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March 25, 2022

Merch for Everyone

It's safe to say I've been obsessed with merch for the last decade. From it's origins while working at WordPress.com to starting my own laser engraving company. There is one thing that constantly makes me a little sad. It's a trap that many people and companies fall into. That is making their products so premium and limited that they are out of the reach for normal people.

Take for example the new tumblr shop. The CEO of tumblr's parent company said this:

We’re putting Virgil Abloh-inspired, very limited drops of cool high-quality stuff.

If you didn't know (I didn't) Virgil Abloh is fashion designer who worked at Louis Vuitton as their artistic director. On a personal, Virgil is a cool guy and I really dig his stuff but I wouldn't say I would use him as a model for a merch store whose community members are likely not Silicon Valley CEOs or consumers of high fashion. I'm not picking on tumblr, they are just the latest one I've seen do this. It's being done all over the place.

If you had the option to make something that was high quality or low quality of course you'd pick make high quality items. However, there are different levels of "quality" and it's important to keep the price point in mind. There is nothing worse than creating merch for a community, something that will let them feel a part of things, like they belong, and they can't afford it.