Today we're beside ourselves with excitement as we announce the official launch of custom gift wrap on Spoonflower! As of this morning, you can upload your own design and have it printed on a roll of custom wrapping paper for only $15. Spoonflower designers can also choose to make any of their existing designs available for sale on gift wrap.
Those of you who follow Spoonflower probably know that we did a trial run for custom gift wrap in the weeks leading up to Christmas. We've taken what we learned from that trial run and created what we hope is a fully-hatched set of features around gift wrap. The satin finish wrapping paper, for example, is slightly lighter than the paper we offered in the fall. And we've added an even lighter-weight matte finish paper.
Spoonflower Gift Wrap:
Our custom gift wrap is perfect for creating unique wrapping paper using photos, kids' drawings, or your own designs! It's also great for scrapbooking.
You may note that at the moment there is no shopping page for buying your favorite designs on gift wrap. Once the Spoonflower design community has had an opportunity to have a crack at gift wrap and to make a library of designs available for sale, we'll launch the shopping page. It should be up in a week or two!
We know that for many of you, getting presents to loved ones by Christmas is important. To make sure that anything you order from Spoonflower for delivery before December 25th arrives in time, we've put together a table with our holiday ordering cut-offs for each of our shipping options, standard, guaranteed delivery, and rush.
Here are our 2012 Christmas ordering deadlines. Orders placed using the listed shipping methods by these dates are expected to arrive before December 25, 2012.
Important Note: The last day our special, limited-edition gift wrap will be available will be December 20th!
|Fabric, Wallpaper, Decals, Gift Wrap||
|Spoonflower Welcome Packs||
|Guaranteed delivery before Dec. 25th using standard shipping (which is free!)||
Do you have a room in your house that needs robot wallpaper? What about giant squid? Is your dining room incomplete without a greyhound toile? Spoonflower, the website that lets crafters and do-it-yourself decorators design their own fabric, today launches design-your-own wallpaper and wall decals. Not a designer yourself? Choose from thousands of designs by independent artists who have made their work available first on fabric, and now as wallpaper.
With an eye toward environmentally conscious consumers and moms looking to decorate nurseries and kids' rooms, Spoonflower wallpaper is printed on PVC-free paper using durable, eco-friendly inks. Custom wallpaper, which has long been the exclusive province of high-end home décor, has never been this accessible. Spoonflower – the first company to price custom textile printing at a level affordable for home crafters – is taking the same revolutionary approach to wallpaper, which will sell for $5 per linear foot (24" by 12"), or $60 per roll (24" x 12'). Unlike traditional wallpapers that can be devilish to take down, Spoonflower wallpaper is removable, which makes it perfect for renters and college students.
Spoonflower's wall decal product is also a dream come true for creative decorators. The company is launching three tile-shaped sizes of peel-and-stick wall decals – 5" x 5", 15" x 15", and 30" x 30" – that can be easily removed and repositioned. These decals are printed using eco-friendly inks on a tough polyester material that's perfect for any room in the house, as well as for decorating furniture, trays, refrigerators, laptops, and many other everyday items.
Spoonflower co-founder Stephen Fraser says digitally printed wallpaper is a rapidly growing trend. "Wallpaper is definitely on an upswing in the decorating world, especially in the US, where it used to be perceived as fussy and old-fashioned. We're incredibly excited to introduce custom wallpaper and decals at prices that make them accessible to everyday people, using materials that will appeal to folks who rent as well as homeowners." Fraser adds that he is hoping to persuade his wife to let him cover one of the bathrooms in their house with narwhals in the near future.
Wall Street Journal contributing editor and interior design icon Charlotte Moss says, "For personalization, customization, and immediate gratification, Spoonflower puts another world of decorating possibilities at your feet."
Lori Craffey of Little Rhody Design Company, a crafter from Rhode Island who sells on Etsy, was impressed by Spoonflower's new products: "I just received my first wallpaper samples today! I love the quality and the packaging." Craffey is one of thousands of indie artists on Spoonflower planning to make their designs available for sale to consumers as wallpaper.
