazing. @Iowascero has already sent some designs that would look EPIC with foil shirts.

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I would like to see more dreams become a reality. It’s just $6k, so just fund it and let’s reap the reward of being trendy and popular if it works out. I’m not into glitter or foil but who knows what could happen if we take a risk on her vision.

At the end of the day we could be spending our money on these startups rather than managing the network and we have a dozen committees and leads while few people are funded to build products. I too hate low quality shirts and we could set an example by funding high quality work that we want to purchase and wear.

Even if they are plain grey hoodies, I’m into the idea of wearing something that doesn’t have a corporate logo and isn’t cheaply made.

I see this proposal as an opportunity to bring quality back into a process and operate in a way the competition can’t, precisely because it isn’t the most profitable approach. Let’s take a risk and pay someone to do a job that is not replaced by bots vs joining the race to the bottom. If she is successful the upside could be significant and so in general I’m willing to invest my money on more projects like this one and in the act of funding her I think others will see the same value in our brand.

It’s not as cool as me building a dozen game applications but whatever.

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Thank you so, so much for seeing the potential in this, and the value in what I’m suggesting. And also, for the record, your designing dozens of apps and games is very, very cool. :dizzy:

(I also love the tech side, but our community solidly has that covered already. I can be more hands-on and mailing things and teaching my kids about business as I go. I can’t do that as much yet, with their ages if I’m on the computer. I do well running digital businesses as much as I do from my phone. But I am eager and biting at the bit for a shop and way to explore these designs further.)

Thank you…

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I’d rather see Brendan’s shop be expanded than having two shops. I say that as someone who has one the sn tshirts, would be nice to see more stuff but not sure why we would need 2 independent structures.

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Thank you for voicing what I think many are thinking.

(Pre-note, I am treading very carefully, because I like and respect Brendan.) My response to this, right or wrong, is that Brendan (from what I’ve heard…this is not one of the things I talked to him directly about) is offering to pay designers very low bounties for adding a design to his shop. (Brendan, if you’re reading this…you have every opportunity to change that.)

Therefore…designs HAVEN’T been added to his shop. People haven’t been interested and in-fact have been disappointed with the low-pay incentive. Literally not worth it for them to add a design to his shop, for him to make money on.

This was very carefully calculated in to my plan of paying designers based on every shirt that is sold. In addition to building in affiliate pay options, so people can promote them and get paid, also.

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