A new year, and failed goals

Last year in January I used the new year to set some goals for myself. Now that the year has ended, it is time to look back. I failed over half of my goals, and I was ok with that, in fact I was ok with failing even all of my goals, because they were lofty goals, and I knew they were lofty goals! Without further ado this was my goal list.

Sell a total of 1000 items over my POD sites I did do this, I haven’t checked the exact math, but on one site I sold 700 items, and I sold 200 yards of fabric or so on spoonflower. Those right there are almost the goal.
Be the featured designer on the RageOn front page I did do this, but now it seems to be something RO doesn’t do anymore, as they have made a lot of changes, and it has really hurt the site. (this could be a whole rant, but I’ll refrain basically I’m really not a fan of the site right now, and I hope they can improve things, but if not maybe its time for me to move on)
On Spoonflower have all my top ten designs at over 100 faves I failed this, at the end of the year I think I had 5 designs with 100 or more faves possibly 4
Start offering some faith based designs on Redbubble (at a 1% commission rate/the lowest i can set it if its above 1%) failed, I didn’t do this, I don’t know why
Get at least 2 more repeat re seller customers on Spoonflower Failed (I think)
Sell a piece of furniture on Society6 Failed
Place in the top 25 in a Spoonflower contest Failed
reach 1000 followers on Instagram Failed
create 2 more crafter/quilter collections on spoonflower I might have done this
Start making my designs available, on a second fabric design site. Failed
Get a surface pro, to up my art game Yes I did this.

My failure rate was 7/11, but lets get into some of those failures, and why I’m ok with them. On Spoonflower have all my top ten designs at over 100 faves. As I mentioned I had 4 or 5 designs with 100 faves. Generally to get 100 faves, your design had to be in a contest (or you have to be an amazing designer) in my case all my top 10 are contest designs. Last year I tried to get better about not doing a contest I wasn’t particularly interested in, and would instead work on designs I could be excited about. I feel that this strategy paid off for me. All this said in the new year I have 7 designs with 100+ faves, and the remaining 3 have 90+ so regardless I’m fairly close to my old goal now.
Get at least 2 more repeat re seller customers on Spoonflower This is something I really don’t have much control over, and while I might not have picked up more repeat customers, I might have. many users check out as guests, and unless people share their projects I have no idea what is being done with my fabric. That said last year I also had some amazing artists take interest in my work, and while they might not be buying fabric, having artists I admire liking my art is an amazing feeling, and my interactions/ friendships with them has improved my art game.
Sell a piece of furniture on Society6 Again this is something I had zero control of, and while selling furniture would have been an amazing feather in my cap, I did fairly well on S6 even selling a buttload of wrapping paper in the month of December.
Place in the top 25 in a Spoonflower contest I really didn’t want to overshoot this one by hoping for a top 10 placement, but I was hoping for top 25, I think I might have got a top 50. All this said ranking really has nothing to do with sales, and my top 50 design has sold so many more times than my top 10 design ever has. Also now that the new year has begun, I have had a 25th placing design, and my current design in the challenge now looks like it will be in the top 25, if not the top 10!!!
reach 1000 followers on Instagram I had 600 some, but here in January I’m 25 people from 1000 followers.
Start making my designs available, on a second fabric design site. I didn’t do this, but again now in the new year I have started offering my designs on MYFABRICDESIGNS and have so far had 2 sales of a yard or more of fabric. This site doesn’t look to have near the traffic of spoonflower, but it allows customers to scale a design to their specs which is something I really wish Spoonflower would offer.

So overall, I’m actually pretty happy with all my failures, and in the new year, have actually turned a few of those right around.

So what should I do in the new year?

My new years goals are looking a bit different this year, these goals are more for me, and I feel all obtainable. Which puts them in stark contrast with last years goals.

Pins I want to make some pins, or rather have some pins made for me. I keep seeing enamel pins being advertised and drooling over them. I have been antsy to get some of my very own, and after a trip to Disney where I and the kids pin traded, it really sealed my commitment to needing to get my own pins made.

I have a few designs that I would like to give the pin treatment, but as I will be needing to sell these myself on facebook or Instagram, and most of my followers are crafters, I think I will make the more prudent choice of starting by offering a few crafting oriented designs.

Proof 1 or 2 times a month. Everytime I proof I add 42 new designs to my spoonflower store. So I will be adding 504-1008 new designs to my spoonflower store. In the last 3 months of 2019 I think I proofed 5 times or so, and I’ve proofed twice this month as well. So really this is a goal I’m already meeting.

