While this post is mainly focused on self promotion of InkedWith, my new Shopify store, I figured it was a good way to open up a new wave of technology challenges! With the shameless plug out of the way, allow me to cover the back history of this a little bit.
I have always been interested in trying to start some kind of side business. I have never really been able to find what to do. After tinkering with all kinds of things here and there, I stumbled upon the concept of Print On Demand (POD for short). Of course there’s articles and how to guides all over the Internet. There’s no need to list any here but you’re welcome to Google for them and see what comes up.
Print On Demand is the next get rich quick scheme? I do believe there are a number of people that have certainly used it to quit their day jobs and just sit there on their so called “passive income” while the store does its thing. I don’t see this as why I’m beginning to dabble in this at all. Is the idea to make money? Sure!
Way back when, I looked at starting a business that was focused solely on technology. Doing technology as a side business just wasn’t interesting enough for me. Many years later, I wanted to try something different that involved something completely different. I’ve realized that setting up InkedWith would be the perfect opportunity to dabble in a whole new skillset. By doing it via a POD setup, I’m also having to invest very little money up front and that allows me to tinker with all kinds of stuff.
Deciding What To Sell?
This was the easy part! I love wearing T-shirts. I know what I personally like in a shirt too. This decision was simple. Selling blank shirts was not ideal so I had to figure out what to put on them. If you did Google POD and look at any of the step by step guides, one of the very first steps will always be “identify your niche”. This is great guidance but nobody really walks you through that process. All resources suggest some very basic ideas. They give generic guidance. It’s difficult to find guidance that says choose something from column A and then have all of column B.
After thinking long and hard, I decided that it made sense to try to dabble in two of my passions at once (yes more shameless plugs):
These links are more self promotion of InkedWith but that’s ok.
So Where Are The Challenges With Technology?
I’m glad you asked! This is where the fun begins. Building this online presence has allowed me to work with SEO and creating a storefront from the ground up. Most of that didn’t involve true technology problems because I will admit that Shopify did indeed make things super easy. I’m also a terrible person at trying to come up with descriptions and “About Us” slogans and catchy quotes that should go into these things.
This is where technology comes into it. My previous Tinkering With Artificial Intelligence Blog Writing article didn’t paint the whole picture. Yes, I was tinkering with AI for blog writing just to see how it went. I’ve also started tinkering with both Rytr and Writesonic to accomplish other tasks like product descriptions. I’ve also spent time working with AI Image generators to help me create the InkedWith logo as well as some of the designs for the shirts themselves!
In addition to some AI generated pictures for the shirts, I’ve started talking to my tattoo artist. My tattoo artist has agreed to allow me to use some of his artwork in the InkedWith designs too! This has brought me into a whole new set of technical challenges for image manipulation and more!
What Does It All Mean?
I do hope my self promotion of InkedWith in this article gets the store a little more visibility for sure. I also hope the store will eventually pay for itself so that I can continue to tinker with various technology. After this shameless plug, I plan to keep the two separated so if you want to follow more about InkedWith, checkout the store and follow the InkedWith brand on social media. Regardless, this blog will continue to focus on technology related challenges such as an upcoming article where I used GIMP to remove glare from an image!