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Making Some Otter Changes: Part Two

All of my products at Otter Things™ are printed as soon as the customer orders them. Because of that, each product is printed especially for you when you order.

When I was developing my shop, I was thrilled to find a company for my printing needs. Printful, the company that prints my designs, uses multiple brands for apparel lines. In the past I chose American Apparel® for my designs because they were made in America, the quality of clothing was nice, and the material was soft and comfy.

Unfortunately, American Apparel® went bankrupt and their clothing was no longer available. This meant that I had to find another brand for my Otter Things™ line of clothing. I’ll admit that I panicked for a couple of hours.

After some deep breathing and a lot of research, I was able to select worthwhile alternatives for my store. There are specific things that I look for in my apparel brands: quality, cost, and availability.

Quality

When I buy a shirt or hoodie, I want the item to last. Poor quality, like loose stitchery, is a huge turnoff. I also like soft materials, like ring-spun combed cotton. They are more appealing against the skin.

Along with material and workmanship, the fit is another important factor of quality. The cut of a t-shirt can vary between brands and between styles of a single brand.

Cost

No one wants to pay $30 for a t-shirt. If the cost of the blank shirt is expensive, the cost of the final product will be expensive. I always try to find a reasonably priced brand.

Availability

When it comes to putting my designs on apparel, I prefer using more than black and white styles. Reds, blues, and greens make some of the designs pop, and give my customers a chance to vary their wardrobe.

After ordering samples of various t-shirts and hoodies, I finally narrowed it down to the companies that I will utilize for my apparel line.

My line of t-shirts will include Bell+Canvas® brand apparel. The shirts are 100% combed and ring-spun cotton and very soft. The unisex style fits both men and women like a well-loved classic.

The color selection is similar to American Apparel®, but the fit is nicer. The bottom hem falls a little lower for better coverage. I am also able to offer sizes up to 4XL. Let’s face it, not everyone is a size 2.

Hoodies will come from Gildan® and are also an improvement over my previous style. Plush feel without bulk, make the hoodies cozy. Also available up to 4XL, they come in a greater range of colors.

My newest product, baby onesies, will still be available. The Rabbit Skins® brand from LAT Apparel® is made of 100% combed ring-spun cotton. They also have reinforced three snap closures and lap shoulders for easy changing, because wee otter fans wriggle a lot.

So what does all of this mean for you, the customer? Well, my products are still available for purchase, they are softer, fit better, and best of all they are less expensive. My cost for using these new products has gone down so I am passing that cost right on to you. Hey, you deserve it.

I hope my new style of apparel will meet your approval. I do aim to please. I will continue to add more designs and colors as they become available. In the meantime, you otter be checking them out.

Shop Now

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Making Some Otter Changes: Part One

Some of you may have bought my illustrations on products from CafePress or Zazzle. First of all, thank you. I started my creations because I had a hard time finding otter paraphernalia in stores or on the web. It means a lot to me to know that I am able to provide items for other otter lovers in the world. Second, I am making some changes to what you can find at those shops.

I used my CafePress and Zazzle stores as a jumping off point. They are great outlets for designers that don’t want to worry about having their own site, and just want to have some fun designing. Well, I am moving on to building my brand and have my own shop. I still have fun, but it is also a business. I want more control over my designs, products, and marketing than these outlets will allow. So, some of my designs will no longer be available at my CafePress and Zazzle shops.

I am in the process of removing designs from these sites but they will still be available here at Otter Things. It will be a slow process, but eventually, Otter Things will be the only outlet for my designs, including my I Otter Be® line. What does this mean for you, the customer? Well, one otter outlet to rule them all, special Otter Things discounts, and improved quality of printing are just a few of the changes you will see.

When you shop at Otter Things you are guaranteed that you are buying one of my illustrations. Other outlets sell illustrated wares by other creators, and sometimes if can be difficult to tell if you are getting an Otter Things original. I Otter Be® is my registered trademark for my line of illustrations with my cute and active otter. Don’t be fooled by impostors. Soon they will only be available through this site.

Having all of my designs in one spot also makes it easier for you. I cut out the middle man and deal directly with my customers. Let’s face it, wouldn’t you rather purchase a painting or music from the original artist, as opposed to some shop unrelated to the creator? It’s like buying a painting from Monet or a Concerto from Handel.

Since I don’t have someone else selling my designs and taking a percentage, I can make the products more affordable for you. I am also able to offer special discounts directly to my customers. You can receive a 10% discount just for signing up for the Otter Things Newsletter. This quarterly email keeps you up to date with any changes I make, including new design releases and special sales.



Quality products are very important to me. With the aide of Printful, I can offer my customers great apparel and printed designs. Printful uses Kornit and Brother GT 381 printers for all Direct to Garment (DTG) printing. DTG gives me photo quality printing in a wide range of colors compared to screen printing. This gives me the flexibility to create unlimited otter designs. The printed colors are bright and true, and hold up to repeated washings.

I will work as quickly as possible to make the transition, but if you don’t see one of my designs that you spotted elsewhere, please be patient, I am working on it. Better yet, email me and let me know what you are looking for.

Have an otterly fantastic day!

 

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Otter Changes Coming Soon

Every year I reassess how the store is running and tweak something here or there. This is a normal process of business. At the end of last year, I reviewed sales of various products, both here at Otter Things and at my other sales outlets. I also research new products and possible new designs.

With recent apparel industry changes and sales reports on my various designs and products, I will have to make some major changes at Otter Things. Now, hold on to your hats, gang. You will still be able to buy all of my otter designs on apparel, mugs, and totes. In fact, most of the changes won’t be visible at all but help me run my business more effectively.

