Thursday, June 26, 2014

Be Careful Who Wears Your Clothes...

Mark Lim - I read a pretty interesting article on the Huffington Post today saying that Jon Gosselin (from Jon & Kate + 8) and his Ed Hardy fetish was the final straw that broke the company's back.

That is the extreme power of a D-list celebrity.

And Christian Audigier always looks like crispy bacon. I imagine he walks around like has a massive full body sun burn.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Social Media and How they Make Hot Dogs
Mark Lim - Social Media is what made things click for PoisonApple. It gave me a place to not only sell the shirts I designed but let my customers experience the whole process of making a shirt from the hand drawn sketches I would post to the actual burning of the screens used to make the T-Shirt.

Giving people interesting content makes the customers feel like a part of the process, kind of like when I watch them make hot dogs on "How It's Made" and it really makes me want a hot dog. 

Sharing on social media is a daily drudge that must be done every single day for Google to shower you with their algorithmic love. We've had excellent luck with Instagram lately for Overwatch and Bullseye Sport. (a local gun store we are doing the marketing for)

The trick is simple. Give people free stuff. That's it. You have to have giveaway contests if you plan to gain traction. What we did for both companies is to offer free 555 rounds of Winchester 22lr when we reached 1555 followers. Within a week we jumped from 8 followers all the way up to 1600+.

Many of those people will probably unfollow after the contest is finished but hopefully you'll retain enough to have a good base to market to. Getting people to share and repost your content is more valuable than gold, or 555 rounds of Winchester 22lr.

So here are the takeaways that I've learned:

1) Social Media has to be done every day on every platform (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Blogging, Linkedin, Google+, etc)

2) Give people free stuff. They will love you till that stuff has been given to them.

3) I want a hot dog

Monday, June 23, 2014

Starting a Business with a Partner and The Power of Magic Mushrooms

Mark Lim - About 10 years ago I started a T-Shirt company with my friend John from high school called Thorax Clothing. I think we sold 1 shirt total to some guy in Hawaii and we actually sent him the wrong one so we lost money.

At the time I couldn't understand it. We were both smart, creative and full of ideas but for some reason things never worked out and now some guy in Hawaii is using our shirt to carry coconuts.

It might have been because we both had different ideas on the theme and style of the company but most likely it was because we both were massively lazy.

After we decided to give up I started by myself which became successful. Looking back, I realize that we probably could have made Thorax Clothing popular but we just were young and stupid. We didn't create a division of responsibility and we didn't compromise on our ideals which caused us to call it quits. We did however purchase magic mushrooms and ate them in Vegas where everything turned into that Take On Me by A-Ha music video. Sorry John, our parents were going to find out some time.

Now that I'm starting with Austin, I want to use my experiences at sucking at working with a partner and turn things around.

Today I decided to create a list of things we would be responsible for so that we don't step on each others toes and that we can concentrate on what we do best.

The toughest thing for me to do is to give up creativity. I had a vision for our new company but I had to take a back seat because Austin has been kicking ass with the way he's been doing designs, marketing, and selling. It was hard for me to not be the focus of all the attention and I can't let it demotivate me.

Working with a partner is pretty tough. I know Austin has been burned before and it's hard for him too and everything is going to have a steep learning curve. You have to trust each other. 

I guess the most important things I have to remember are:
  • Don't be stubborn with your vision
  • Divide responsibility and motivate each other to get things done
  • Don't do mushrooms.
Take On MEEEEE TAKE ONNN MEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Giving away ammo and shirts on instagram!

One of the reasons that Mark and I decided to start this company was access to one of our client's, Bullseye Sport Guns & Ammo, customer base both in the store and online through social media. Once I realized that Mark was a shirt pumping out ninja and that Bullseye would help us move shirts, it was a no brainer.

