Debuting the "Rescue Sirens" apparel collection at shop.rescuesirens.com! August 1, 2017 00:00From Jess:
More big news! We had a blast at San Diego Comic-Con last month, and I hope to blog about that soon, but I have an announcement to make first that I could barely hold in until August: we've finally launched our "Rescue Sirens" apparel collection here on our website!
Now, we used to sell "Rescue Sirens" logo T-shirts on TeePublic, but I was never really satisfied with the experience; I didn't like that you had to leave our website to complete your transaction, and TeePublic's account customization options left a lot to be desired. I'm all about consistency, so what I really wanted was an integrated solution to selling shirts and other merchandise.
I found that solution sometime around the beginning of this year, and, ever since, I've been designing new shirts and ordering samples whenever I've had the chance (which, given how extra crazy this year has been, wasn't as often as I would've liked!). I've had the shop all set up and ready to go for several weeks, now, but I wanted to wait until after SDCC to launch it, and I thought it would be a great way to kick off the month of August.
What's in this store, you ask? We're starting off with a variety of T-shirts and tops branded with our swell "Rescue Sirens" emblem (the illustration of a mermaid's silhouette holding a lifeguard can that Chris drew), available in both unisex and women's styles; we also have accessories like hats (embroidered with the logo I designed) and a tote bag. Each item is made-to-order just for you, and your new swag usually ships out within seven to ten business days.
Swim over to shop.rescuesirens.com and take a look!
In the near future, we'll expand our line to include products that feature Chris's beautiful "Rescue Sirens" character artwork. I'm also eyeing housewares like coffee cups and throw pillows -- basically, anything I would want to have, myself.
After lots of requests, we're also really eager to offer our own take on mermaid leggings, with designs based on the tails of our "Rescue Sirens" characters -- that way, you can pair your emblem shirt with your leggings and rock a casual "Rescue Sirens" cosplay! The leggings from our fulfillment center are super soft and designed to take you from the pool (yep, you can swim in 'em!) to Disneyland to the gym and back to the couch; they're high-quality, fast-drying, and won't show the world your Underoos. I didn't want to make leggings unless I could make good ones (I'm a leggings fiend who is firmly in the "leggings ARE pants" camp; I don't wear much else), and these are awesome. We just need to find the time to finalize our designs! Whose tail would you like to see leggings-ized first?
Oh, and before I forget, keep your eyes peeled for a couple of cute "modern mermaid" designs in addition to our branded emblem tops. Everyone loves wearing those "Mermaid Off Duty" shirts, but, of course, our mermaids in "Rescue Sirens" are always on duty -- and, just because you don't have a tail at the moment, that doesn't mean you aren't a mermaid! I love my "Mermaid On Duty" tank tops and I hope that you will, too.
Trying to start an intellectual property from scratch is hard. No two ways about it. Even with the thousands of books that we've sold in the past two years, we haven't turned a profit yet -- printing is expensive, and distribution can be a challenge. Besides the coolness factor of selling "Rescue Sirens" merchandise, our online store also represents a way for us to make a little money to help fund our future books and other projects. We have a ton of mermaid dreams that we'd love to see realized.
I know I say it all the time, but it's true: your support, whether it's buying official "Rescue Sirens" gear from us or just spreading the word and introducing other people to our series, really does mean everything to me and Chris. "Rescue Sirens" is our passion project, and we'd be dead in the water without all of you. (I'd gone too long without a water-related pun. Sorry, not sorry.) So... thank you. ♥
What do you think of our clothing line so far? Are we off to a good start? Is there anything in particular that you want to see in future releases? I'd like to roll out new products every month or two, schedule depending. Samples can take a while to come in -- or, once seen in person, can require revisions -- and I like to test our merchandise to make sure it's up to our standards before adding it to the website for purchase.
(Speaking of that, if you ever receive an item that doesn't look quite right, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can make it better with a replacement or a refund.)
You may want to poke around the website a bit, as well, as I've been busy updating pages like our "Rescue Sirens" profiles and Chris's gallery page with artwork new for 2017; I also created the beginnings of a gallery for "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" artist Dylan Bonner. I'm always adding more entries to our extensive FAQ, too, so check there first if you have any questions.
