While the product itself was the original idea, it wasn’t much without an intuitive interface in which to purchase. At the beginning of the process, my Co-Founder Joe Piemeisel and I had never seen a well designed interface for building a single product with multiple options. Our idea was to allow customers to mockup what they wanted their shirt to say directly on top of the product image.
Much of the challenge was figuring out if we could actually make the product without having to handle fulfillment, let alone hold stock or have to screenprint them ourselves. We found many services to handle this, but ultimately the choice was to go with Printful in Los Angeles as their API integration was the most solid at the time. I hired a developer to take care of writing to the Printful API and other tasks as my Co-Founder and I were more versed in front-end development.
Responsive was a major requirement of the site & my co-founder even questioned if it would actually work on mobile. I assured him it would.
Since we didn’t even know we could do what we intended to do, we made sure to build a proof of concept within the first week alongside initial branding concepts. After we were sure our ideas would work, we organized ourselves and created an agile task based system to which our office manager kept us accountable. Using as many new web technologies as we could to push the DOM into submission, we all took part in creating the final product.
I focused on the main front end development and integration of our custom ordering process making sure user experience during the process was of the utmost priority.
Joe, my co-founder, took care of branding, product development & front end development on the checkout process. Our freelance developer handled integration with Printful API, Stripe Payments & Paypal along with various backend development issues that arose in the process. Our office manager focused on keeping us accountable while also looking into potential marketing avenues and creating the 1800+ print files we needed.
We ended up building our product from concept to branding to design & development in 90 days.
The resulting product was more than we had ever expected to build. Within 90 days we were taking orders and moving forward with marketing opportunities through Facebook, Google, and engaged a popular LGBT YouTube star to promote our site.
In the lead up to Pride we made a second product locally in Detroit for promotional purposes at Motor City Pride, Ferndale Pride and Mid-Michigan pride. We were also featured on the cover of a local LGBT magazine.
One more thing.
In planning our marketing efforts, we wanted to use our video productions skills to tell a story about acceptance. Upon looking for LGBT people who have a supportive relationship with an ally, we found Molly and Noura ready to tell their story.