Increase the number of me made designs in my wardrobe I really want to wear more b0rwear designs. I already have quite a few, and I love wearing them. This year I want to make a significant chunk of my wardrobe b0rwear!!

Take a family vacation to focus on creating This is something we have planned. I will be focusing on designing, and learning to sew, my wife will be sewing, and we will be forcing the kids to express their creativity as well.

Learning to sew I just mentioned this above, but yeah I plan on trying to sew a few things for myself. In fairness I already know how to sew, but only really basically, but I’m hoping to sew better, and perhaps make some clothes for myself.

thanks for following along with our adventures


It was Bound to happen

It has been a while since I have made a blog post, which is a little to be expected as we are entering the bustiest time of the year. We had a vacation in Florida lined up for the first week in December. We had been wanting to go for a while, and get the kids to Disney world before they had aged out of the novelty, but we haven’t been able to do so yet. Not to make much to do about it, but my family is very much low income, so when my parents offered to pay for housing for anyone interested last Christmas, we started saving our pennies.

We left on the first of December and made the long drive (12 hours without factoring in stops) in one day. The next day we hit up some thrift stores to get the kids souvenirs before they entered the parks. Our daughter got a pair of light up Minnie mouse ears, as well as a parks exclusive Cheshire cat plush for a 10th of the cost inside the park. For my son we picked up a bunch of pins, if you got 50 or more they were dollar each which is admittedly more than we would have like to pay, $50+ that is, but we had a little extra money, he is super obsessed about enamel pins, and we knew he and I would get a kick out of pin trading in the parks.

The first park we wen’t to was Magic Kingdom, my wife has been into bounding for a while, and has been dying to do so at Disney, so of course she had to make us all bounding outfits.

Disney bound

All fabrics were designed by me. I am Maleficent, with a black dragon scale vest, and bright green flame pocket welts. My wife has a blue, and pink striped circle skirt, with spinning wheels scattered over it, making her Aurora. My daughter has a green scaled maxi dress, with a red hair back, making her Ariel. Lastly my son wasn’t to keen on the idea of bounding, but he loved the blue flames I made, so we stretched things a bit and called him Hades. We will probably add some better photos later. My wife and I got a comment fairly early in, as a mother pointed me out to her daughter who was dressed as Aurora. It at least made my day, but other than that I don’t know that anyone else much noticed.

The next day we went to Hollywood studios, where we all super loved Galaxies Edge, it is super immersive. Everything is Star Wars themed, right down to the food, drinks, railings, trash cans, and any other minute detail you can think of. My son had a ton of fun trading pins, and I did as well, tho I primarily traded for things that would look good with my wife’s themed outfits (for me the fun was in the trade). I got myself one of the adult blue milks (pretty much a pina coloda), and we bought 2 of the themed cokes, because awesome bottles.

We also went to Universal for a day, so that my son who loves Harry Potter could visit Hogwarts. We had fun tho I don’t feel the immersion of Hogsmeade was to the same level as Galaxies Edge. My wife also made the kids wizards robes. We split a butterbeer, and got photos with Blue for my dino obsessed daughter. My son got his coaster fix in (something Disney really doesn’t offer).

The week was focused on family, and due to that I really didn’t work on B0rwear all that much, other than designing and uploading one thing, at night after the kids went to bed.

70s psychedelic

I designed it for a Spoonflower contest, that I missed the cutoff for… but I loved it enough that I ordered it as a sweatshirt here because I could get it for only $30!!!!

Speaking of Spoonflower contests the next contest I am entered in is the pop art citrus challenge with this design.

atomic pop art on lime

I designed it after one of my favorite designers didn’t go as atomic with her design as I would have expected her too. You can vote for it on spoonflower this Thursday!!!

The last contest I entered was whimsical wonderland, and tho I scored pretty dismally IMO (319th). I loved the design enough that I bought myself a shirt out of it.

I designed chunky pin up brachiosaurus, ridding meteors . I figured we have pin ups on bombs, so it just made sense. You can get it as fabric on Spoonflower, or as a pre made shirt on one of my other POD sites including RageOn (where I got it).

Last bit of b0rwear news, becaus this super excites me. I’m going to share a bit about the number of sales I have gotten.

This is society6. The paid number 40 is how many items I have gotten paid for in my whole time on the site. the payouts are between August of 2018 and October of 2019 (a little more than a year). The pending sales 36 are only sales made in the last 30 days. This means that in the last month i’ve pretty nearly made the same number of sales as I have in an entire year on the site. I have no idea what happened, but I am super glad it did.

As always thanks for reading, and I hope you had fun seeing all of what we have been up to.

