Fresh Retro Juice

It's All Geek To Me!

retro t-shirts

6 Things I Have Learned So Far With Selling T-Shirts Online

ShemboComment
selling t shirts online.jpeg

Roughly a year ago I decided to follow through on something that I have wanted to do since drunken midnight conversations at university! My friends and I went through a phase of wearing retro t-shirts and ironic nostalgic clothing because we a) thought it was hilarious and b) we simply loved it. We would source many items of clothing from the holy grail of retro tees Truffle Shuffle rocking Marvel themed superhero hoodies, Fresh Prince of Bel Air shirts to 80s cult classics like The Goonies and The Karate Kid tops. There were always conversations about what kind of ideas and designs we would create if we "could be arsed" to make t-shirts, but of course these chats went nowhere. And as we 'grew up', my friends seemed to move past this phase like every functioning adult in society, yet I continued well into my thirties to dress (and act!) like an eighteen year old student. I was determined to run away from adulting and make a fort in my childhood. I just needed to figure out how to integrate my love for all things old skool with my everyday life, and then Fresh Retro Juice happened.

After the initial designs for my tees were made, and I Forest Gumped my way through creating a brand, social media marketing, Facebook Ads and not losing the will to live... I found my stride-ish. BUT not without sweat, tears and the huge realisation that I was making it all up as I went along.However, like a cheesy but beautiful Rocky boxing montage, I made a lot of mistakes, struggled and I still find myself learning (and nervously laughing!) everyday. Here are my top 6 things you should know when trying to sell clothing as an independent online retailer.

1. Putting Yourself Out There Is Brutal & Scary

Self promotion is something that makes me cringe on a daily basis. I would prefer to just be silent, get more sleep and still have people shop on my store. But alas we all know that in order to get customers... you better work bitch!

rupaul work bitch.gif

If you want to succeed and actually come across like you know what you're doing, then you have to fake it til you make it! Spamming your friends and family and anyone who has eyes with your brand might feel like desperation, but it does pay off and is necessary. You have to get over your fear of being judged within an inch of your life because you're being judged anyways so you might as well try and make a few quid doing it!

2. The Interweb Has ALL The Opinions

Another reality with starting your own business online, is the fact that you are now opened to being crucified by complete strangers. It's so much fun... said absolutely nobody... ever.

why dont you love me.gif

I've had comments from complete randoms telling me how my tees are ugly, the design sucks, how I should've done it differently, why it's factually incorrect and my favourite, "I could've done that!" Well honey you didn't... so go suck a dick!! IS what I would like to say... but of course professionalism and passive aggressive retorts are my friends. Having an online business means developing a thick skin otherwise it'll be tears before bedtime.

3. Customer Service Can Be Full On

Especially if you don't know what you're doing. I am so grateful for my many years in the past working in customer services for various stores and online retailers, as I feel equipped with answering queries without wanting to punch my computer screen! I know what good customer service looks like so I can pride myself on not ruining my business before it's even started with disgruntled shoppers. The customer is not always right. There I said it! They will work your last nerve and smash out a few choice words in CAPS LOCK... BUT compromise, compassion and not being a prick helps when trying to provide a good customer service experience. It also helps if you are passionate about your brand, then you will 100% care that much more about your customers.

4. Copyright Infringement & Intellectual Property Are Not Made Up Words

You might have an awesome idea for a tee design based on your favourite film, brand or celebrity but chances are you won’t be able to use it. You might also think that you’re such a small indie retailer that nobody will notice… but trust me… someone will always find you! Now, you can read all the legal articles on what is and is not ok when it comes to producing your own print on demand clothing, but you probably still won’t be any clearer on what the hell will keep you on the right side of the law. Unless you have a commercial license agreement for the image, or have permission from the original source of the image, then the general rule is thus: DON’T BOTHER! That’s unless you fancy paying out a fair few quid when you’re caught… and you will be caught eventually. The other flip side to copyright infringement is when it comes to your own work. Some unimaginative schmuck at some point will copy your design or just straight up lift the exact image and sell it on merchandise themselves. These people are scumbags but you can’t police the entire internet. Just keep an eye out and if you see your work being displayed elsewhere without your authorisation… swear a lot and curse Zeus! AND THEN contact the website immediately asking them firmly but politely to take it down. It might take a while and require you to jump through various hoops or threaten legal action, but do not let some random profit from your work. Fight the power!

5. You Will Spend A Lot Of Money

Whether that's on Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Instagram influencers or just a PR attempt to harness some new eyes on your store... you will definitely start having panic sweats about your outgoings.

