Thought it would be fun to take a peek back in the beginning years of Decoylab and share some old banners and products that I offered on Etsy. I already was a member on Etsy in 2006. Prior to selling on Etsy, I used to have my own shop online through decoylab.com selling T-shirts, prints, custom made melamine plates (shown below) and of course, calendars. I have strange obsession with calendars!!
Early Etsy Banners
2008 Calendar that birthed the Cuckoo Clock
The above image is what I was busy making and printing to list on Etsy during October / November 2007. You can see that November I created the image of cuckoo clock illustration.. which turned into...
Cuckoo Clock Kit - that when assembled looked like these..
After selling them as kits for awhile, I've made a change and decided to have all clocks preassembled. At the time I was printing using Print Gocco. But I kept having issues with bulbs and the company was discontinuing and getting supplies were difficult, so I've made a big purchase, an Epson inkjet printer - my first big $1000 investment.
At this point I was featured in magazines and getting wholesale orders. So I was printing out on inkjet paper and pasted the print onto a thick card board. I hand cut each one of them by a box cutter and a ruler. I also got heavy duty corner cutter to create the round shape. (I used to use the hobby hand punch and hurt my hand.) Talk about crazy... that was pretty tedious work!
Above image is how I used to package my preassembled clocks.
I've worked in this "boxed" rectangular shaped for some time and started to get bored. (Not to mention my hand hurt from all the trimming.) I began to look for alternatives. I SO wanted to break out of the box quite literally.
So I took another investment by creating a shape and had the thicker paper die cut and embossed. It was about 800 dollar investment. Sadly, it did not sell that much. My wishful thinking and dream does not necessarily equal to sustainably profitable business. Because of the high upfront cost and carrying inventories, it didn't give me much option to try out different shapes. So I began looking into laser cutting as an alternative. After all, I would have to commit to one shape. I like experimenting and laser cut allowed me to do that.
I contacted several local laser cut shops who laser cut some kind of machine parts. But I never heard back from them. I kept searching online until I found Ponoko.com. At the time they were operating only in New Zealand. I loved the fact that it worked like printing business cards. I could set up a file, select a material and have them cut and delivered!
If I remember correctly.. i believe this teddy bear was the very first ones I've ever made.. Then I made elephant, owl and squirrel. Not sure if it was in that order. But close enough. Fawn, Hippo, Hedgehog followed soon after.
I made many designs and not all of them were hits. Many designs were not hits. Some i only sold few.. here you see an apple tree clock clock. And on the right, a calendar clock which i thought could be used to put a photo after the year was over.
My old Decoylab logo. Happy Designs Make Happy People Make Happy Designs... that never ends. I used to make these into stickers. You can still see the sticker on Jakprints.com when you select 1 inch circle sticker option!