New Shop Indie: Words & Pictures

We’ll never get tired of finding a new community of artists who’ve found a home with Big Cartel. Thanks to one of our own, we’re getting to know a group of artists and storytellers who share a certain graphic style. Joey Cruz is Big Cartel’s resident superhero expert, and part of our essential support team. Along with his collaborator, Michelle, he writes a webcomic called Reckstar. Using his enthusiasm for the art form, Joey collected a group of ideal gifts for the person who never misses Comic-Con.

Find great independent graphic artists in the #ShopIndie gift guide »

Teach Your Trade

In January 2016, Big Cartel and Skillshare are teaming up on a Teach Your Trade contest. The challenge? Create an online class and share your expertise with a global community of students. Big Cartel store owners such as Kate Miss, Melanie Abrantes and ADAMJK have already created great classes on Skillshare, and we want to see what knowledge you’d share with friends and followers.

Skillshare is inviting the Big Cartel community to add “teacher” to your list of job titles. Create your class before Feb. 12, 2016 and let us know that you’re a store owner. You could win a prize package including a free Big Cartel store for life, a new iPad Pro, and a 1-year premium Skillshare membership.

Read more and enter to win over at Skillshare »

Navigating your orders

It’s been a couple of months now since we launched our new orders admin and the feedback has been awesome. However, mixed in with the high-fives was a deep longing for the apparently beloved “next and back arrows” from our current admin. Well, ask and you shall receive. Today we’re happy to announce the arrows are back, along with the hot key shortcuts, and a few other improvements we think you’ll enjoy.

Viewing the next and previous order

By popular demand, you can now click to view the next and previous order in your list. Of course, our team went a step further, and unlike our current admin, the next and previous orders are now relative to whatever filtering or searching got you there. So now, if you were just looking at shipped orders, or had just searched for orders matching a specific customer email, the next and previous orders remember that.

Using the arrow hot keys

For you power users out there, you’ll no longer need to take your hand off the comfy keyboard, and can once again use the ← and → arrow keys to switch orders. Combined with the overall speed boost our team has made, this is a crazy fast way to cruise through orders. Try it! Seeing how nice this was led us to adding hot keys to the order list pages as well. Tell your lonely mouse we’re sorry.

Returning to where you came from

And finally, when you’re looking at a giant list of orders, and click to view the one you care about, we needed a better way to return to the list when you’re done. Sure you could use the browser’s back button, like an animal, but it’s way up there and you’re looking way down here. So we now have a simple Done button at the bottom of each order that will take you back exactly where you were in the list. It’s better.

Shop Talk presented by Unique Markets + Big Cartel

We’re thrilled to announce Shop Talk, a new collaboration between Unique Markets and Big Cartel. It’s a full day of workshops led by and made for artists and makers to help build their businesses, share experiences, and connect with their creative community. This 1-day conference is coming to Portland, OR on January 30, 2016.

Hear from makers like Emily Katz of Modern Macrame and Josh Kenyon of Jolby + Friends. Unique Markets founder Sonja Rasula will also speak about building her community.

Space is extremely limited, so don’t wait to grab your ticket. The discount code LETSGO will get friends and Big Cartel store owners $25 off the registration fee. Read up on the details over at Eventbrite.

Introducing Christy Stout

We’re happy to introduce the newest member of our team, Christy Stout. She’s jumping in as Engineering Manager, supporting all of our developers, their projects, and making sure we’re running as efficiently as possible.

Residing in Austin, Texas, it’s no surprise that Christy and her family are passionate and talented musicians. She’s played the violin for many years, and in the last few has taught herself how to play guitar. On any given day, you can find Christy practicing or performing with her band, Wicked Suzies (formerly Cosmic Dust Bunnies), taking her teens to their music lessons, or whipping up something delicious to eat (homemade popcorn and cinnamon rolls are two of her many specialties).

Christy has always had an interest in math and science. Her older brother, an electrical engineer, influenced her decision to jump into the field, and as a result she holds a degree in electrical engineering. Throughout her career she’s worked in many different roles, most recently engineering management. With nearly 20 years of experience in the field, Christy’s the perfect fit for this role and will help make Big Cartel even better. We couldn’t be more excited to have her on the team.

2015 Recap

2015 was a huge year for Big Cartel - not only for our team, but for the army of talented artists who build their businesses with us. Big Cartel turned 10 this year! Like the artists who use our tools, we’re proud to be independently owned and operated.

Hundreds of thousands of makers, musicians, and other artists have joined us this year, and we love that you’re part of our growing community. We cheered as we watched Cards for All People, Mike Mitchell, and many other Big Cartel shops experience amazing, record breaking Holiday Rush weekends.

This year saw the launch of an all-new bigcartel.com, updated with a fresh coat of paint and tons of other improvements and additions. If you’re new here, check out a Tour of Big Cartel, swing by our Examples page to see a sampling of the talented makers you’re joining, and see some fun events and projects we support on our Community page.

We couldn’t be more excited to start previewing the new Big Cartel admin. First, a brand new Orders area to quickly search and fulfill orders, add private notes, and review order history.

And we keep making Big Cartel for iPhone better and better. Use our app to take Big Cartel with you wherever you want to manage your shop and sell your goods. If you don’t have an iPhone, no need to worry - we’ve got you covered with a beautiful mobile admin to match at my.bigcartel.com.

We released two new themes so you can keep things fresh in your shop, too. Neat was designed by Big Cartel designer Carl DeCaire, and Good Vibes was the latest fun and vibrant theme created by the folks at Ghostly Ferns.