About Spoonflower: Before launching custom wallpaper and wall decals, Spoonflower was the first company to make it possible for individuals to create, print and sell their own fabric designs. Founded in May 2008 by two Internet geeks who had crafty wives but knew nothing about textiles, Spoonflower's community now numbers over 600,000 individuals who use their own fabric to make curtains, quilts, clothes, bags, furniture, dolls, pillows, framed artwork, costumes, banners and more. Spoonflower's marketplace offers the largest collection of independent fabric designers in the world. The site has been mentioned in the New York Times, Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Vogue, Martha Stewart Weddings, CRAFT, ApartmentTherapy, and many other terrific publications and blogs. For more information, please visit the Spoonflower Wallpaper Welcome Page.
This week we're very pleased to introduce a fabric option that's even more affordable than our terrific Kona® quilting cotton. We're calling the new fabric Basic Combed Cotton, but it's a 78 x 76 sheeting that is terrific for a wide variety of sewing projects. The new fabric has a printable width of 42 inches and will cost $15.75 per yard when you're ordering your own designs, and $17.50 per yard for designs in the Spoonflower fabric marketplace. When you order 20 or more yards of your own design, the price drops to $14 per yard.
Longtime Spoonflower designers may note that this fabric is very similar to the old quilting cotton we carried before introducing Kona® earlier this year. It is the same construction as the old quilting-weight cotton, but we're sourcing it from a different, higher-quality mill that uses combed cotton to make the yarns, which makes the resulting woven fabric softer to the touch. It also prints beautifully!
As Kim hinted yesterday, we have some exciting news today plus a special giveaway! We're so pleased to announce the newest in Spoonflower's lineup of fabric choices: Kona® Cotton, a premium quilting-weight cotton by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. Our new quilting-weight cotton fabric balances a soft hand with a durable medium weight and a fine, smooth surface that prints beautifully. The price for the new Kona® will be the same: $16.20 per yard for your own design, or $18 per yard for marketplace fabrics.
Kona® is a brand that is already known and beloved by many quilters, but this lovely fabric lends its versatility and fine qualities to many other sewing projects, including shirts and dressmaking, children's clothes, and home decor. This new fabric will replace our current quilting-weight cotton beginning Monday, January 23rd at 9am EST. Orders placed before Monday morning will not be printed on the new quilting-weight.
Here at the Spoonflower office, we're loving the new quilting-weight and can't wait for you to try some in your own design (or one of the amazing designs from the Spoonflower community) so we're offering one very lucky winner three yards of Kona® Cotton in the print of her or his choice. To enter the drawing to receive a credit for three yards of custom-printed premium quilting-weight cotton, leave a comment on this post (or on the corresponding Facebook post) that includes your Spoonflower screen name. Entries for this giveaway close Tuesday, January 24 at 5pm EST, and we'll announce a winner Wednesday morning.
Important note for those of you who have ordered our quilting-weight cotton from us before now: The old quilting-weight will continue to be available to you, existing customers, for the next couple of months. Previous purchasers will continue to see basic quilting-weight in the list of fabric choices, along with the new Kona®. [For a side-to-side comparison of old quilting-weight vs. new, see this photo.]
For delivery prior to Christmas, Spoonflower's shipping deadlines are as follows:
Standard Shipping: Deadline has passed to ensure that orders places using regular shipping OR Guaranteed Delivery Date will arrive before 12/25.
Posted 11/24/2010 - Updated 12/15/2011
While supplies last, we are very pleased to introduce cotton poplin, a crisp, all-purpose fabric perfect for quilting, shirting, dresses, skirts and other common sewing applicatons. Right now we're planning for this to be a limited edition fabric, so hurry up & order!
As designers who use Spoonflower know, we've always had a bit of a flaw in our commission policy. When you make a design available for sale on Spoonflower and someone else buys it, we pay you a 10% commission. All well and good. The exception to this has always been swatches, which until now have not paid any commission. The reasoning behind this went as follows:
Swatches act as test pieces for larger purchases. We want to make these 8" x 8" squares of fabric as cheap as possible -- and now and then, as on Free Swatch Day each year, even to make them free. Designers share our interest in making swatches as accessible as possible as an investment in selling more fabric later.
Flash forward two years to now, after we've been able to study data from shopping behavior (and designer sentiment) over a fairly long stretch of time. It turns out that in many cases swatches have a value on their own, either as squares for quilts, patches, or -- as in our recent ornament contest -- as 8-inch-square cut & sew patterns. When the end product is a swatch, it's not fair not to pay a commission.
