Cape and Cowl Comics has joined the Stronger Together initiative, learn more about how this comic shop is packing a punch with their new Spreadshop merch.
With a history spanning decades, comic books have long been a creative and enjoyable medium in pop culture. Right now, in an era of COVID-19, escaping to another reality via comic book is all the more important. Keeping this tradition alive in their downtown Oakland, CA location is Cape and Cowl Comics. With Spreadshop merch and retail online, their community of comic book lovers has come together to support them.
We would love to start by learning more about your business. How did Cape and Cowl Comics get started?
Cape and Cowl Comics is a comic book store I opened in Downtown Oakland, CA back in 2015. I had known since I discovered them as a kid that I wanted to work in comics. Unfortunately, I can’t draw, I’m not much of an artist, and getting a job at a comic book publisher is just slightly harder than becoming a professional athlete. But one day about 8 or so years ago it hit me like a ton of bricks and I knew how I could do it. I’ve always been able to get other people excited about the comics I love. I could open a shop and just introduce people to new stories all day and be surrounded by comics! What could be better?!
How has your business been affected by COVID-19?
Unfortunately, we have been closed to the public since the middle of March. We quickly made a number of moves to get our inventory online and have been doing primarily mail order since. We’ve been absolutely blown away by all the love and support of our community. It’s humbling. We’ve also branched out into things like Spreadshop for additional ways for people to order from and stay in touch with us!
Can you tell us why you chose our platform (Spreadshop) for your merch?
We checked out a number of similar sites and it was pretty clear that Spreadshop had the best merch options. Whenever we’re designing merch for the shop, we want to be sure it’s stuff that we would want to wear ourselves and we loved all of the choices we had with Spreadshop (as you can see by the whole bunch of items we ordered for ourselves).
How have you been marketing your Shop?
We did some initial posts across our social media when we first opened the shop and sent out an email blast to our customers announcing we had this sweet new way to get Cape and Cowl gear. Then a week or so later when our samples came, one of my kids and I did a little fashion shoot and shared that as well.
What has the response been like from your customers?
Everyone loves it! We’re seeing a bunch of orders coming through and we’re starting to be tagged in pics on social media. People have always seemed to love the designs we’ve done in store and I think they like them even more now that they have SO MANY options.
How did you create the designs you are offering in your Shop?
Most of our designs come via teaming up with some of our favorite artists. Every year for our anniversary I reach out to a handful of creators and ask for “artist’s choice” designs. All I ask is that they say, “Cape and Cowl Comics” and “Oakland, CA” and then I leave the rest up to them. Every single one we’ve gotten has been amazing. We also have created a handful of designs ourselves and do collaborations with local artists on some of the ideas we come up with, but lack the art skills to do on our own.
Any advice for other businesses that are thinking of opening a Spreadshop or that are new to print-on-demand?
No reason not to do it right now. It’s super easy, it’s fun, and customers are particularly eager for ways to support you these days. Careful though, it’s addicting. You’re going to be thinking about your next design constantly!