When your business grows, we know you need additional tools to get the job done. This year, we released an API for companies like ShipStation and Printful to make your Big Cartel shop even more robust. This changed the game for ADAMJK, and it can for your shop, too. Check out our new Apps page to see some of the best tools and services you can connect to your Big Cartel shop.

We partnered with Skillshare to bring you great classes to sharpen your design and sales skills. Kate Miss and Melanie Abrantes were amazing teachers, sharing their expertise with aspiring makers everywhere. No hall pass or cash needed here - these classes are free! All you need is a good WiFi connection.

We love browsing through all the beautiful products our shops sell, and we want to show them off to the world. We gave Shop Indie a makeover and it’s now home to over a dozen curated guides, handpicked by artists like Erik Marinovich, Nishat Akhtar, Meg Lewis, and many of Big Cartel’s own.

Featuring more than 35 artists from Big Cartel’s roster, Salt Lake City locals got to see this year’s pop-up shop, the Small Box Shop! We stocked goods from some of our favorite independent makers including Blk Pine Workshop, Got a Girl Crush, Scout & Catalogue, OH NO Rachio!, The Good Twin, and many more.

To keep up with all these rad shops, our team grew, too. We added four kind, knowledgeable souls to our Support team, six new people to our Engineering team, our Operations team grew to two, and our Community team added two new folks to the mix. Plus, we’ve added three adorable babies and five sweet dogs to the Big Cartel family!

Our small-but-mighty Support team answered over 80,000 questions this year - that’s over 1,500 a week! - and they still have time to put together great resources like our extensive Help site. We’re pretty darn lucky to have them on our team.

Thanks for an amazing 2015, but more importantly, for a decade of Big Cartel. This wouldn’t be possible without you being a part of our community of artists. All of us here at Big Cartel come to work every day with smiles on our faces because of artists like you. Thank you.

New Shop Indie: Small Box Shop No. 3

We’re approaching the final weekend to shop the Small Box Shop in Salt Lake City! The holiday pop-up shop features some products we couldn’t resist from over 35 independent brands on Big Cartel. To give you a taste, we chose a few favorites from the store and put them in gift guides that you can shop from anywhere.

Finish up your holiday gift buying and #ShopIndie »

Shop Indie Spotlight: Cards for All People

Jay Bobo and Latesha Williams started working on an idea that came from a genuine interest in people and our social and cultural identities. In the summer of 2015, Cards for All People was born. They joined Big Cartel because it was familiar and affordable, and came recommended by Jay’s sister, who uses Big Cartel for her own store.

Sales really took off after a feature in Essence about their flagship product, the card game Black Card Revoked. How did an independent, new brand get featured by such a respected magazine? “We pitched them,” Jay says, and they stuck with it until it happened. “Advice? Be consistent,” and influence the person who has the ability to influence thousands. “It’s an old trick Latesha and I learned from working in sports and entertainment.”

You don’t need a big public relations team - Cards for All People is proof that even indie artists can make a big splash in a large publication. A little persistence and friendliness goes a long way.

Orders stayed strong for Cards for All People during the Holiday Rush weekend, especially after the game was featured on sites like BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and The Root. They were prepared for the social media buzz, too. They told fans to tag posts with #BlackCardRevoked - you can search that hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to see hundreds of people excitedly chatting about their game.

To keep up with demand, Cards for All People enlisted many of their friends and family to help pack and ship orders. As they get caught up with holiday orders, they’re going to keep packing boxes full of fun. Next up? Nerd Card Revoked.

Pro tip: Before you find yourself with a rush of visitors, be equipped with an official hashtag to keep the conversation going after the initial press boost slows down. This gives you a chance to interact with happy customers, connect with a larger audience, and build a loyal following. You can handle any increase in traffic with ease by making sure you’re up-to-date on Social Media best practices, and by being ready with solid Customer Support and Care policies.

Pick up Black Card Revoked for your next get-together »

New Shop Indie: Small Box Shop No. 2

Have you heard about the Small Box Shop? This holiday season, we stocked up on goods from over 35 independent brands to sell in our pop-up shop in Salt Lake City. We’ve curated a gift guide with some of our favorite products from the store, so you can do some shopping while staying warm and cozy.

Two of three gift guides from the Small Box Shop are available to #ShopIndie »

Rush Weekend Recap

Big Cartel artists had a record breaking Black Friday weekend. The hard work and preparation paid off for our community of store owners during the busiest shopping week of the year. Congrats on the incredible weekend, and thanks for letting us be a part of your story.

The weekend after Thanksgiving can be daunting. Big businesses launch huge marketing campaigns with deep discounts and it can be hard for small shops to get the word out. Your thoughtful newsletters, discounts for loyal Facebook fans, and new product announcements on Instagram and Twitter were really embraced by shoppers. Over the weekend, Big Cartel shops processed hundreds of thousands of orders, eclipsing last year’s standard-setting weekend. The gift-buying season isn’t over yet, but Thanksgiving weekend’s sales make a huge difference to home-grown businesses, and we’re proud to have a small role in your day-to-day.

The staff at Big Cartel planned ahead and worked hard over the weekend too. Our Community Team created the Holiday Rush Calendar to help you stay organized and sold goods from over 35 Big Cartel stores in the Small Box Shop in Salt Lake City. The support team answered 900 emails over the weekend as shop owners updated designs, added products, and even launched brand new stores. Our software engineers made sure your shops ran smoothly.

If you’re ready to take a turn doing some shopping of your own, visit our #ShopIndie gift guides, which are full of products from your fellow independent makers. And keep an eye on the Holiday Rush Calendar to stay organized through the rest of the season. Congrats on the incredible weekend, and thanks for being part of the Big Cartel army of artists!