WeMake Celebrates recap

Thank you, Portland, for making us feel at home during Design Week. WeMake Celebrates turned out to be the best way to celebrate the end of the week, with a packed house of enthusiastic locals, ready to have fun and raise funds for arts and music education in Portland.

Our “RAD LIBS” maker activity, a collaboration with our pals Jolby & Friends, was a hit and countless attendees lined up to make their own fill-in-the-blanks poster using 16 different stamps to uncover a hidden story about their creative process.

We certainly left feeling inspired by the event, activities, makers and artists that came together to make the night such a success!

Book Party at Big Cartel HQ

Our friend, artist Adam J. Kurtz, made a book! It’s all about finding everyday inspiration, and you can pick up a copy from your favorite independent book store.

Adam’s hitting the road for a book tour, and we’re excited to throw him a little party as he makes his way through Salt Lake City. If you’re local (or close enough), join us on Tuesday, October 21 for drinks, books, and super chill hangs. Join the event on Facebook to let us know you’ll be there »

Big Cartel + WeMake + Design Week Portland

Design Week Portland is off and running and, lucky for us, we’ve been invited to help close out the week’s festivities this Friday at WeMake Celebrates. Festivities will include a special sketchXchange with Lisa Congdon, performances from Portland’s School of Rock and the Put A Bird In It fundraising auction to raise money for arts and education. A couple of our designers created two birdhouses for the auction, along with a bunch (over 80!) of other amazing designers we love. Get a sneak peek and a chance to pre-order these one of a kind birdhouses here.

Shop the full set of birdhouse early at: wemakepdx.bigcartel.com

Last, but certainly not least, we’ve teamed up with the ridiculously talented team at Jolby & Friends on a collaborative maker activity. A set of create-your-own-story posters done “Mad-Lib” style. We’re calling it “RAD LIBS”, a blind, phrasal word activity you’ll sorta just need to come experience.

Where: Leftbank Annex When: Friday, October 10th, 7 pm Tickets: FREE!

Big Cartel is 9 years old!


Bootstrapping a creative and independent business is hard work, and certainly not for the faint of heart. It takes resourcefulness, patience, and an endless supply of motivation. There are times when it gets really tough – trying to do so much with so little. But there are other times where you see it all paying off. When you can step back and look at this unique thing you’ve built, and see all of the people that benefit from it.

These are the feelings that our 500,000 artists go through every day, but also the 24 of us here at Big Cartel. Because, like you, we are independent. We are self-funded. We are selling a handmade product. We are doing it the hard way. And we love it. We couldn’t imagine doing anything else. So from everyone here making the tools, to all of you out there using them every day, thank you for helping us reach another birthday.

New Field Guide: Fraud

Once your shop is open and orders start to roll in, it’s natural to excitedly pack and ship your items right away. In fact, that’s great customer care! But when you see a large order with lots of special requests, it could be a sign that something is fishy. Read this new guide about avoiding fraud so that you know when it’s time to put down the shipping supplies and do a little investigating.

Protect yourself from refunds on fraudulent orders, and make sure your products all find loving homes. Investigate the fraud field guide now »

New Big Cartel merch in the shop

We’re very excited to announce a brand new line of products for the Big Cartel shop, not to mention a complete refresh of the photography and the shop itself.

As we started working on a new collection, we were inspired by the many late nights we know you spend refining your craft. Those late nights can often feel a bit dark and even rebellious, running against the current of the rest of society. We know how tiring and lonely that can be, but we also know it’s absolutely worth it.

This idea inspired every aspect of the new shop: from the products themselves, to the photoshoot and styling of the products.

This image of hundreds of thousands of independent shop owners working away sparked the idea for the United Artists Union. While it might not be an actual union, it’s an army of individuals brought together by their need to create. This collection of products is a uniform of sorts, a reminder that even when you’re working alone in your studio, you’re part of something bigger.

Join the United Artists Union today »

Our friends and followers on Instagram have gotten a few glimpses of what we’ve been working on. Make sure and follow us for early glimpses and behind-the-scenes photos of upcoming projects.

A special thanks to designers Erik Marinovich, Curtis Jinkins, and Eight Hour Day for helping put all of this together, and to photographer Steven Stone for making it all look pretty darn cool.

Big Cartel's 500,000th shop!

We’re blown away that, less than 2 years after we reached 250,000 stores, Big Cartel is now home to over 500,000 artists, makers, designers, curators, builders, technology nerds, and independent business owners. As part of this army of hard-working individuals, you spend your time (and maybe even a little sweat and/or tears) creating unique handmade goods for the masses. Thanks for believing in Big Cartel and entrusting us to help you sell your goods. We certainly believe in you.

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Meet Big Cartel’s 500,000th store: Left for Wolves is a Melbourne, Australia-based metalcore band, and has been making music since 2009. First a solo project by vocalist Regan, it took years of planning, relocating, and looking for the right musicians until, in March 2011, Left for Wolves became the 5-person band it is today.

Being in a band that’s working to pay the bills while building a name for yourself means that each member wears many hats. Regan, vocals, is the primary song writer, and takes care of booking shows. Chris, guitar, designs album artwork and a few of the t-shirts that the band sells online. Steve, drums, makes his car an impromptu tour bus when the band goes on the road.

Left for Wolves is a group of musicians that thoroughly embraces and exemplifies the DIY ethos so near and dear to our world. We’re proud to be supporting the same kind of independent bands that our founders first envisioned when they created Big Cartel. Let’s all raise our glasses to Left for Wolves’ hard-earned success and to many more artists like them finding a home at Big Cartel.

Shop leftforwolves.bigcartel.com now »

Updated tax settings

We’ve updated our tax settings, bringing them into your admin so you can quickly and easily charge a flat sales tax by region.

PayPal users have always been able to use PayPal’s tax settings, but now those using seamless checkout can charge tax on orders with a few clicks in your admin.


Ready to give it a try? First, make sure you’re set up to use seamless checkout (confirm your Checkout options in the Settings section of your admin), then set up tax nice and easy:

  • In the Options section of your store settings, check the box labeled Tax.
  • You decide the tax rate, and whether or not it applies to shipping.
  • For US store owners, pick which state is taxed.
  • For EU store owners, apply tax only within your country, or throughout the EU.
  • For store owners who are not in the US or EU, simply add tax by country.

Tax can be a complicated little monster, so for those that are looking for more information including helpful links to tax rates in their region, give our handy tax guide a quick read.

New Field Guide: T-shirts


You have a great idea for a t-shirt design, but successful selling doesn’t stop there. Learn more about production, pricing, and whether the whole operation will fit in that corner of your living room in our latest field guide. Read through our recommendations and you’ll have old and new friends wearing your wares in no time.

Ready to get some screen printing ink under your fingernails? Take a moment and explore the t-shirt field guide now »

The Road to SXSW: Part 4

The fourth installment of our Road to SXSW series is now on our Community page. This final part of the video series features Hunter of Gold Robot Records and Jessi of Father Daughter Records. These passionate record labels, along with Inflated and Small Plates made the massive Liberation showcase possible.

Watch Road to SXSW: Part 4 now!

All four installments of the Road to SXSW video series are available on the Community page. Thanks to filmmaker Tyler Coray for documenting the journey.