Happy New Year, everyone!
The past year was a big one for me, professionally speaking, as Storied Threads saw some major advances, starting with our expansion into the pop culture convention circuit. Arisia in Boston was our toe in the water, and we followed that up with successful runs at ConnectiCon and Rhode Island ComicCon.
All three shows are already on our 2014 calendar, along with Boston ComicCon and, tentatively, SuperMegaFest in Framingham. We’re also planning to return to the Connecticut Renaissance Faire’s spring Robin Hood show and fall Henry VIII show, and to Mutton and Mead.
That’s a busy schedule, right? Well, fortunately, I have a full-time helper in my husband Michael, who left his own job to join Storied Threads. My workload simply got too much for me to handle by myself, and I knew the company couldn’t grow without someone here in the studio on a regular basis. It was a scary move, but the fact this year’s Christmas rush was so much more manageable is proof that it was a good move.
We were able to take advantage of the extra time and give the website a long-overdue overhaul. The old site, which I built myself using the Dreamweaver program, had become outdated, unappealing, and not very functional as a direct sales outlet. We decided to scrap the old site entirely and rebuild it from the ground up using a GoDaddy template. I’m pretty happy with the final result, especially the new store function, which allowed me to re-stock several items I had taken down from the Etsy shop.
One of my goals for 2014 is to transition the pop culture-inspired items completely onto the website shop, and keep the original creations on Etsy. I’ll be using my social media outlets to let everyone know where they can find new products as I roll them out, and older products as they transition off of Etsy.
Speaking of older products, it’s time to wrap up this blog post with my traditional “most popular items of the year” review!
Last year, my X-Files –inspired “I Want to Believe” patch was my number one seller, with 199 patches sold over the course of 2012. This year, it’s the number one seller again, and in 2013 we sold more than 260 of them! I don’t know why this patch has consistently been my top seller, but I’m not complaining, and maybe in 2014 we’ll break the 300 mark!
The rest of the top ten best sellers are:
2) The TARDIS door sign
3) The TARDIS police call box sign
4) Don’t Panic – inspired by Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
5) The TARDIS St. John’s Ambulance seal
6) The Plague Survivor Geek Merit Badge
7) The anti-demonic possession tattoo from Supernatural
8) The Mad Scientist Geek Merit Badge
9) Heart containers, inspired by the Legend of Zelda video game series
10) The Whovian Awareness Ribbon, the patch that started it all!
Appropriately, the Winter is Coming design, inspired by A Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, is the top-selling scarf of the year. The rest of the top five are…
2) The Supernatural tattoo
3) The Doctor’s name in circular Gallifreyan
4) The Stuttgart scarf, based on the scarf worn by Tom Hiddleston as Loki in The Avengers (available only at cons)
5) Loki’s Helm
The top design for all three models – the small messenger bag, the tablet-sized bag, and the laptop-sized bag – was the Doctor’s name. The Loki’s Army design was the second-best seller for the small messenger bags; the Iron Man-inspired “Following’s Really Not My Style” design, with the glow-in-the-dark arc reactor, was the number two tablet bag; and the crack in time and space from Doctor Who, which also glows, was the second-best-selling laptop bag.
We have a lot of new designs in mind for all our products, so stay tuned throughout 2014, and as always, we welcome requests and custom orders!