Rob (b0rwear)

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Bingo, and Birthdays

Last year one of the most successful posts I made was about our Christmas Rom Com bingo cards, that I made for my wife and me to watch the score of terrible Rom Coms released around Christmas time. I made these after I searched for premade bingo cards and was left unsatisfied with the results. This year I made a few changes, adding some more squares, and removing some that I didn’t feel worked all that well from last year. Without further ado here are our bingo cards.

These are completely free, but as it is the holiday season and things can get a bit tight, if you want to donate/support us we won’t turn you down. Dontaions for the he bingo cards can be made with PayPal to my email nameisbor@hotmail (or just pick up something nice for yourself from one of our stores). We hope you really enjoy this game, we know our family does, enough so that the Hallmark channel was purchased for 2 months for extra playing.

On top of all this, its our birthday, well sorta. My wife got a notification yesterday that 2 years ago, I started selling fabric on spoonflower. True I had started selling on POD sites before this, but I feel that starting to sell fabric was a major turning point in my design life. I remember struggling to come up with my first 30 or so designs to proof, and waiting about a month before I made my first sale. Currently I have over 1,200 designs, and I proof at least 42 designs a month, but aim for more around 84, I have Novembers all ready to order, I’m just waiting on a few more sales to pay for them. This means next year I should be adding an additional 1,000 designs to my portfolio….. at least!!!!

Over the last month or so, I had started taking Mondays off, so that I could focus more on b0rwear. This was a weird change to make, and we always knew that I wouldn’t have every Monday off, as my real job would occasionally need me. This Monday I almost went in, but was given the go ahead at the last minute, and it was really hard to envision me not having my b0rwear day. These Mondays have been flying by, with me really getting some designs churned out. Speaking of odd choices and tough decisions, I mentioned last time that I had pirates stealing my work, and that this happened to many other designers I know. I reported them, but didn’t see anything done. Reporting them took hours. While I was doing this another artist friend (studioxtine) was also reporting theft of her designs. After a while I kinda gave up deciding I would much rather focus on making new work and attempting to earn money with my time, as opposed to fighting with corporations about third party theft of my designs. My artist friend, stuck it out, and eventually got the designs removed, and got in a bit of a fight with one of the pirates, where they whined about report against them negatively affecting them. HAHHAHA you had it coming scumbags. But in the end we both kinda decided that maybe my way had been more productive. Hopefully not to many people where buying this fairly obviously stolen art (In our opinions), so the loss to us was small, however by fighting for hours we weren’t making new designs, which was a clear loss to us. Not to mention the frustration, and emotional toll of the whole ordeal.

Anyway guess I’ll keep on trucking on. Christmas is coming and I have to get designs ready after all.

rob/ b0rwear


Pirates vs Artists


Alright lets start with the good stuff, before I start seething later. The other week a fellow artist asked me if I could review a coloring book that she had made. She is @whimsical_brush on IG and her book can be found here.

I gave the coloring book to my wife, and she colored a few pages.

The book is reasonably priced at around $6, many adult coloring books are $12 and up. Cheaper books in comparison, tend to reuse images throughout the book, and will often have waxier paper, which doesn’t take colors from your pencils, or markers as well. Another neat thing about this book is that each page is black backed, which can help prevent colors from leaking thorough to other pages, and prevents you from trying to figure out which illustration you like more. My wife also mentioned that the pages have the right amount of detail, not so much that it takes forever to color, so she can have a sense of accomplishment in under an hour, but not so little detail that the whole picture can be colored 1-2 colors. If you like mermaids, or coloring you might want to check it out, at the very least an independent artist will be getting your money.

Also I had a crafter crows_art_ sew up a little gnome, using my sphynx block design available on spoonflower.

New Designs

I got 42 more designs turned out on the last day of September, on schedule for my plan of at least 42 new designs each month. I have yet to start any designs for this month, though I have plans for what I will do. This Monday was used up, doing a lot of other things.

I also got 2 yards of my blue flames pattern in the mail. Which will be used for a bounding outfit, when we go to Florida in December.

blue flame

Stupid Pirates.

Stolen Art

The other day I was notified by another artist, that Amazon had a lot of items for sale featuring my art work, more importantly my stolen art work. This was frustrating for sure, but I kinda had been expecting it to happen, as I have seen many other artists on spoonflower have their art stolen and sold on Amazon. Amazon unfortunately really doesn’t do enough to discourage this from happening. I had put off reporting the theft until today, as I had heard its sorta a pain to do. So today I spent about an hour reporting around 30 products from about a dozen stores. I had been warned by the other artist that they would probably request additional info, so supplied me with the other questions they asked. So that I could fill them out in advance and hopefully save myself some grief.

