One of my long time associates and well all round good buddy from way back in high school recently launched a shoe range. He’s from New Ireland but having spent allot of time working in the design industry in Australia, I’m not suprised he came up with these shoes.
But before I continue with the shoes…. for those of you that are a bit web savvy and looking at some options to selling products online a good place to start is Big Cartel. Here clothing designers, bands, jewelry makers, crafters, and other artists have set up their own customizable store to sell their stuff online. What that means is that they take care of all the standard features like catalougues, billing, shopping carts etc so you can spend more time on your products. So I’m thinking allot of PNG carvers, textile artists etc could look into this.
You could obviously go for ebay sales of course, but for the more arty types who want to look good while sellling online, this is a great option and at starting rates of FREE to US$19.99 a month, it’s certainly affordable if you have a good product. So at that price they host and manage all the technical stuff while giving you the tools to customise how you want the site to look like.
So here’s an interview that Big Cartel did with my mate:
Step up your shoe game at: store.bobbyweber.com
BC: What inspired you to get into shoes and what is the significance behind the name Bobby Weber?
BW: Hmm, maybe cause I’m a 1977 model (D.O.B). Grew up on the vintage ‘Adidas Court tennis shoe’ (leather canvas), and certainly the early retro Air Jordan’s from ‘85. But I think the shoe that takes the cake for simplicity is the classic Chinese ‘old-man shoe’, or also known as the ‘Ninja’ or ‘Kung-fu’ shoe. Its clean cut, light weight and comfort rating makes it a big hit from the Gen-Y crowd to the older generation. I guess this is where my interest in shoes begin. Bobbyweber is more of a knickname. I figured rather than go for the traditional snappy one or two syllable word, I thought I’d take the gamble and use a whole name for a sneaker/shoe (street-wear) brand. Predominately, you see whole names reserved for fashion labels, rather than street wear… so, at the end of the day it was a punt. I’ll leave it to the masses.
BC: Your shoes are refreshingly minimal with only hints of branding- what is the inspiration behind that?
BW: Thank you. ‘Old Chinese Men’. Well their fashion sense at least. Talk about minimal. Have a look at the traditional wear from the historic Chinese kung-fu era. Again, its clean cut, lightweight and comfort rating made it popular amongst Kung Fu practitioners. From this simple theology comes the bobbyweber range. We have tried to keep the design as simple as possible, with a small injection of colour to cater for the different demographics or behavioral types. Colors have different meanings to different cultures. The goal now is to kindly fuse those ideas of ‘minimalism’ and ‘color’ into a balanced product.
BC: Your product shots are beautiful, how important is photography when trying to sell online?
BW: Yes, photography is vital. You’ll hear it from any (smart) professional photographer how important a single shot of your product is when driving a marketing campaign. We sought a professional fashion photographer from Sydney, Australia (Florian Groehn) to help us out with our campaign shoot. The goal of the photography was to match the product with our online presence. With his experience with lighting, we were able to capture a handful of quality images that we’ll use in future print and online campaigns. It was a pretty exciting moment, seeing the product come up on screen. Hello World!
BC: Are you working on a retail presence? What comes next?
BW: We’ve decided to lay low for 2010 and come out strong in early 2011. Big Cartel was recommended to us, and to this day haven’t looked back. The whole backend system and user-interface has just been a breeze to work with, bullet-proof really. Our priority from here on is to establish a market presence (street wear) and getting the brand out there with some serious campaigning to drive traffic back to our Big Cartel webstore.
BC: Your Big Cartel store has some great customization, how was that process?
BW: Big Cartel is a Gem. I’m a Web Designer by night, so that helped quite a bit. If you can think it, you can design it with Big Cartel. Literally! I started off with a photoshop mock of how I wanted the store to look, then I did a basic html, css version. From here I began the customization with your Big Cartel tags… it consumed a good evening of work to get the positioning and layout right to what you see now. I absolutely recommend the system to anyone that wants a successful online presence, and webstore. Whether you are starting off new with no web know-how or you’re a fully fledged web guru, the system works for everyone.