The creative mind behind Zap’s Threads gives us a glimpse into the lives of creatives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you’re a business or an individual, the Stronger Together project has something to offer you.
They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Zap’s Threads is putting this philosophy to the test, with a full-blown design business and clever merch available on Spreadshop.
How did your design business come to be?
I started my business in 1998 in the Silicon Valley working for copywriters, startups, and venture capitalists. It was a great time… until the bubble burst and it wasn’t. But, thankfully, our business continued to thrive. I have since left that business to my ex-partner/husband and am restarting on my own again. I continue to do logo/identity/branding design, but have taken on a few smaller web design projects here and there.
How has your business been affected by COVID-19?
I work with some small businesses and entrepreneurs and since the quarantine was implemented it’s been hard to acquire new clients. Projects for the larger corporate clients I have, are now frozen and put on hold indefinitely.
Why did you start selling merch? Why did you choose Spreadshop as the platform to do this?
My T-shirt design business, Zap’s Threads, is my inspired side-hustle that allows me to express myself in ways my professional design doesn’t allow me to.
How have you been marketing your Shop?
Great question! I haven’t. I used to sell my shirts at local ultra-marathon races and would refer people to my shop if I didn’t have what they were looking for, but recently my shop has just been collecting the internet cobwebs. I may get three or four random sales a year which is honestly pathetic.
What has the response been like from your customers?
Despite not selling much in my online shop, a local running company has asked me to design specialty tees through their brick and mortar store, a running store/beer taproom in Auburn, CA.. I have since began working for them twice a week in their store (although COVID has completely changed that) pouring beer for the local runners, flimming the flam with them behind the bar, and selling running/endurance gear. The customers love my designs and keep asking for more!! My most famous amongst local runners has been my infamous Ultra As F*ck logo. A design inspired by Evel Knievel, the motorcycle stuntman from way back in the 1970s who was pretty badass and created for ultra-marathon runners who tend to be of similar extreme badassery and confidence.
How did you create the designs you are offering in your merch Shop?
All my designs are originally created in Adobe Illustrator so that they are high quality and scalable.
Any advice for other businesses or individuals that are thinking of selling merch, opening a Spreadshop or that are new to print-on-demand?
My biggest advice to anyone starting a Spreadshop (or any business for that matter) would be one thing: DO WHAT YOU LOVE. People can tell when art is genuine, original, and comes from your heart. My experience has been that as long as I’m having fun doing what I love somehow everything is taken care of. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve never had to go looking for a “real” job and it’s been over 20 years!