Big Cartel Blog

Contest videos rolling in

Our Store From Scratch contest deadline is fast approaching, and video entries are starting to roll in - like the above gem from Longlive the Swarm. Let this be the kick in the pants you need to get moving on your own behind-the-scenes video. I mean, come on, you could win $2,000 and a store for life. Enter here »

For those of you still nervous about making your video, we’ve put together some tips so you can dive right in with confidence. Remember that you don’t have to have a big budget or be a pro - we just want you to get your hands dirty and make something cool to help promote your store. Get video tips »

Welcome Chris Brozek

We’re shifting and shaking up our Support Fort a bit, but it’s taking nice shape with the latest addition to our Big Cartel team, Chris Brozek. Chris has a long history of being the most patient soul in the world, so he can tenderly handle just about any issue you send his way.

His story is a familiar one ‘round these parts. Chris is married to our own Anna, and the two of them owned a record shop in SLC that once employed our office manager, Vanessa. So you could say his addition to the BC team is a reunion of sorts, and we’re happy to now be the home of this indie-loving trifecta. Be sure to contact Chris if you need any help and welcome him to the team while you’re at it.

Shop roundup

Is one of your new year’s resolutions to become more crafty? Well then, Assemble Shop & Studio has just what you need. They offer a variety of crafting kits and publications, stamps, stationary to help you cultivate your crafting skills. Our current fave: Hardcover Bookbinding in Golden Honeycomb Lokta »

Denmark based, Paper Collective, works with artists from around the world to create beautiful prints and promote great causes and charities. Our current fave: Al Niqab Al Hamra by Emilie Imán »

The Found Co shop’s jewelry steals the scene, as all pieces have been “crafted as wearable art to showcase the unique and individual style of their inherently organic nature.” Our current fave: Rose & Smoke Quartz Crystal Necklace »

Have a case of the winter blues? Fear not, Rothirsch, has just the sled to cure those winter blues and make you feel like a child again. Our current fave: Hörnerschlitten »

Maker’s Workshop focuses on offering handcrafted goods created by independent makers and the timelessness and soul behind these products. Our current fave: Geo Wall Vase »

Big Cartel art class with CUAC

Our last art class with CUAC was such an adorable success that we’re doing it again. If you’re in Utah and the parent of a lil’ one, mark your calendar for January 28 at 4pm. We’ll be at the Salt Lake City Main Library teaching, playing, and laughing with kids (ages 3-12) while learning about icons and symbols. Join us »

2013 recap

We took a little extra time to crunch the numbers, and turns out 2013 was a pretty great year for Big Cartel shops. Keeping it short, sweet, and sexy - our year end recap shows off how incredibly badass all 450,000+ of our stores really are. We love you all!

View our 2013 recap »

Checkout 1.1 iPhone update

Selling in person requires some finesse - and the right tools. With Big Cartel Checkout you are automatically hooked up with your online store to sell in person, take cash or credit card payments, all in sync with your inventory and stats. So today we are pretty stoked for our update to add some more tools to your in-person sales.

Discounts - We wanted to it as simple as possible to offer discounts. Now you can add a discount to any order in seconds and see it update the total in real time. Perfect for when you’re having a sale or when an old friend comes by to make a purchase.

Tax - When you’re selling in person at a market or retail shop or event - municipalities almost always require you charge sales tax. So we’ve made tax a setting in the options panel of Checkout (the gear icon) to help you collect exactly what you need. Set the tax percentage once and it will be added to all subsequent orders. You can always head back to the options panel and change it to reflect any new rates.

Credit Card Identification - Now when you start typing in a customer’s credit card number, Big Cartel Checkout auto-detects what kind of card it is. We even show you an icon of the card to make sure things are working properly.

In addition to these three features we’ve packed in a slew of stability and speed enhancements to help you stay ahead of the curve. As always, if you have any feedback please drop us a note in the app. (Settings > Email a question)

Giveaway: Flying M Coffee

Update: A winner has been randomly chosen and contacted, so this giveaway is closed. Keep your eyes peeled here for more contests in the future. And thanks to Flying M and everyone who entered!

