Today we’re excited to announce the winners of our first 2021 edition of Shop Launch Challenge!
What is Shop Launch Challenge?
Over 10 weeks from January through March 2021, hundreds of people from all over the world signed up to launch their own shops. Optional weekly challenges helped new shop owners stay motivated and learn the best practices for running a successful print-on-demand brand of their own.
Something for everyone
This contest proved that there truly is a Spreadshop for everybody, as we saw introductions from topics that ranged from travel bloggers, hand-drawn robots, weight loss journeys, dancers, youtubers, cooks, bands (both signed and unsigned recording artists!) and we even had an immigration attorney launch a shop. No kidding!
Some Weekly Challenges had amazing bonus prizes, like the iPad Pro which was won by Malaika Burley, for her incredible story and passion behind her personal brand. See here.
How our winners were chosen
A panel of internal judges reviewed every single shop that was eligible and engaged in the challenge. They ranked shops based on two main factors:
1. Level of creativity and originality.
2. Adherence to the tips & tricks found in the Spreadshop Selling Guide.
Battle of the micro-niches!!!
In this edition of the challenge it was interesting to see more “micro-niches”. What is that? Well a micro-niche is either two interests that have been blended together, or one main topic that has now been narrowed down into a specific interest or style within that niche. Examples: A painter who only draws digitally on iPad. Dancers who specialize in tap dancing. A pet expert in a specific breed. Sometimes the more narrow your niche, the more success you can have because there are not a lot of people serving this unique micro-niche with cool products or content. Keep that tip in mind for yourself!
Dancing right into our 3rd Place spot is….
“Fun, humorous and slightly irreverent shirts to wear while winging it, shuffling off to Buffalo, or wherever your tap shoes may take you.Marlene was living in NY and the first Broadway Show she happened to see was 42nd Street, and Karen was dancing in it! Flash forward twenty years when they actually meet for the first time in Colorado. Both still love to tap, but they also love to laugh. Looking for fun, humorous and slightly irreverent shirts to wear while tapping, they decided to create their own and share them with you!”
In their own words…
Why they were chosen:
These lovely ladies danced their way into our hearts and caught everyone’s attention with their promotions and videos on instagram. While participation in every weekly challenge was not necessary to win, it didn’t hurt that they were always jumping in to try the challenges, promote their shop, and have a really fun time doing it!
We also took note of how supportive Marlene & Karen were of the other Shop Launch Community members. Congratulations and keep up the great work!
Our 2nd Place winner is…..
Why they were chosen
The first thing that caught our attention from day one were the wonderful tea-inspired designs from SoCal’s shop. A surprising niche, that actually shouldn’t be so surprising at all, as tea lovers are super passionate about this topic.
“Tea is exciting! It pleases our senses and gives us a reason to pause in a fast-paced world. Whether you like to socialize over a pot of tea or curl up with a good book, mug in hand, tea is a grand experience.” – Abigail, founder of SoCal Cup & Saucer
In her own words
One design in particular we found amazing was this mug with the actual steeping times for each type of tea. You’ll never ruin your tea again!
THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER…. DRUM ROLL PLEASE….
“What’s up, everybunny? I’m Diane from Hook’s Hollands, raising a small herd of Holland lop bunnies on our organic Ohio farm. I’ve been sharing bunny care information (and cute bunny photos and videos) on my website and YouTube channel since 2015!” – Diane, founder of Hook’s Hollands.
Why she won
Diane knocked our socks off by launching a really incredible looking Spreadshop right from the start.
- She followed all of our best practices and tips in our Selling Guide (some are listed here).
- While we’ve seen great pet shops before for cats, dogs… we’ve never seen the bunny niche!
- Diane consistently launched new designs that really fit the look of her overall brand. Friendly, fun, and vivid!
- Week in and week out, Diane took part in ever weekly challenge and she also seemed to give the challenges and promotions a dash of creativity. For example: She decided to launch a design contest during one of the last challenge weeks.
While not a deciding factor in winning the top prizes, all of our winners similarly were highly engaged and encouraging others in the Shop Launch Community. You could always count on an encouraging and supporting message.
In her own words
Great work Diane! We look forward to seeing more awesome bunny-centric designs from you as you continue to grow your brand.
Do you want us to do this again? Join the community!
While this edition of the challenge is over, the community born out of it is STILL alive, and we want to encourage you all to continue to engage and grow together. Details on future challengers will be posted there first, so get engaged! And introduce yourself. Even though this edition is over, several new people are going through the old weekly challenges and getting ready for the next big challenge!
We’d like to think Spreadshop was the real winner here. We’ve never seen this kind of community building around our brand to this point. It feels so great to see shop owners helping shop owners, cheering each other on, and even cheering us on and offering gratitude for our weekly challenges and motivational content. We really hope you join our community.
Three cheers to all of those who participated in this challenge… we hope you’ll continue this journey together.
See you there.