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Q: Who I am?
A: I am a baseball fan born in Chicago, growing up watching and going to Cubs games. By high school I was more into skateboarding, punk rock shows and art club. After art school, my childhood love for baseball would merge with counter culture, punk rock and an art school education in the form of a baseball fan club.
Q: What I offer?
A: Merchandise for baseball fans who happen to be into art, design, and counter culture. I current have hats and posters. The apparel side are geared specifically to the 'fiend cubs' but the posters which are illustrated/design-y, like music "gig" posters for baseball games can include any team as they are mostly created for post-season play.
Q: What is / who are the fiend cubs?
A: We are Cubs fans who don't bleed cubbie blue (cubs fan expression). Fiend club started with the punk band the Misfits, then was appropriated by Shepard Fairey for Obey. To me it symbolizes a defiant fan base, fiend cubs are more about celebrating being fans for 108 years without a championship, more about being on board when the seasons are difficult and celebrating the history of baseball. It's hard to justify this now without being labeled a bandwagon project, as now the team is actually quite good. Do I wish I came up with this 10 years ago, of course, but I can't and perhaps the team's being good actually help inspire the idea to celebrate the long years of being bad.
This is murky water as I do not want to be sued by either the MLB or the Cubs franchise. I self funded the first round of caps in 2015 and wasn't thinking about making a full blown shop of this but after making posters for all the 2016 playoff games and having an interest in the posters and caps I bought the domain and started to think it over. But I'm proceeding slowly as not to get into legal trouble.
Here's the original logo. I am not using any team colors, it's all greyscale and in addition to white, cream is okay too. However, the outline of the cub is a trace from an no longer worn sleeve patch. So....
I made an alternative logo shape. But part of the punk spirit is the appropriation of logos and images, from both the Misfits and the Cubs. And this one loses some of that recognizable spirit.
I set up a BigCartel store for the time being, though it's not live till I get pricing, shipping, poster costs and some packaging done.
For now, I'm using a free shop, while I test out layouts, product shots and re-write the page info. BigCartel was pretty easy to use, though, if you have a specific feature or look to your shop you might need to pay for a premium store and modify some code. I need the inventory feature as the caps are typically made in very small quantities. Paying for those features, it will be beneficial to have a lot of posters to generate more income, luckily, I have a bunch ready to go. When I'm set to go live I have posters for all the 2016 postseason games (you can see them all here).
I'd like to make some sort of postcards (thank you cards) for the orders along with getting some stickers made to throw in the orders. Perhaps even make small felt pennant "hang tags" as I think that would be a "wow" sort of thing. And get a mailing list for updates set up before going live.
Mostly the biggest hang-up is walking that legal line with what's art and changed up enough and what could be in violation. I'll prob. get some legal advice before any major launch.
Thanks for reading all this folks.