It’s about time for us to show another Big Cartel shop some love with a giveaway. So we bought a few bags of the delicious House Blend from Flying M Coffee - and now we want to give ‘em to you. Do you love coffee? Do you love contests? Then today just might be your day.

The fine folks at Flying M not only roast their own beans at the Coffeegarage, but they also host a slew of indie music shows. They’ve had bands like Pure Bathing Culture, Wye Oak, The Head and the Heart, Mount Eerie, and many more. But back to the coffee, the House Blend consists of a French roast paired with a medium roast Indonesian producing a powerful, bittersweet cup. If that’s perked you up, then get on your Twitter, Vine, or Instagram and enter already! Details below.

The loot

We’ve got five 12 oz bags of the House Blend to share, so we’ll be picking 5 winners for this Flying M giveaway.

To enter

Show us how you enjoy your favorite cup of joe with a little video posted on Twitter, Vine, or Instagram. Be sure to tag @bigcartel and use the hashtag #pickmeBC. Winners will be selected at random on Monday morning, but - as with all things in life - the more creative the better.

Manage your orders on the go

We’re super pumped to introduce you to the first piece of a completely mobile admin, starting with mobile order management. This is just the beginning, but while we’re building the rest - we want you to put mobile order access to good use.

We built this completely from the ground up. We tossed out everything and started fresh so we could run the latest technologies - including HTML5, CSS 3, and Rails 4. Designed specifically for your smartphone, everything is mobile-optimized. Pages load faster and are easier to use with the stubbiest of fingers on any phone or tablet. This means we simplified our design and focused on your user experience - so you can get your work done faster and easier. This new system allows us to build new features and update the admin faster and more frequently. Hooray!

Like we said, we’re just getting started. We’re already hard at work on the next big thing, and we’ll drop that as soon as it’s ready for you. So what are you waiting for? Grab your phone and log in to your shop at manage.bigcartel.com to start managing your orders now.

Winter Warmup: party in SLC

Guys, it’s really cold in Salt Lake City. But the air has finally cleared out a bit, Sundance Film Festival starts this week, and hell, it’s an exciting new year. So we’re having all of our friends over for a party. If you’re a local, or will be in town for the festival, stop by BCHQ on Saturday for live music, drinks, food, and good times.

The party is totally free, and open to anyone, but you do need to RSVP. That’s not too much to ask, right?!

Where: Big Cartel HQ - enter through 252 S Edison St
When: Saturday, January 18
7pm to whenever - Party time! Music starts at 8.
RSVP »

Make your video, enter our contest

We’re so excited to see what behind the scenes videos hit our inbox for our Store From Scratch Contest. We know that making an awesome video might not be on your resume, or in your budget. But what you don’t know is that our example video was shot entirely on an iPhone, edited using iMovie, used free public domain music, and was completed in just about a week. So no matter your budget or skill level, we’re sure you can do this. If you’re still nervous about diving deep into video making, check out our tips below.

  1. Shoot more than you need. Once you sit down to edit you want all the shots and more at your fingertips.
  2. Use what you’ve got. Our example video was shot entirely on an iPhone 5 and edited completely in iMovie.
  3. Titles add a nice professional touch. Overlayed titles in our example movie were created using Photoshop. The titles were saved out as transparent pngs at full size (Typically 1920px X 1080px or 1280px X 720px) and placed in iMovie as “cutaways.” The transparency can be adjusted and effects can be added in iMovie.
  4. Be clever with your edits. Have your music chosen and ready to go. Then start playing with edits timed to the beats and transitions in the soundtrack. Use those cues to help you find perfect spots to change from one shot to another.

Above all, we’re looking for a store that showcases their process in a fresh way. This video should be a tool you can use to promote your store and give your fans a taste of how your operate. Create a video that really showcases your brand and the personality behind it. And good luck!

Enter the Store From Scratch Contest now »