In my journey through the realms of design and entrepreneurship, I've learned that staying ahead of the curve is one key to success. Yes, just one... A platform that I've found particularly conducive to selling my surface pattern designs is Spoonflower. I began submitting designs to them around 2012. During those days, I submitted a Christmas-themed design featuring snowflakes to a Spoonflower design challenge, and it became one of the top 10 designs. Back then, Spoonflower also provided pictures of the printed fabric.
I love how print-on-demand services like Spoonflower not only offer a sustainable way to sell designs but also enable me to respond to trends. For instance, if I spot a trend I like, I can design a pattern for it and upload it to Spoonflower. However, I have to order a proof of this design before I can sell it. I hope that in the future, they will remove the proof ordering process to reduce fabric waste, as it's sometimes challenging to figure out what to do with the small swatches. Nonetheless, I will assess how the colors turn out and apply what I learn about sizes and colors to my future designs on Spoonflowers or other platform as Rasberry Creek Fabrics.
Traditional methods of printing and manufacturing often involve large batches and significant upfront costs so, as a solo designer I would imagine it to be quite difficult as a fabric seller. I know some designers do this successfully, but it requires some upfront investment. Spoonflower's print-on-demand model, on the other hand, allows for the printing of designs as orders are placed. This eliminates the need for excess inventory, reducing waste, and mitigating the financial risks associated with large print runs. I particularly appreciate the reduction of waste, as there's no need to print something without demand. Spoonflower also offers eco-friendly fabric options, such as organic cotton knit, allowing me to contribute to a greener planet.