We still want to be able to give away swatches sometimes, but after a good deal of thought and analysis, we've decided that even when we give away swatches, we can still afford to give designers their $.50 Spoondollar commissions. We will absorb it as a promotional cost. The only difference now between swatches and other fabric sizes is that, when you buy your own swatch, the $5 price will not receive the designer discount of 10%. So swatches will still cost $5, but if you are a designer who sells fabric in the Spoonflower marketplace you'll now be able to earn Spoondollars on all the swatches you sell to other people.
Good news indeed. Thanks for being patient with us while we figured out how to make it all work!
As the fabric-crazed among you no doubt know, this past weekend marked the annual ritual of the fall International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas, ground zero for the explosions of color and pattern that will reach fabric stores around the world in 2012. I was lucky enough to visit the show on Saturday and to meet lots of amazing, creative people in person, including Spoonflower community member Patty Sloniger who won the Project Selvage competition we co-sponsored this past spring with Michael Miller Fabrics. Patty, an artist who had never designed fabric at all before finding Spoonflower, has hit the ground running as a professional fabric designer with two sophisticated baby collections, Backyard Baby and Bella Butterfly.
Along with a chance to meet Patty in person for the first time, which was a treat, I had opportunities to chat briefly with a few other people, some of whom I met last year and some of whom were new to me. I caught up a bit with Denyse Schmidt, whose much-loved Fleamarket Fancy designs are being reissued by Free Spirit under the name Fleamarket Fancy Legacy Collection, and admired the booth of Jan DiCintio of Daisy Janie, who produces her own line of organic fabrics. I was fascinated by the new organic fabrics from Michelle Engel Benscko of Cloud9 fabrics called Maman based on illustrations by her grandmother, whose drawings reminded me a bit of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince.
It was fun to spot Sister Diane of CraftyPod, one of my favorite people in the craft world, doing a demo for Clover making Kanzashi. Michelle, a friend with Simplicity Creative Group who was there showing off a felting machine, introduced me to Hoodie, a terrific designer from Timeless Treasures. While I was at Timeless Treasures, I also got a chance to preview a couple of samples from another new collection we're very excited about: one by our own Samarra Khaja, which includes fabric versions of a braille alphabet and a sign language alphabet, as well as upcoming fabrics using some of her familiar Spoonflower designs.
One of the surprises from my visit to Quilt Market on Saturday was getting to meet Mark Cesarik and his wife Cara. Mark is now a designer for Free Spirit promoting his third collection, Morning Tides, but Spoonflower folks might remember when Mark and Cara ran an Etsy shop called SewBetty, where, among other things, they popularized the concept of mustache fabric. They found Spoonflower right around the time we first launched. Seeing them and hearing Mark's story firsthand was great. I hope to have a chance to meet them again some time.
My final social call in Houston, in the company of some friends from BurdaStyle, was a party at the lovely home of Drew Emborsky, also known as The Crochet Dude. No pictures are forthcoming, but suffice to say that partigoers were issued their own very small sombreros and a fine time was had by all.
For those of you hungry for trend news, look for real Quilt Market reports from better-informed correspondents than yours truly, including True Up, The Long Thread, Quilt Dad, Monica Lee, Alicia DiRago of Dismount Creative and others. Thanks to everyone who helped make my short visit so much fun!
...but don't be afraid to ask! Starting next week, I'll be profiling Spoonflower staffers here on the blog, including the angelic Stephanie and Danielle at left. If you have any questions you'd like to see me ask our printing, shipping, engineering or office staff--or any strong opinions about who should be first--please let me know in the comments. Then check back next week for the first of the Spoonflower staff interviews!
For those of you who email Spoonflower help a lot, you may have noticed that I haven't been answering lately. That is, someone has answered you--most likely Stephen B. or Beth, our wonderfully helpful help staffers--but not me. After three years of answering Spoonflower help emails, I've stepped down from this role and will be going back to a bit of Spoonflower blogging instead. It's been quite awhile since I blogged regularly. I feel rusty.
My Stephen asked me to start with a post on what I've learned doing customer service which seems a tad self-indulgent to me given how much Spoonflower has grown. It's definitely not just ours and Gart's families doing the printing, cutting, and shipping of your fabric orders anymore. Spoonflower includes some 20 employees now, all of whom are awesome, work their tails off, and contribute so much to the running of the business. But I've gotta start this blogging somewhere so in the spirit of the "What I Did This Summer" back-to-school essay, here are a few things I've learned over the last three years, in no particular order.
