Blog header reads Concept to Collection How I Create New Pattern Collections

Welcome to the Motif Manor Shop

Or How I finally made up my mind to sell POD products

Hello lovely readers!

I have been busy behind the scenes designing and sourcing some products for some time now. I want to create the type of business that I can be proud of so a lot of thought has gone into this.

If we haven’t met before, I’m Shelley. Designer and ‘All-things-business’ at Motif Manor. My purpose is to create designs to bring you home. My inspiration is our amazing natural world here in Australia

The Motif Manor Shop

Australia is a beautiful and unique place. I am so inspired by our amazing floral that could (and do) spend hours designing and illustrating. It is now time for some of these designs to come to life on real life products for you and your home.

I am so excited to tell you that Motif Manor is now offering a range of designs on tea towels, tote bags and carry bags. All of the products are printed right here in Australia and are good quality. More products planned for the future too. (Oh I have plans, alright!)

I have chosen to use Print-on-Demand to help with this whole caper. Not sure what that is? Read on friend…

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What is Print on Demand (POD)?

a blank tote bag with an alphabet design and a plus sign between them.
Print on Demand (POD) services are businesses that provide the opportunity for creatives such as myself to offer products directly to customers. The products are quite literally only made (or rather printed) when a customer orders them.

When a  customer places an order, the POD service uses fulfilment centres to source and print the product. The product is then shipped directly to the customer. The POD pays a commission to the artist or illustrator for the use of the art.  

There are so many advantages to this model. It reduces the environmental impact with no warehousing or wasted stock. It is a great way for artists and creatives to offer products to their customers. Creatives don’t need to outlay large amounts of money, handle stock, process orders or organise shipping.

What Stopped Me Using Print on Demand Until Now

Turns out I’m a bit of a picky customer when it comes to selecting a POD. It can be confusing and a little overwhelming to make a choice with an ever expanding list of companies that offer print on demand services. Here are some of the big problems I came across:

  • Take POD One. They offer a product I want, but it’s printed on the other side of the world. It will take several weeks to reach my local customers. 
  • POD Two says it is print on demand but has product minimums on some items. 
  • Now, POD Three will charge more in postage than the product is worth. 
  • And POD Four will charge my customer three lots of postage because the order is being processed in three different locations.
Colourful, stylised bankia flowers on a deep blue rectangle

Phew! It’s a lot to consider. I hadn’t even looked at the print or product quality and environmental factors.  I threw this whole idea into the ‘Too Hard’ basket for quite some time.

How I Finally Made Up My Mind to Sell POD Products to My Customers

A tote bag with a native flower design that links to the product in the Motif Manor Shop

Earlier this year I decided it was time to sell products in my business. Good ideas have a habit of coming up again and again. I asked myself  important questions about my values. There are so many variables in this whole idea. I asked myself what mattered to me:

  • Price:  Price is important to me but not at the expense of quality.

 

  • Shipping: I want to make sure shipping is not prohibitive to customers – no one likes to pay too much in shipping, and if possible ship from one location.

 

  • Location: I want to keeping shipping times to a minimum too. I don’t want my customers to wait 4-6 weeks. Supporting Aussie jobs would be great too.
  •  Who makes it:  There are brands who exploit those who do not have a voice, or are trying to escape poverty. Now I am not suggesting that POD companies use forced labour but I want to know also about the blank products they use.
  • Environmental Practices: Does the company do all they can to minimise their waste and recycle where possible. This is very important to me.
  • Quality: I want the product to be of a quality that would last.

This thinking exercise really helped me to clarify what it means to be a creator of products. I want my store to reflect my values. Too much to ask?

Boy, did I do my research. There are many POD companies that ship to Australia. Some of those also have fulfilment centres and printers right here too. In the end however I found a company that actually ticked just about all of the boxes. And here I was thinking I was asking too much.

The Final Results

 

I am proud to say that my products support Australian jobs and are ethically sourced. They are high quality and are produced by an environmentally aware business that does all it can to reduce their impact. Plus, it won’t take weeks and weeks for you to receive your purchase. Great, hey?!

Jump over to the shop to have a squizz and see which is your favourite design, knowing that the products on offer are what you expect them to be.

Thanks for reading. If you got this far I am truly impressed! You can learn more about Motif Manor and get a 10% discount on your first purchase by signing up for my (very) occasional newsletter.

Chat soon,

Shelley

PS If your looking to create products of your own, check out my blog post all about choosing the RIGHT design. You may even like to download my free guide to creating your designer ready vision. It helps to get your idea out of your head so you can share it with the world.

Thanks for reading!

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