With Bullseye we had great success growing his audience by giving away ammo, so we're trying to the same thing with Overwatch. Here is the giveaway (GAW) we posted on our Instagram @overwatchapparel;

GAW Time! As the picture says, when@overwatchapparel hits 1,555 followers we will give away 555 rounds of 22lr and 5 shirts to a randomly selected winner. Winner must be either able to pick up the ammo in Riverside @bullseyesport or in a state that I can ship the ammo to. Void where prohibited, many will enter one will win!

So far it hasn't picked up much steam, however I am still very optimistic mainly because a person with over 53,000 followers has said they will share the contest soon!

Monday, June 2, 2014

06/02/14 - Overwatch Apparel - Plan for the week!

Mark Lim - We're really close to launching everything but just need to take care of some stuff before we do.

Stuff I plan to do this week:

1) Make the Website Mobile - This is always a pain because it's hard to make your site work for every device out there. More and more people are using their phones to view sites so I've got to find a way to optimize our shopping cart for mobile.

2) Fix the Damn Menu Problem - For some reason the menu on the website freaks out when you try to click on T-Shirts and Products. We'll get our tech guy on this because I can't seem to figure it out. *Dan figured this out in like 10 seconds after he took a dump and thought about it.

3) Make sure Link Colors Match - I think we got some weird color issues going on.

4) Create a Wholesale Page - We've got to work on our price points and how much we plan to sell wholesale shirts for. Math :(

5) Create an About Us Page - I'll write some bios about us and what we stand for.

6) Create a Contact Page - I'll just use Contact Enhanced plugin to create a contact form for our site.

7) Set up Emails - Just what I need, another email address I forget to check.

8) Add Relevant Shirts from Poison Apple - I'm going to add some of my old designs on the new site if they fit the theme

9) Fix Up The Blog - I need to make the blog look as good as the website - *Worked on it on Monday and made it look presentable. I'd like to get a picture of me and Austin working on shirts in my garage for the main image but I had my wife take one of me working as a place holder. I also started putting pictures on instead of uploading them straight to blogspot. I'm not quite sure but maybe it will help the website ranking if Google knows that places are taking images from the site. Here's a screenshot of how it looks right now:

10) Set Up Separate Paypal - We need to create a Paypal account Austin and I can share

11) Add Google Analytics - Austin needs to do this because I totally forgot how 

I'm sure there's 100 more things that need to be done but I really need to knock all this stuff out before we get to making more fun designs

Saturday, May 31, 2014

05/31/14 - Overwatch Apparel - Site is almost there!

Mark Lim - I spent a good portion of the morning working on building our website. I ran into a couple problems with image file sizes being so big so I had to remove some of the textured backgrounds so it loads faster.

Here's a screenshot of the live site: (

If you look at This Post from yesterday you'll see the mock up I did and compare. You can see that I ended up removing some stuff to optimize it for load time.

There's still a lot of little bug things that need to ironed out and some bios that I need to write but it's getting there!

05/31/14 - Overwatch Apparel - Weekend Activities!

Mark Lim - It looks like this weekend is going to be jam packed with Overwatch Apparel stuff which is good because I'd probably just sleep all day and play Clash of Clans which I seem to suck really bad at anyway. I think my fingers are too fat to click precisely on my stupid Iphone 4.

Ok, so the first task I have to do this weekend for Overwatch is to actually build the website. I designed it a couple hours ago but actually building it is whole other pain in the ass. It'll probably take me the entire day to finish the site.

I also want to level up this blog too. Right now it looks like this:

It looks pretty crappy but if I have time I will snazz it up with some jazz.

I was going to start designing a new shirt this weekend but it looks like my plate is full and we gotta lay the groundwork first.

One business tip I have for future self when i'm re-reading this either when I'm old and rich or poor and selling my organs on the black market is that I shouldn't give a shit.

What always has held me back with my old business is my fear of what people will perceive of me especially when I do creative work. It's hard to put yourself out there for people to judge but I just have to keep telling myself that no one gives a shit and that a key quality most successful people have is that they don't give a shit if others give a shit.

Does this now mean I'm going to wear sweat pants all the time? Yes. That's the price of success.

Hopefully this blog will look good tomorrow and I'll start posting stuff on facebook.