Why Gifts for Pagans?
Why on the Goddess' Green Earth would I start an online pagan gift shop?
I'm glad you asked. Like many things in life, the path to deciding to launch a pagan gift website was circuitous. So get comfy on your couch or camp chair and I'll tell the tale.
It Started With Art Prints and Tees
As a fantasy artist and illustrator, I was often approached by people who were interested in owning prints, posters, or even shirts bearing my art. Keeping a large inventory of all the different sizes and styles just wasn't feasible, so I began to research print on demand. Basically, when someone orders a shirt or poster, I can redirect it to a printing partner who then prints and ships the item out to my customer on my behalf. In that way I can offer a wide range of goods without the overhead of storing a huge inventory. Win-win, my friends!
The COVID Pandemic Lit a Ritual Fire
When the global pandemic hit in 2020, it dried up the possibility of in-person pagan festivals, art fairs, and role-playing game conventions. Like millions of independent artists around the world, I had to pivot. The pandemic caused me to get more serious about exploring online retailing as an alternate source of income.
So, in mid- 2020, I started a t-shirt company called Winking Sphinx. To be honest, I had a great time creating shirts that featured my art as well as shirts with funny or absurd slogans. The shirts were very popular with friends, fans, and new faces alike, which got me to thinking about expanding the line beyond shirts and the occasional hoodie.
Narrowing the Focus to Pagan Gift Ideas
As the Wheel approached Samhain, I added a ceramic ornament to my repertoire. The trinket featured a digital illustration of a Yule Goat and it sold like hotcakes for a few weeks. Unfortunately, my California-based printing partner ran into production problems as holiday shopping season collided with COVID restrictions and DeJoy's scuttling of the USPS. I pulled the plug when it began to look like new orders would not deliver until after Yule.
The incredible popularity of this simple ceramic ornament highlighted an important fact: The Pagan community at large is hungry for unique gifts and decor we can call our own. Sure, Halloween provides lots of witchy stereotype merchandise (admittedly, some of my own stuff falls under that umbrella), but we deserve something MORE.
Owning My Limitations to Best Serve the Pagan Community
As I write this, Gifts for Pagans is essentially a one-man shop. It's true that my delightful wife, Ruebee, helps with some of the product photography and acts as a sounding board while I neurotically bounce from idea to idea. But everything else falls on my shoulders. I alone handle marketing, product development, website design, and customer service. And, when I have time, making new art (and rambling blog posts). I also maintain a totally unrelated "day job."
This all boils down to priorities. I decided to back-burner Winking Sphinx so that I could expend my energy making products that speak to my heart — and my community. The Yule Goat will be back this year, and I have SO MANY wonderful ideas for unique Pagan gifts. The hardest part is just taking it one day at a time when I really just want to do ALL THE THINGS AT ONCE.
Let's take this grand adventure together!