Please state your name and occupation at Big Cartel.
My name is Blake Walters and I am a Big Cartel Software Engineer, specializing in front-end development.
How long have you been with Big Cartel?
It’s been eighteen months now, which somehow seems much shorter and much longer than it feels.
Out of the all the projects you’ve worked on, what has been your favorite?
That’s a tough one since there have been a ton of really great things that I’ve gotten to build since starting. If I had to narrow it down to just one though it would probably be the Big Cartel Shop. Starting off the team was very focused and had a very clear vision of what they wanted the storefront to look and feel like, but there was a lot of freedom in how it was executed. We had amazing product photography and a gorgeous design and when it was handed off I pretty much had free reign when it came to animations and transitions and implementation details. Looking back it’s nice to see the little touches that I got to leave my mark on.
It was also incredibly eye opening since, in that instant, we became one of our own customers. We used Dugway to build our custom shop theme and manage the store right in the admin - using inventory tracking and shipping status. And Shop was our testing ground for the new seamless checkout system. It was nice to be able to see things from that perspective: what worked well and what some of the pain points were, and I think it’s really informed some of our design and development decisions since.
I might just be remembering things through rose-colored glasses though. Dan did bribe me with a case of Red Bull to get the theme build finished.
How do you spend your time outside of Big Cartel?
Most of the time you’d find me sitting on the couch with a controller in my hand. Video games have always been a huge part of my life - I think early on it was a coping mechanism from being a gawky, nerdy, socially inept kid but these days it’s just about being immersed in stories and details and gameplay mechanics and competition.
Other than that I like to cook, love cars (driving and oogling more so than fixing), and a fair amount of time these days is dedicated to planning my wedding with my amazing fiancé, Erin.
Can you share a couple of your favorite Big Cartel stores?
I’ve loved Olly Moss’s work for years and was so stoked that he sold his work through Big Cartel. Sadly, working here hasn’t given me a leg up on getting any of those limited edition prints, though.
I’m also a huge fan of Ed + Danielle. Having loved The Binding of Isaac and Super Meat Boy games, being able to purchase hand crafted plushes, figurines, prints, and even limited edition collectibles right from one of the creator’s and his super talented wife is amazing.