Help-Me-Im-Poor-Bridesmaids.gif

The old saying of you need to spend money to make money is annoying as hell... but so damn true. You do need to inject some cash into a business to give it a chance. Unless you become an accidental viral star overnight, then you will be throwing a fair few fun tokens to get your new venture off the ground. I can promise you that there will be times when you think "screw this... it's not worth it" and question your life choices. Now I wouldn't exactly scream Carpe Diem and continue spending like Monopoly money because it's your dream and Beyonce said so! Because life isn't a Hollywood movie and re-mortgaging your parents home to get out of debt is never ideal! I would however suggest to have a plan, stick to the plan and if you find yourself financially struggling then pause. It doesn't mean you are a failure. It just means you need to switch it up and try something else. Practice makes perfect and failing is really just life-ing!

6. YouTube Videos Of Successful Entrepreneurs Is Bad For The Soul

Now I love me some YouTube. Especially those times when I'm sucked into a black hole of Flash Mob videos or watching intros to 80s cartoons... but I digress. It's also a really handy learning tool. I have been heavily invested in Facebook Ads over the last few months and I educated myself through trial and error plus many hours watching YouTube videos of people doing the same as myself. I would say about 2% of the videos I watched were straight forward, honest and focused on actually helping you. The other 98% featured entrepreneurs who looked about twelve, wearing back to front baseball caps whilst driving Lamborghinis and telling you that you too can be a millionaire if you do this one thing. AND that one thing was always a buying a course from them that would set you back around £3k! It's a no from me. Take what these 'influencers' say with a heavy pinch of salt because not one size fits all. Make notes and adapt strategies to your business model and don't be distracted by chasing the money or the lifestyle perpetuated in the videos... because you will feel like absolute shit. Just do you babe!

harrison ford thumbs up.gif






Why Subscription Boxes For Geeks Are The Best

ShemboComment
RetroGeek.jpg

If you’re not a retro nerd enthusiast, then this website is probably not where you want to be right now! But for those who like to swim in the sea of nostalgia and laugh out loud at childhood memories from the 80s and 90s, then please deposit your fun tokens here! There’s a rising appreciation for all things vintage that leaves a warm fuzzy feeling inside. In an age where we are drowning in new technology, social media and the digital desperation to stay “on trend” and current, there is an affectionate revolution especially amongst the 1980s kids, for analogue, youthful memories… and I fully support this! Nostalgia marketing is popping up all over the place and so it wasn’t long before the business of subscription boxes got in the mix!

How do monthly subscription boxes work?

Essentially, you’re signing up to a lucky dip box posted through your letterbox every month. Subscription boxes are an e-commerce business model that offer an ongoing regular delivery of certain items in a niche industry. Depending on what you’re into, whether it’s men’s grooming kits, anime or gluten free snacks, you can receive a bunch of goodies as a fine present to yourself or as a gift for someone else. One highly popular niche is geeks and gaming which can cover anything from board games, graphic novels and video games.

One of the most popular monthly subscription boxes that excited a lot of gamer geeks and comic fans is Loot Crate. These nice folk offer subscription boxes for pop culture collectibles, anime, WWE, gaming apparel, official Marvel stuff and even J K Rowling inspired wizardry products. All you have to do is pick your crate/box, Loot Crate then create a pick n mix bundle for you and you get a new delivery each month (or a card from the postman saying they tried to deliver even though you were home the entire time!)

Now as some people may or may not be aware of, I am a huge geek for retro t-shirts. It’s an illness that I quite enjoy… like salad cream sandwiches! There are so many amazing designs that tickles me right in the nostalgic feels that I just can’t help but purchase as many as I can. (Aaaand then weep ever so slightly at my overflowing wardrobe space!)

I needed them all because… reasons!

I needed them all because… reasons!

Now what would be awesome is marrying the idea of original-geeky-retro-inspired t-shirts with a subscription box! Please enter… Monthly Tee Club!

These guys based in the UK offer various no contract options with the fab t-shirts they ship out each month. Simply tell them your interests, and they will work their tee magic for as long as you want to be making your mates jealous! You only pay the monthly fee and then simply crack on with being a bit of a legend!

Pros:

  • If you truly believe that the gift of tees are a burden on your life, then cancelling your subscription is always a super easy option. (The wrong option… but still!) So, you won’t be put on hold, fobbed off with radio silence, endure guilt-ridden emails or have some muppet trying to up-sell you alternatives or a timeshare in Tenerife!

(Fun story: I tried to end a phone contract once. It didn’t work. I ended up with another mobile phone and a MiniDisc player!) 

  • Referring your pals gets you a free t-shirt! We all like free stuff!

  • The box of t-shirt goodness fits through the average letterbox so you don’t have to schedule a fictitious doctor’s appointments just to stay home and await your parcel!

