The Road to SxSW

During 2014’s SXSW Festival, 19 bands from 4 indie labels gathered in Austin, Texas for a 2-stage, 8-hour showcase called Liberation. Big Cartel sent filmmaker Tyler Coray to document it all.

Watch Road to SXSW: Part 1 now!

The week surrounding the showcase was often chaotic, occasionally serene, but most of all unforgettable. We’ll be sharing the whole experience on Big Cartel’s Community page, starting with the band Dim Peaks as they played a small show in Marfa, then drove to Austin with a guy and his camera in the backseat.

Nova in action

It’s been great to hear your excitement around Nova, our newest theme. We’ve seen artists all over the world dressing their shop in Nova and building shops that showcase their products perfectly. We’ve gathered a few examples of shops using Nova and even break down how they did it. We’re paying special attention to how stores utilize the homepage and product slideshows, and how they’re blending quality photography with a minimal theme. Check ‘em out for some ideas for your own shop!

“Timely Announcements” on Print for Love of Wood

This letterpress shop updated their homepage slideshow to feature: a Father’s Day product highlight (just in time for the holiday), important shipping information, and behind-the-scenes photos. A great way to get us excited about the shop and their process before we ever see their products.

  • Background Color: #FFFFFF
  • Primary color: #222222
  • Highlight: #1F1F1F
  • Accent : #888888
  • Header font: “Inconsolata”
  • Text font: “Inconsolata”

“Product Grid” on Knot by Tiffa

With a lookbook right on the homepage contrasting beautiful photos of the products on white, Knot by Tiffa creates a simple, memorable shopping experience. Looking dapper, guys!

  • Background Color: #FFFFFF
  • Primary color: #1F1F1F
  • Highlight: #888888
  • Accent : #ECECEC
  • Header font: “Inconsolata”
  • Text font: “Georgia”

“Tell the Story” on Kate Koeppel Design

At Kate Koeppel’s Record Shop, they explain a different aspect of the product on each image in their homepage slideshow: how it’s packaged, the reason you need it, and where it’s made.

  • Background Color: #FFFFFF
  • Primary color: #383838
  • Highlight: #888888
  • Accent : #E36C54
  • Header font: “Overlock”
  • Text font: “Montserrat”

The strength of the Nova theme is its ability to almost disappear. Use it to showcase your brand through photography, and let the products speak for themselves. Ready to try? Check it out in your admin.

Add and edit products from your phone

Update, organize, and quickly add products from any mobile device! We’ve steadily been updating the mobile-ready version of the admin and we’re really excited to add the ability to manage products on the go.

Log in now at my.bigcartel.com

For a while now you’ve been able to view your dashboard, review orders, and tweak shop settings through the mobile admin. This latest update brings us one step closer to our goal of a completely integrated mobile experience when managing your store.

What’s so special about this update?

  • Arrange products with a swipe: Reorder products in your store with a single swipe. Perfect for a quick way to help a popular product get some extra attention.
  • Inventory control: When you’re out selling items at an event, easily update the in-stock quantity or mark an item as sold out.
  • It’s ready now: There’s nothing to update or install, just log in to my.bigcartel.com from any mobile device.

iPhone user pro-tip: To create a handy shortcut on your home screen, tap the “share” icon at the bottom of the browser, select “add to home screen”, then tap “Add”.

Living Room Show: Laura Gibson

It’s time for another Living Room Show at BCHQ, so we’re hosting Laura Gibson in what promises to be a beautiful, warm evening.

It’s been a few months since our last show with Alec from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, so we’re looking forward to opening up the doors, letting in the summer air, and enjoying Laura’s music. Locals, grab your ticket(s) quick, there aren’t many seats and this show is coming up soon!

Where: Big Cartel HQ
When: Sunday, June 29th, 8pm
RSVP/Tickets: Facebook Event »

Introducing Nova, a stylish new theme

image

Announcing Nova, another sleek theme from our good friends at Singlenaut. Nova sets the stage by displaying your beautiful photos front and center, all while keeping the rest of the design concise and out of the way. Nova is available right now in your admin! Log in and see how it looks on your shop.

Preview Nova in action: testdrivenova.bigcartel.com

A few of our favorite things about Nova:

  • Separate slideshows for your homepage and product pages.
  • Responsive layout for optimum viewing on any screen.
  • Customizable welcome message on your home page. Use it to advertise promotions, tell your company’s story, or simply say hi to your customers.
  • Kick things off with a promotion slideshow on the homepage, or jump right in with a view of your products.
  • Choose either a stacked product layout with large images, or switch to a simple grid view of of product thumbnails.
  • Easily integrate your social communities with share buttons and links to Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

image

If you recognize the effortless cool in this theme, it’s probably because the Singlenaut team also designed the much-loved Luna theme. We’re working hard to expand the theme options available in your admin, If you’re a theme developer and interested in working with us, join our theme developer’s newsletter.

Product info now in exported orders

Good news! We’ve improved our order exporting feature to now include product information in each order. Because the number of products in each order can vary, it’s a little tricky to include this much detail in one column of a CSV file.

Our solution was to create a special format for our new Items column that contains all of the product names, quantities, and totals. This should make it a cinch to use this feature for order fulfillment. Learn more in our help area »

Updated theme: Snakebite 2.0

We’ve updated our Snakebite theme (with the help of our friends at Fuzzco) to include a customizable slideshow on the homepage.

You can now showcase your products with high-resolution images — and they’ll look great on mobile devices too. Upload large, beautiful photos to call attention to an existing product, or use the gallery as a perfect spot to introduce customers to new products in your shop. As always, great photography is key. Need photography tips? Our field guide can help.

When you select this theme, you’ll see we’re also showing our new default images feature (theme designers, rejoice!). These images were created by Fuzzco to really show off the theme’s potential and give you great ideas for how to organize a good color hierarchy in your theme. Just replace the logo and slideshow images in the theme settings to make it completely your own.

*Note: Those of you currently using a customized version of Snakebite will need to revert to the theme’s defaults to take advantage of the new slideshow feature. Make sure you take note of any existing customizations as you’ll need to reapply them once you’ve updated the theme.

New Field Guide: Pricing

Our new Field Guide is all about pricing. There’s a particular science around pricing, and to get that formula just right can be sorta tricky. We’re here to help. From organizing expenses, to making sure you’re paying yourself, we’ll help you set a price that will help to keep you from relying on sales to get orders, or raising prices after launch to cover unexpected costs.

In this new guide, we’ve revealed the alchemy behind making expenses and profit add up to a fair and consistent price for both wholesale and retail. Grab a calculator and a cup of coffee, and read the new field guide now »

Blake Walters, Javascript & CSS Wizard

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.

Circuit Training

Last week, our design team did a little exercise: with the timer set, they simultaneously worked on four different illustrations. For each illustration, a single designer would add Type, Color, Line, or Image. Then the illustration would be taken over by another designer to work on another aspect. The result? A collaborative project with an unexpected end result.