Some changes will be a little more noticeable and I want to update you prior to the changes going into effect. Over the next few weeks I will be posting about these changes, so check my blog frequently. For your convenience, you can sign up for posts delivered to your inbox.



Change can be difficult, but I would like to make it as seamless as possible and as always keep you informed with otter news.

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Some Otter Things on Twitter

It’s the New Year and Otter Things is another year older. On January 4, my little otter empire turned 6. As a special treat, I gave it a Twitter profile. Yup, otter and bird are together at last!

In the past, all the news from Otter Things showed up here on the blog, and then I started the Facebook Page. I had my own author Twitter account, but I am sure some of you don’t want to hear the ramblings of a children’s author, and some of my writing colleges and fans don’t want to be inundated with cute otter pictures—of course, I don’t see why not.

The new Otter Things Twitter profile will allow me to keep all the Otter Things fans up to date with sales, new designs, new products, and the aforementioned cute otter pics. So follow it on Twitter.

ot-twitter-handle

If Twitter isn’t your thing, you can still get information from the other sources, but if you truly want all the nitty-gritty, sign up for the newsletter. This quarterly letter comes straight to your inbox and has information that others won’t get, like special sales and fun facts about what I Otter Be® doing at Otter Things.

Otter things are always happening at Otter Things, and it’s a great place for otter lovers to get otter wares.

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Posting Otter Things Up

At the request of one of my customers, I am adding posters to the Otter Things™ product line. I always considered this option, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Well, here they come.

The posters are available in two sizes, 12 x 16 inches and 18 x 24 inches. Printed on thick, durable, matte paper, the illustrations are rich and defined. The paper is also archival and acid-free, printed right here, in the USA.

I will be adding the designs on a limited basis. Since the illustration is printed at a larger size, I want to make sure that each and every one is perfect for printing. If there is a particular design you can’t wait to have decorating your wall, contact me so I can add that to the list of requests.

Check Out Posters

 

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Let the Winter Whites Begin

Winter Whites (800x579)

Just as the temperature drops in December, so does the price of our Men’s Winter Whites. All through December, we are cutting the cost of our Men’s White T-Shirts. Choose from various designs of what you otter be doing, and be cool.

SHOP NOW

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We Are Open for Business

Open 4 Business

It has been a long time coming, but the store if finally open. I have been diligently adding products and testing the site for any glitches. I wanted to have the store up and running by Thanksgiving, and we did it.

Due to time constraints, I made sure that I uploaded my most popular designs first, so I could open on time. Don’t worry if you don’t see one of your favorites though, I will continue adding my other designs to the site, but if you absolutely can’t wait, click on of the external links at the top of my site. While my older designs will still be available at Café Press and Zazzle, Only here at Otter Things, will you be able to get all my new creations. If you subscribe to my shop, you will be first to know when we have new designs, sales, and giveaways.

I Otter Be Shopping2crop_001 (640x608)

For those that want to get apparel and wares as a special holiday gift for that otter lover in their life, order by December 1, and you should get it by Christmas.

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One Stop Shopping – Products Coming Soon

© 2010 A. T. Baron

For many years, I have been making my illustrations available on t-shirts, mugs, and similar items through Cafe Press and Zazzle. My little otter has been busy with many otter activities. It’s been seen reading, dancing, swimming, even fighting zombies; and that’s just to name a few. However, I dreamed of a day when I could sell directly from my own site, and offer my fans all of my designs. Well, my dreams are about to come true.

After researching various drop-shipping companies, I was able to find one that offered a nice selection of products and Direct-to-Garment printing. It has been a slow process since I have to reformat all of my illustrations for the printing process, but the final products are beautiful. Over the next few months, I will be adding designs to the site and making them available for purchase. They will be available on apparel, bags, and mugs; but as new products come available, I will add them.

For those who just can’t wait, you will still be able to purchase my designs through my other stores, and I will have the links visible on this site. If you have already purchased an item with my designs, please let me know what you think. If there is a design that you think I otter be selling, contact me. I am always looking for ideas and my little otter loves trying new things.

 

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Play Ball!

Although you may be shoveling snow, baseball is in full swing. So to honor this beloved sport, I created an I Otter Be® design suggested by one of my customers, I Otter Be Playing Baseball.

IOB Playing Baseball previewYou can knock it out of the park with this little otter on a mug or t-shirt. He strikes a pose in his jersey and cap, and can’t wait to get up to bat. For those who keep stats on my illustrations, the number 10 is the same year I created this otter and now he is in the big league. Bill Veeck said it best with “There are only two seasons – winter and Baseball.” So, once you have dug out from the snow, put away that coat and shovel, grab that ball and bat, head out to the park and – Play Ball!

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Birding Basics for 2015

It’s 2015 and a new year has begun. What a better way to start it off than by telling everyone about a new design. If you did not know I actively volunteer in my community and recommend that everyone do the same. The Clarence Bluebird Trail is just one of the organizations I help. I spend some of my free time with a group of animal lovers like myself and help record data on the nesting habits of our local avian residents. This inspired me to create a new IOB design, I Otter Be Birding.

Available at Otter Things.
Available at Otter Things.

Whether you tour the forests with binoculars, catalog newly identified species or simply keep a bird feeder in your backyard, this design can tell others what you would rather be doing.

Birds of a feather flock together, so don a shirt with I Otter Be Birding and hang out with your otter friends.