Shop Owner Nektarinchen is a Spreadshirt veteran. The 31-year-old Austrian and her boyfriend Christoph run one of the most successful Spreadshirt Shops of all time. Their Shop “Gscheade Leibal” (Austrian for decent label) embraces the peculiarities of the Austrian dialect.
How did you get into T-shirt design?
Nektarinchen: Hello! I’ve known Spreadshirt for about 10 years now, and I became aware of it when I took part in a project for a promotion job here in Vienna.
Nektarinchen: For the said job, I was tasked to create designs for the Spreadshirt Marketplace. These were then offered for sale on the Marketplace, and you would receive a T-shirt as a thank you. I soon had created five T-shirts and was happy with the service – until the news broke that you no longer got T-shirts but money. This was so demotivating, that I didn’t touch the whole thing for a year and a half. By chance, I looked into it again and noticed that I had earned 30 Euros. This was such a motivation that I decided to give it another shot. Now, we have as many as three stores and 4,000 designs on the Marketplace, and I’m very glad I don’t get a T-shirt for every sale anymore!
So Spreadshirt turned from a hobby into a profession. When did you decide to do it full-time?
Nektarinchen: I made money on the side with Spreadshirt Marketplace sales for years. When I noticed that I could live on it, I quit my day job. Back then, I was also doing a lot of unpaid overtime for my old boss who didn’t really seem to value my work. I would rather sit down and put all my time and motivation into my own future. Now, I’ve been treating my work with Spreadshirt as a full-time job for 3 ½ years, and when it became more and more work, Christoph joined me. Now he is working full-time as well.
At first, you only published on the Marketplace. What made you open a Shop?
Nektarinchen: I more or less opened a Shop by accident. Looking for a graduation gift for a friend, I couldn’t find a Shop in the whole city of Vienna that could print a T-shirt the way I wanted it. That’s why I opened a Spreadshirt Shop and created it myself. People asked me “Where did you get it, and are there any other designs?” This gap in the market inspired me open a dialect-themed shop.
How do you find the topics for your designs?
Christoph: Customers often came to us asking if we offered gifts for high-school graduation, fathers’ birthdays or something similar. This had us think we should try it in our dialect and connect it to the topic. We also keep a list of countless sayings in the Austrian dialect. That’s really helpful, as anyone can identify with it.
How much time and money do you invest in marketing?
Nektarinchen: There are times when we do lots of paid and unpaid marketing on Facebook, particularly before Christmas. Preparing such a campaign takes days.
Christoph: In addition, a certain amount of control is needed every day. What do we spend? What will it return? The effort and time the two of us spend on it is quite significant. We also tried classic advertising with print media for a little while, but to little avail.
What are your top 3 tips for new Spreadshirt Shop owners?
Nektarinchen: My first tip would be to identify topics instead of trying to appeal to everyone. The best way is to be part of the target group yourself. That way you just what people want, and you can save yourself the research of identifying the needs and esthetics of a target group. The second tip would be to really put your heart into it. Instead of trying to produce mass products, concentrate on just a few products that are pertinent to your project. And a third point: Don’t underestimate the effort. Be willing to work hard and a lot.
Do you see people wearing your gear on the street?
Christoph: We once saw somebody wearing a “Gscheade Leibal” design at the airport in Vienna. We took a selfie with her, and it was a very proud moment. It’s also interesting to see our friends take photos of our customers. When they share them with you, it just makes you very happy.
What’s next? What are your 2017 goals?
Nektarinchen: What we learned last year, is that no matter how much you do, it will give you at least twice as much in return. This has made us more aware of the reality of unforeseeable changes and the importance of having to react to them. Whenever Spreadshirt creates a new functional feature, we need to test and implement it straight away, so it’s our goal to stay on the ball and do as much as we can to make the best of what’s put in front of us.
Do you do dialect sayings and cultural inside jokes in your assortment? And is there anything else you would like to know about becoming successful with Spreadshirt? We are looking forward to your comments below!