Being a small family owned business is a big challenge, especially when we are learning as we go along. It's always been a dream of mine to own a t-shirt business.
From a young age, I used to marvel at different t-shirts and wonder who were those superheroes who made them! Yes, I was a corny nerdy four eyed geek back then. Not much has changed except the shine has worn off and the hard work has come to the forefront.
In the last year, we changed our domain from tshirtlaughfactory.com to dajecent.com because our registered company is dajecent and people were getting confused when their billing statement said dajecent.
In our first year, we added close to 10,000 t-shirts (including variants) that primarily tried to be funny, but like fine wine, that is a subjective taste that either makes you laugh or alienates you. I personally hate wine.
During one of our big updates, I managed to delete every image of every variant in the online store. Yes, about 10,000 images were deleted. That was a tough blow. The online store platform we use doesn't do backups, as we came to find out and we were left to start over. I had all the original art on my computer, but it would be painstaking to re-create all those t-shirts that had taken over a year to enter.
We had a family meeting and decided that being funny was harder than being cute. We decided that most people found kittens cute, or were indifferent. Unlike a joke which usually ends up being funny or not-funny. Most jokes are not looked at indifferently. Cute kittens can be!
Today we have learned many lessons. Marketing sells, not good ideas. We always tried to look big and professional, fearing that if people knew we were a small business with every small business struggles that they would be less likely to trust us with their business. Wow was that a mistake. Turns out, people actually prefer dealing with a small business rather than a faceless corporation. What is even more of a learning experience for me is that I also feel that way, but ignored myself as a consumer.
So there you have it.
We try to make cute and fun t-shirts that would appeal to young people, kids, parents, earthlings in general. We are not millionaires so I'm guessing we still have some learning to do but that's ok, it's actually been an enjoyable experience and we won't measure our success solely on sales figures.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. All of our marketing efforts are, in all honesty, to get people to enjoy wearing our t-shirts and for us to make a profit. If you want to help out this small business, we would appreciate you letting us know why you decided not to buy from us, if you have any concerns, or, why you did buy from us.
- Dave and family