Monday, December 25, 2006

Shirts, stickers, and more

I've been toying around with the idea of starting a blog for some time. However, for full disclosure, the launch of this blog comes at the same time I'm getting another project off the ground.

Last summer, I began looking around the internet for places to design custom shirts. The reason being I wanted to get a whole bunch of "Piss On The Fire" shirts for an august home game. Clint Dempsey received a verbal caution by the referee for swiping at a Fire player during a game in Chicago. As the story goes, Dave Sarachan, the Fire coach, went crying to the MLS front office and got Dempsey suspended for two games. There are many companies that will do up custom shirts, but most are only worth it if you are ordering over twenty. I didn't want to get stuck with a lot of extra shirts lying around. People may say they will buy one, but many baulk when it comes time to pay. So, I put that idea to rest.

While doing my search, one of the sites I came across was CafePress. It's basically a company that will print up your designs, handle inventory, and process returns for you and send you a check whenever you sell items above their "base price". It was immediately ruled out because they didn't offer blue shirts, which is the color we wear in The Fort (NE Revolution supporters section at Gillette Stadium).

However, that changed a little over a month ago when I decided to open a free store and upload some designs I whipped up. Less than a day later, the USSF fockered up the deal with Jurgen Klinsmann. I got in touch with a friend out in LA and he promised to buy a bunch of "Fire Sunil" shirts to wear at the US-Denmark game in LA next month. That pretty much paid for my upgrade to a premium shop for two months. That means I can now put my designs on blue shirts. The premium shop also allowed me to make it look somewhat professional.

The problem with cafepress is that the quality isn't the best. Even with my designs favoring content over art, the printing method is still a drawback. So, I went looking at it's main competition, printfection. I opened a shop and I ordered one shirt from both shops with the same design on it. In short, the printfection shirt came out much better. I also washed them both several times and the printfection shirt has held up much better. If you buy a shirt from one of my stores, I'd go with the printfection shop. It's cheaper and offers discounts on bulk orders. That site isn't polished yet. I still have to work out some coding and upload some more designs.

The positive thing about my CP shop is I can offer coffee mugs, beer steins, magnets and stickers. Stickers can be a fun way to protest our favorite team or tag up an opposing stadium. I'll definently be sticking with CP for the time being because of the random things they offer.

The goal of this endeavor is to have a place where I can come up with something topical in my head, design it, and offer it very quickly. I would like to get some pocket change out of it. If I make some dough from this setup, I'll probably have the shop on it's own domain linking the shirts with printfection and the other stuff with CP. We'll see how it goes.

As for the name. It's a nice oxymoron, in my opinion. Blue Bloods are normally associated with the Boston area, but not many are hooligans.....until now!

Well, that's my full disclosure. Check out the links to my "designs". I should have the myspace site up shortly. Tell me what you think.

BTW, the purpose of this blog isn't to hawk my merchandise. I'll be expressing my viewpoints on all things soccer. If a blog entry, like my next one, has something to do with a shirt I sell I'm not too ashamed to set up a link.