Wannabe YouTuber, Hook's Hollands
Content creator for Hook's Hollands website and YouTube channel. Bunny hoarder. Website: https://www.ohiohollandlops.com/

👕 If you build it, they will come. 🐇🐇🐇

December 24, 2020
Dear Diary,
(In case you have internet access and the hankering for a bunny sticker to spice up your boring cover, hop to my my Spreadshop here.)

I was inspired and mesmerized watching Daniel Batal’s hair YouTube video about something called Spreadshop, where I can create my own merch for my channel. Since I’m a one-woman-show, I never thought I could find the time or patience to learn how start a merch shop, but Daniel’s a middle-ager like I am and figured it out, so it just might be possible. 

December 25, 2020
Dear Diary,
Welp, Covid sure freed up my holiday schedule, so I cracked open some Christmas ale, scarfed down copious amounts of honey-glazed ham, and plopped down at my computer to begin creating designs for my new merch shop. That sounds so strange...MY merch shop! (why is “merch shop” so difficult to enunciate?)
I have a couple logo designs ready to go, but I think my target audience would be more likely to purchase cute bunny designs and sayings, so I spent hours trying to draw bunnies, but I royally suck at it.  My best attempt was a little gray kawaii style rabbit with a slightly constipated expression. Perhaps I’ll try again after the eggnog has worn off.  Somebunny get this rabbit some Pepto! 😜

January 2, 2021
Dear Diary,
Bring on the new year...I just launched my Spreadshop! I hibernated with my computer over Christmas break (and developed a bit of carpal tunnel from being attached to my mouse...and because I’m stinkin’ old) and created over a dozen bunny-themed designs that I hope will pique my viewers’ interest. I even created an embarrassing launch-day ad to announce my grand opening to subscribers. I’m not above humiliation to earn a few bucks. Of course, this design is lost on those who don’t have pet bunnies (cecotropes are tiny poops that bunnies eat to maintain digestive symbiosis).

January 24, 2021
Dear Diary,
The response to my new Spreadshop has been surprisingly positive with a decent number of sales to reward my weeks of hard work creating designs. How I ever survived on just a few hours’ sleep in my 20s and 30s is beyond me. #needcaffeine

Other than subpar artistic skills, my biggest challenge so far has been finding the right balance between occasionally sharing my merch with viewers/subscribers and spamming them to death and losing the audience I’ve worked years to attract. I’m so over-the-moon enthused about my merch shop and have to check my excitement before hitting the post button and make sure to only sprinkle merch posts sparingly among the bunnertainment (bunny pics and vids).

Do I start a new Instagram just for my merch? This is ideal in theory, but since I can barely keep up with social posts now (and am so confused by the different image size requirements of IGTV, reels, story posts, Facebook, and YouTube), it’s not practical. I will continue to work toward an optimal merch/content balance when posting.
As a side note, the first free shipping promo went well, though I think 75% of items purchased were by me. Will my hubby notice all of the *Spreadshirt charges on our Visa bill?  Crap. 😬

February 26, 2021
Dear Diary,
Yo, D.J., was this week’s challenge inspired by me? 😂😳 As I step back and gain perspective on my shop launch, I realize I am totally guilty of design diarrhea.
My enjoyment of creating fun (and borderline inappropriate) bunny designs is partly to blame for the excessive graphic options, but I also am confident that my extensive color-based lop bunny collection will be popular when people realize they can personalize merch with their bunny’s name as well.  I need to do better in communicating the customization feature in my shop and decide if I should reduce the number of design and item choices. But...everything’s just so cute, how do I decide?! 
I guess I'll finally make my Storyteller Challenge video to demo this feature.

March 12, 2021
Dear Diary,
A bit of reflection for today...  Ten years ago, when I was a young mother burdened with health issues that prevented me from returning to my teaching job, I struggled to find a creative outlet to rekindle my sense of accomplishment. Bunnies. Yep. Who knew that these fuzzy, lop-eared critters who poop like Pez dispensers would lead me to become a mildly successful YouTuber?!  If our rural internet wasn’t so gosh darn awful, I would have chosen to become a badass gamer mom Fortnite streamer, but bunnies will have to suffice for now. (buffering...)

Three months ago, I never considered myself capable of adequate artistic skill or millennial tech savviness to start a merch shop or even understand what the heck a merch shelf is. Thanks to Daniel B. (whose hair I’m totally jealous of) for the encouragement, D.J. for politely fielding my incessant newbie questions, and the amazingly talented Spreadshop community members for their inspiration and support, I have my own line of bunny-themed merch.  Pinch me, am I dreaming?! 

My designs are nowhere near as talented as Be.Nattie, delicious as Edible Ed’s, hilariously shocking as Patterns & Critters (Signhild), energetic as Tap Togs, consisitently cute as SoCal Cup & Saucer, or inspiring as Malaika’s, but I’m proud of all I’ve accomplished through perseverance and excessive use of the “undo” button in CorelDraw. 

My Spreadshop adventure and this challenge are further proof to myself that even when absolutely exhausted from daily responsibilities and being pushed beyond my comfort zone, I can survive.  I can succeed.  Even when the odds are stacked against me and I feel like a failure trying to prove that I am capable of making a modest living through my creative ventures, I can be proud of myself. My life may not have traveled in the direction I intended, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to quit trying to achieve.  I am The Special, and 


Now quit reading my diary!
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This may be a very dumb question, but once I've clicked on a product (and tried out many colors of garments with a design), how do I quickly return to the main design page? 
The design name at the top doesn't breadcrumb back to the design page, and I have to click the back button however many times I clicked on different colored garments to finally get back to where I started. 
On PC, I normally open a new tab for every item, but since most shoppers are on mobile, I thought it worth asking if I'm missing an easier way to breadcrumb back.  Thank you!  😎

Editing Designs

Are there any plans to allow shop owners to edit their published designs?

I often find the need to tweak colors or make minor edits in designs, so I have to re-upload it as a new design and delete the old one.  Sounds simple...but then I have to re-organize my designs and add the new design to its appropriate topic in the shop, delete all links to the old product (Facebook, YouTube merch shelf, my website), and create all new links while waiting days for YouTube to find and approve the edited design.
I'm guessing the main issue is how editing designs might affect purchased items in production, but I thought it worth asking.  Thank you!  😊  
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What's up, everybunny?!  I'm Diane from Hook's Hollands here in Ohio, USA.  I raise a small herd of Holland lop bunnies on our farm and have shared bunny care information on my website and YouTube channel since 2015. 

Recently, after seeing D.J. interviewed on Danial Batal's YouTube channel, I decided to stop procrastinating creating my own merch and opened a Spreadshop on the first of this year.  I've been feverishly creating bunny-themed designs...hop on over and take a look:  https://shop.spreadshirt.com/hooks-hollands/

As a new Spreadshop user, I'm eager to learn the tips and tricks veterans have to offer to help keep this experience fun and profitable.  Cheers! 

If you don't own a bunny, this design probably isn't remotely humorous, but suffice it to say that cecotropes are a type of bunny poop that bunnies eat for probiotic benefits and are essential to their digestive health.  You're welcome.  ;)
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