There are a huge number of ‘work at home’ job opportunities out there, but few are really viable for earning a long-term living. Online product designer tool is lust one of them. Imagine, however, if you were able to make money using your sense of humour, creativity, and passionate knowledge of a given niche.
That’s exactly what services like Teespring, the custom t-shirt design company, allow people to do. Teespring has been trading for three years, and over that time it has turned clever and creative slogans and variations on a theme (or meme) into popular, niche fashion statements that have been highly profitable for the people who came up with them.
There are many online designers tools to use for custom t-shirt design as well as approaches to product design to make custom designed products online. . For example, one Teespring designer, Benny Hsu, earned more than $120,000 over the last year through designing niche custom t-shirts. Another designer, Kimberly Springer, earned $238,000 by designing t-shirts aimed at Christian women. The secret, she believes, is to think of the things that people are proud of and want to be recognized for, and market products based on those issues.
In 2014 alone, Teespring printed more than seven million shirts. The company has more than 300 full-time employees who manage the site, and there are a huge number of independent designers. While the vast majority are smaller traders who simply make a design here and there for their friends, there are hundreds who have made $100,000 or more, and the site has helped to make 20 people millionaires.
Teespring charges $9 for a basic design (more for complex designs printed on higher quality shirts) and designers get to set the retail price of their products, and then earn the difference on each sale. The company has found that about 60 percent of their sales are generated through social media advertising, and word of mouth is a massive driver of sales, with about 20 percent of buyers sharing a link to the products they buy on Facebook.
Because designers have a lot of freedom in terms of the products they can create, it’s easy for them to reach a massive audience. However, the site has seen an increase in the number of legal complaints about copyright material. Custom product designers will need to start paying attention to who owns the material they are working with, because more and more intellectual property owners are cracking down on illegitimate use of their work.