SoCal Cup & Saucer

From the cup to your wardrobe
Hi there! I'm an artistic wife and mother with a penchant for tea and the color orange. The SoCal Cup & Saucer is my creative outlet.

Additional accessory products?

I'm very happy with Spreadshirt's merch range, but can I request additional products too:)? Since my shop's theme is tea, I would love to someday be able to offer products like 1) cotton/linen tea towels, 2) fabric napkins, 3) tablecloths, 4) storage containers, 5) small (non-poster) prints, 6) trinket trays. I think those kinds of items would be broad enough in style to be attractive to other designers too.

Just brainstorming here!
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Not Your Average Tea Shop

Sorry to contribute here so late, but my computer has been out of commission. Better late than never though, so here it goes!

Growing up, tea parties (the fancy, more British kind) were a regular part of my experience: tea with Grandma, tea with American Girl dolls and stuffed animals, and tea with our girls' club. However, it was many years later that I actually enjoyed the taste of a true cup of tea (herbal infusions, sugar water, and juice were the "teas" of my childhood).

College brought many new experiences, including a more mature palate that appreciated camellia sinensis in its various forms. About a year after I graduated, I ended up landing a job in a retail tea shop, and my inner tea nerd was born. Among family and friends, I became the go-to tea person, having tasted more than 100 different types at the shop. I also discovered and started attending annual tea festivals.

Unfortunately, retail was not the best long-term fit for me, and the sales stress finally gave way to a new job in a different field. But I would joke, "You can take the girl out of the tea shop, but you can't take the tea out of the girl." I kept up with the tea festival tradition, something my husband even jumped into with me, and deep down inside, I wished that I could own my own tea shop.

Southern California is not exactly the tearoom capital of America, and I knew that a traditional tearoom was simply not a practical pursuit for our family. I researched the possibility of becoming an independent tea consultant, but there were no options that fit my vision. And tea blogging was simply too much of a time commitment in light of my full-time employment.

Then came 2020. We were expecting our first baby, I was about to retire from my job to be a stay at home mom, and then the country shut down because of COVID.

This is definitely not a COVID story, but I'll just say this: 2020 was hard. 2020 brought difficulty. But 2020 also turned into a series of blessings for our family that we thank God for constantly. Home with our baby son, I had time to start enjoying digital art, and it was my husband who said, "You should put that on a shirt."

Light bulb moment! Graphics that centered on tea and related concepts came to mind naturally, and I already had a name in mind for my brand: The SoCal Cup and Saucer. I started researching design-your-own shirt companies. The first company I tried turned out to be a disappointment, but as a result, I stumbled on Spreadshirt, and my wish was fulfilled: I was the owner of a tea shop (er, tee shop).

Spreadshirt offered solutions for the biggest problems I had with the other company: shirt quality, shipping policies, and customization.

The other print-on-demand company used a variety of shirt brands that all differed in feel, fit, and quality, and I never knew what I would get (let alone my customers!). Spreadshirt backed its own products by self-branding, and I got consistency as a result.

The value-based shipping policy was what actually sold me on opening a Spreadshop. Most other POD companies have flat shipping rates per item, which add up in astronomic proportion. I couldn't bear to slap my customers with such outrageous fees, so I was extremely thankful that Spreadshirt followed a normal business pattern.

And I had so much fun customizing my Spreadshop! All the design, promo, and product options made me feel like I could make the SoCal Cup and Saucer my own. When I tell my friends that I own a "tea-shirt" shop, I feel confident in referring them to my website, and I don't have to offer any caveats.

This SLC gave me a push to run with my new business. I'm still doing it as a hobby (being a mom is full-time work, and I love it!), but it gives me a creative outlet and has taught me new things about advertising. I dislike social media in general, but using it professionally has actually been enjoyable, and I like connecting with other tea lovers and artists.

My dream is to take SoCal Cup and Saucer to one of the tea festivals along the West Coast. The kind of people I've met at those events are my primary target audience, and although POD merch is not exactly easy to sell from a booth, I keep thinking that there must be a way!

Transparent Stickers

The new transparent stickers are great -- only problem I see is that the Edit Design window doesn't let me edit the background selections, so I can't make that the ONLY option for my white/light element designs. I don't want customers to accidentally select a white background and then not be able to read the design when they get it.

Can I request a Spreadshop update that gives us editing control over stickers ๐Ÿ˜€?
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Tea-Shirts in Southern California

Hi there, my name is Abigail, and I recently launched the SoCal Cup & Saucer, a shop where tea lovers can find apparel and accessories to wear their tea love on their sleeve. My designs are bodacious, clean-cut, and full of bright colors, reminiscent of our California sunshine.

Art and tea are two of my hobbies, and tea really fuels my creativity. My husband encouraged me to explore merch as an outlet for my ideas, and here I am!

Looking forward to learning best practices and introducing new people to my shop through this challenge (especially any other tea fans in this community!).
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