Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Threadless Artist Shops: Put the FUN back in FUNdraising!

Last season, before I retired from roller derby, I was the marketing coordinator for my league. One of the projects we started was to create a Threadless Artist Shop to complement our other league merch offerings - we were able to offer special designs without having to carry additional inventory, as all of the products from Threadless are print-on-demand. Also, the packing/shipping/delivery is all handled through the Threadless company. There was literally no work we needed to do beyond uploading designs and getting the word out!

So, what's the catch?

The profit margins are considerably smaller with a Threadless shop. You can actually set the price yourself to make as much/little as you want per item, but keep in mind that if you set your prices too high, no one will actually buy your stuff! Threadless sets a "base" price of each item that covers the costs of the item + printing. You get to decide how much you want to add on top of that price, and that's your cut.

There are a TON of items (not just t-shirts!) that you can create and buy in a Threadless shop: sweatshirts, tanks, cell phone cases, water bottles, mugs, STICKERS, throw pillows, leggings, notebooks, zipper pouches, tote bags... and more!

from top left: sticker sheet, tote bag
center: zip up hoodie
from bottom left: leggings, kids t-shirt

That's nice. What's it got to do with school? 

Well, you (yes you, as an individual) can open up your own Threadless Artist Shop for FREE, and you can use it in a variety of ways:
  • Extracurricular clubs can design their own shirts! You can buy as few as ONE item. 
  • A bonus PTA "spirit wear" shop to complement any other merch/fundraiser apparel sales that might already exist. This is how we use it at my school!
  • Subject areas/departments can create their own coordinating apparel.
  • Student Council could open a shop to sell merch to promote specific events/activities.
  • Create "Class of..." designs for each grade level, and use them in conjunction with school spirit competitions! 
  • Open a shop to post student-created designs from a class assignment. Students are way more motivated when they can see a functional end result ("Wait, we're going to design a shirt you can ACTUALLY BUY?!") 
I actually began our school shop for selfish reasons. I wanted a school spirit shirt in black, but alas, there were none. So I DIY-ed it with the help of Threadless:

You can check out our own Sandburg Middle School Threadless Artist Shop here for more inspiration, or to grab some merch of your own! All of the proceeds from our shop go to our PTA, who then invests the funds in our MakerSpace!

What fun ways does your school raise money? Maybe try your own Threadless Artist Shop

Note: I am not a representative of/do not make any money from, nor was I asked to endorse Threadless in any way. I just really like their stuff, the process is super simple, and they're a local Chicago company that I like supporting! 

- Mrs L.

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