1. Spoonflower customers are nice people. I don't say this just to butter y'all up. It's truly amazing to me how nicely you all point out when we've made mistakes--which has been often!--forgive us for them, and come back again. You offer useful feedback which we always read and consider, even if takes us longer than you might want to implement. And you're nice to each other, too, writing thank-you notes to people who have bought your fabrics, and saying appreciative things about each other's designs and photos. Which brings me to....
2. Online communities really are communities. A couple of years ago, I scoffed at the use of "community" to describe groups interacting online. A "community" is a real place, I thought. You could walk, bike, or drive there and have real interactions with real people, and anything online couldn't possibly be a community. But I get it now. You certainly could walk, bike, drive to Spoonflower if you wanted to, and would probably enjoy pleasant interactions with good people while you were here. But we here in the office are part of a larger and very real Spoonflower community that includes all of you. There are some real interactions and real relationships going on out there, and you all support each other in a very real way. Spoonflower is a community. And I think it's a pretty nice place to be.
3. Starting your own business is hard and scary. Stephen tells me that I am brave and have a high risk tolerance which is his way of saying, "I can't believe you were ok with us putting everything we had (and some that we didn't) into Spoonflower when we had no idea whether it would work!" It probably helped that Spoonflower happens to be all about things I myself love--fabric and sewing--but we've had many sleepless nights and knotted up stomachs over the last three years. Those have gone away, thank goodness. Mostly.
4. Anything is fodder for fabric design. I used to worry that people's creativity or their interest in creating custom fabric designs would somehow dry up, but nope. We see so many designs uploaded to the site and rendered by the printers every day at this point that a workday here is never, ever dull. Name it, and I'll bet we've printed it!
5. People use fabric for WAY more things than I thought they used fabric for. I knew about quilts, clothing, and home-dec sorts of projects, of course, since that's what I usually use fabric for. But I didn't anticipate wedding invitation handkerchiefs, custom drum covers, or sports car upholstery, among other projects. I can't tell you how much it thrills me to see how the fabrics we print get used. Upload to our Flickr pool, please!
6. When you run a fabric- and sewing-related business, you don't have time to do anything fabric- or sewing-related for yourself. Which is a huge bummer. Since I've stopped doing customer service over the last couple of weeks, though, I've been on a curtain-making spree at home. With Spoonflower fabric, of course. Three rooms down and one bathroom to go!
As of 6/01/11, we are hiring for the following full-time positions in our office here in Durham, North Carolina:
Spoonflower is currently hiring for the following positions:
[Non-Triangle folks: please note that we're not offering to pay relocation costs.]
After the longest site outage in our two and a half year history, Spoonflower is back up. Only 8 hours or so of silence. It seemed longer. We are very sorry!
As of 1pm EST the site is down due to problems at Amazon Web Services, where Spoonflower is hosted. We are working on bringing things back up as soon as possible. Apologies!
Even as the world drifts farther into 2011, we're still having fun sorting through data from 2010. Among the trivia extracted so far: the top 10 (non-blog) Web sites that referred traffic to the intrepid, fabric-loving Internet start-up we call Spoonflower between January 1, 2010 and January 1, 2011.
Somewhat arbitrarily, we took our top referring sites and carved out the ones that are -- at least to our way of thinking -- clearly blogs rather than Internet services of some sort.
Blogs have always been the primary force behind the growth of Spoonflower as word of our services has spread, grassroots-style, from one crafty blog to another. The blogs that have driven the most traffic to Spoonflower between January 1, 2010 and January 1, 2011 are:
The list above is short, whereas the list of great blogs to whom we owe our thanks and appreciation is actually very, very long. Please know, bloggers everywhere, that we admire and respect you for making the World Wide Web into the amazing and complex ecosystem of information that it is. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do to share your experiences!
As 2011 gets going, we've got another data-laden look back at dear, departed 2010 for those of you who follow the adventures of the intrepid, fabric-loving Internet start-up we call Spoonflower.
Below are the top ten most viewed fabric pages on Spoonflower between January 1, 2010 and January 1, 2011. Note that these are not necessarily the top-selling fabrics, but they are -- for whatever reason -- the most popular in terms of pageviews.
Next up, we'll post the top ten blogs that wrote about Spoonflower in 2010 as measured by people who visited our site based on links from those blogs, as well as the top ten referring web sites!