  • Monthly Tee Club are all bout charitee! Every month members of their Tee4aTee Project are subscribed, the team will donate a t-shirt to someone who would benefit from fresh clean clothing, something that we all take for granted. This little high five and support to those who really need it makes Monthly Tee Club a brand we all need to get behind.

 Cons:

  • If you’re away on your holidays there is no current way to pause your subscription.

  • You will have numerous envious people stopping you in Tesco asking where you got your tee from!

 

The Best Retro T-Shirts for Millennials

ShemboComment
retro t-shirts for millennials.PNG

So, I have a problem. A problem that I am in no way, shape or form willing to rectify. I’m that idiot/nerd/self-proclaimed retro ninja who wears 'ironic' old skool t-shirts with my favourite nostalgic memories stretched across the front. It started off with one harmless Goonies t-shirt from the amazing website TruffleShuffle.com when I was 22, and then the obsession spiralled well into my 30s. 

retro t-shirts.JPG
retro t-shirts 2.JPG

While my friends were getting married and making babies… I was (and still am!) dealing with adulting by refusing to move on from my formative childhood years! Some may say it’s a sickness… but maybe they’re just jealous… right?!  

jim carey ace ventura.gif

Whether it’s 90s pop culture references, retro gaming, 80s movies or a homage to Button Moon, I need it in my wardrobe. If you happen to be a millennial coined by the media as those born between 1981 and 1996, then you too might fancy wearing awesome retro tees that makes people point and laugh/high five you in public. If so, then you absolutely need to check out these top 10 nostalgic t-shirts post haste!

Back to the Future – Flux Capacitor 

The Back to the Future trilogy is arguably one of the most iconic and most recognisable point of references when talking about classic 80s films. The first and second instalment also happens to be one of my absolute fave movies. The third film I tend to watch more as background noise because Michael J Fox’s Irish accent is offensive! 

Bill and Ted – Wyld Stallyns  

Another classic movie starring the ageless vampiric Keanu Reeves. Their bodacious band the Wyld Stallyns will be making a comeback and so this retro t-shirt will be ahead of its time when Bill and Ted 3 hits our screens! (Please don’t feck it up… please don’t feck it up!) 

bill and ted 3.jpg

If series linking every episode of Murder, She Wrote is wrong… then honey I don’t wanna be right! This sleuthing-writer-genius-extraordinaire and all round busybody got me through many “I don’t want to write my dissertation” days at university. You know when Jessica Fletcher is in town, some murdering shit is about to go down! 

You Can Call Me Al  

The Paul Simon song that makes everyone lose their shit in an inebriated jubilation at a wedding! It’s also very entertaining when you actually have a friend called Al and you drag him into a dance circle pointing and laughing at him as if he has never ever experienced this before! Hilarity ensues for you and your friends… but not for your mate Al. Poor Al. 

Brucey Bonus – Bruce Forsyth 

The late great legend himself who seemed to have stayed the exact same age from my childhood of Bedknobs and Broomsticks right up until his last toe tapping moments on Strictly Come Dancing. Powder pink is also apparently the colour of millennials, so this t-shirt is the perfect combo! 

Teletext 

Remember checking football scores, the top 10 music charts, booking last minute cheap holidays and of course Bamboozle! Now trying to explain Teletext to anyone born past the year of 1995 is like trying to explain quantum physics to an infant. “But why did you not just use the internet…” **ROLLS EYES SO HARD I SPRAIN MY CORNEA**

Art Attack 

Getting home from school and watching Neil Buchanan create an absolute masterpiece from a few toilet rolls, kitchen foil and a scuba diving kit casually lying around! Art Attack made me beg my parents for PVA glue and poster paints that subsequently destroyed the kitchen table all in the name of art! 

Fun House 

Another after school classic that filled me with intense jealousy at the kids who got to drive those go-karts! It was like a giant soft play arena with a little Gladiator-esque assault course thrown in for good measure! With Pat Sharp’s mullet, the delightful twins and semi competitive/aggressive gameplay… there was nothing but love for Fun House!

Street Fighter II  

Street Fighter is the ultimate button basher retro video game! Remember that one time when you didn’t have a clue how you just pulled off a Ryu special move triple combo (just made that up!) but acted like you totally knew what you were doing? Yep. This game also evokes the demonic spirit of game rage when you’re getting your ass handed to you by Chun-Li’s shitty little kicks! So sure, why not get the t-shirt and remember the good times!

Trap Door 

Don’t you open that… TRAP DOOR! Not going to lie, the intro to this classic 1980s animation actually still scares me a little! The theme song is instantly recognisable as is the lead character Berk (“Allo!”) which should make your childhood come flooding back to you! And if it doesn’t… did you even have a childhood?!