I filled out the form, including the additional things I was told I would probably need. Shortly after reporting the products I got an email from Amazon saying I didn’t provide enough info to prove I owned the design, and asked me for the additional info I had already filled out. Was I frustrated and put out before? Absolutely! My art was stolen and that sucks, but Amazon’s email to me straight up pissed me off. Nothing shows me a company cares more than a pat email that proves they never looked at what I sent, and tells me I didn’t supply info I know i supplied. This is an absolute crap policy and Amazon should do better. A thief can steal a design and have it available for sale super quick, but the artist who owns the design has to spend an hour to fill out a form, and then get an email saying they don’t have enough proof, we need more info, now wait 1-2 days before we bother to fix the issue. Not only that, but my friend told me her 1-2 has been a week, with still no solution! THIS IS WRONG, THIS IS BAD BUSINESS. Amazon is proving they don’t care at all about theft or owners rights, as long as they get paid, and hopefully people start to catch on.



Well that was dumb!


Recently I have been desperately attempting to keep up with the holidays, not just that they are fast approaching and I need to get all my loved ones gifts, and what design will this family member get etc.. but uploading new holiday designs to my various site. Normally I try and make sure I have a particular holidays design uploaded months in advanced on spoonflower, as crafters need holiday designs earlier so that they can sew things, and make them available for sale. On my other sites I try and upload those same designs closer to the holiday on my other design sites. This year it is really kicking my butt.

The big reason for this I think is while I’m attempting to churn out a few New Year, and Valentines designs for spoonflower (I just proofed a few) I’m attempting to upload Halloween designs at the same time on my other site. Not only is this a double whammy of holiday designs, but RageOn has changed their uploader and designs can only get uploaded to one item at a time. My designs are made to scale and fit any number of products so I try uploading designs to 5-12 products, and this is really killing my time. Fortunately I think I finally got caught up with Halloween (other than the last minute designs I will come up with, or the design I inevitably forgot hidden away somewhere) However now its on to attempting to get all my Christmas designs live….. Ahhhhhhh…… I think I probably need to sitch to just uploading designs as soon as I make them now, regardless of the holiday, as I know there is no way to keep up with stockpiling 10-20 designs, and uploading them all on 5-12 products.

Anyway long story short Halloween designs are now available on all my POD sites, and New Years designs will be available on my spoonflower shop for the first time shortly!

Small bits and pieces

Yesterday I got an email from redbubble saying I had sold 5 different items with the same print. The print in question was: pixelated nudity censored light skin this mystery shopper ordered a mini skirt, 2 leggings, and a wall tapestry. I hope they love them, they certainly made my day.

Recently the wife and I have been discussing more what types of designs need to go on my limited design docket, to fill gaps in my design portfolio. At the top of the list was designs for New Years, as it is a holiday I have so far made no designs for, and this year is going to be 2020, which people will make a big deal about. I just finished and ordered a few New Years designs!, The other thing we decided I should work on is cutesy designs for pets and or children. These two markets actually overlap quite a bit from what I have seen. We are talking about cutesy stuff that I generally wouldn’t be making, like: “daddies little princess” mommies little heart breaker” and things of the like. These are designs that I will be getting to next, as I just finished the New Years designs I can get out for this year.

Well that was dumb!

The missus and I have been discussing, and we have realized that b0rwear has gotten to the point, where we can actually make some money off of it. A point we never really expected to get to. However it felt like to grow the business more I personally would need to A.) really step up my art game or B.) really step up the number of designs I churn out. Both of these options require more time, you know my most limited resource.

Clearly we would rather that extra time didn’t get taken form existing time with the family, so we did something rather drastic, and put our money where my mouth was. We floated the notion of me taking Mondays off work, and my boss seemed amiable to it. At first things seemed great, as its just one day, and it wouldn’t really affect things to much. Then I did the math and remembered that just one day, over the course of a month equals about a week, and our family would be going without a weeks pay, so i could pull my little stunt. So i really had to turn out some designs to make this all worth it (always the plan just more obvious now). To help keep myself on track I have decided to start with the goal of churning out 42 new designs every month on spoonflower, so I can create new proofs. This also means if I want to keep my current goal of only proofing designs with earned funds from spoonflower, I need to sell $175 MSRP worth of fabric to fund each months proofing.

Anyway we feel that this goal is quite do-able, but I need to keep on it, and hopefully I start selling a lot more than that, so I can start covering some of those missing hours as well.

As always thanks for reading