From coast to coast, COVID-19 has made an impact. Located in Pittsburgh, PA, New Dimension Comics shares how they’ve used the Stronger Together project to help support their business during these turbulent times, and beyond.
Jon Engel, the General Manager of New Dimension Comics, walks us through what it’s like running a small business in an era of COVID-19. From difficult decisions to new beginnings with their Spreadshop, learn how their fans have been able to support their business with online sales.
We would love to start by learning more about your business. How did New Dimension Comics come to be?
Founded in 1986 by Todd McDevitt, we grew as a passion project in the small town of Ellwood City, PA. Before we knew it, BAM! Six stores in the Greater Pittsburgh area. We owe it all to the passionate customers and comic fans that support us!
How has your business been affected by COVID-19?
We had to lay off most of our work force, which was the hardest decision we had to make, ever. However, it really showed the flexibility of our company by how we easily flipped to being able to sell online in new ways. Most notably with our online store.
You’re not alone, many businesses are facing a similar fate right now. Why did you start selling merch? Why did you choose Spreadshop as the platform to do this?
Well, we knew the fabulous D.J. Coffman (creator of Hero By Night, Yirmumah) for some time who works in comics outside of working for Spreadshop, and knew how much he put into his work. When the opportunity came about to join the Stronger Together campaign, it was a bit of a no-brainer to take the leap. Also, our customers are always looking for cool swag to rep their favorite comic and gaming store.
How have you been marketing your Shop?
Mostly through social media, our website, and our e-newsletter.
What has the response been like from your customers?
It has been phenomenal! We are constantly moving more and more cool new merch. It’s great.
How did you create the designs you are offering in your Shop?
We asked for suggestions and we got paired up with a fantastic local artist that cranked out some killer designs. Since then we have had a few more local artists reach out about designs. Some will be available soon.
Any advice for other businesses that are thinking of selling merch, opening a Spreadshop or that are new to print-on-demand?
DO IT! It’s simple, easy, and totally worth it.