As always, we love seeing you all in your "Rescue Sirens" gear, so please tag us on Instagram (@rescuesirens) and/or include the hashtag #rescuesirens in your caption if you snap a cool photo of yourself wearing your new favorite shirt!
Brand-new merch for SDCC 2017! July 17, 2017 21:30From Jess:
Holy cowfish, it's already that time of year again: San Diego Comic-Con! Even though we start planning for the next SDCC the moment we pack up our booth to go home (well, before that, even), the convention still always seems to sneak up on us, and now it's here!
We have a few new goodies that we'll be selling at our booth (#4616), and I wanted to give you a sneak peek before SDCC's Preview Night on Wednesday...
Enamel pins are exceptionally popular right now, and with good reason: they're like tiny bits of treasure to covet and collect! And they look better than ever, too, with intricate designs and even cool extras like glitter. As pin fans, ourselves, we felt it was long past time to make some "Rescue Sirens" pins, and Chris's adorable new chibi-style drawings of our five mermaids seemed like the perfect test subjects.
(Click to enlarge.)
Chris and I are so pleased with how they came out, and we have the awesome guys at True Metal Works to thank for being so kind, patient, and knowledgable! We highly recommend working with them; John and Mike made the whole process really easy and fun, and, of course, the pins themselves are the ultimate reward. So satisfying!
Given that this was our first try at making "Rescue Sirens" pins, we only had a small batch produced, so we'll be limiting pin sales at SDCC to one pin per design per person (in other words, you can buy one entire set), with a capped number of each design sold each day. Sometime later this summer -- like, after we recover from SDCC -- we plan to offer a small online sale on Etsy so people who can't make it to SDCC have a chance to add some pins to their collection, too!
Now, as I mentioned, our supply of pins is pretty small. However, if we run out of pins at SDCC, you can still get Chris's super-cute chibi-style "Rescue Sirens" illustrations as high-quality, weather-resistant stickers!
Ranging in size from 3" to 6.3" tall and 3" to 4.75" wide, these stickers feature a beautiful satiny finish and remarkably accurate colors. We're crazy for them, and we can't wait to make more! (I'm envisioning a giant "Rescue Sirens" emblem on the hood of my little red sports car.)
WATER-RESISTANT CHILDREN'S BOOK
I've saved the biggest news for last (of course): we'll be debuting our very first fully-illustrated "Rescue Sirens" children's book at SDCC this year! You may recall a work-in-progress copy that we brought with us to NC Mermania in January, and we're so proud to finally share it in its finished form.
"Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" has been in the works for a while. My background is in marine conservation education and animal care, and I really miss spending my days teaching kids about the ocean and the fascinating creatures that call it home. I thought it would be neat to start a companion line of "Rescue Sirens" books for readers who aren't quite old enough for the novel series, and, in this first volume, I wanted to tackle the topics of invasive species and responsible pet ownership in a fun, accessible, appealing way.
That's where incredible artist Dylan Bonner comes in! You've seen Dylan's artwork before; last year, we commissioned him to draw each of our Miami Beach mermaids individually as well as in a group shot, and we were so delighted with his style and with our experience working with him that we approached him about illustrating our first children's book. What a dream come true when he agreed!
To me, Dylan's artwork brings to mind the best of classic children's book illustrators such as Disney Legend Mary Blair, who not only illustrated children's books that are still in print after over six decades (!), but also did character designs for beloved Disney animated films like "Peter Pan," "Cinderella," and "Alice in Wonderland." Dylan's illustrations have that same sort of timeless feel to them, and we knew that he'd be the perfect artist for our children's books.
"Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" follows Nim and the other Rescue Sirens as they hurry to catch a number of exotic fish dumped into the Atlantic Ocean by a thoughtless millionaire who'd grown bored with his enormous Australia-themed aquarium. The story teaches readers about the dangers of releasing pets -- both to the pet and to the local environment -- and positions Nim as an example of a responsible pet owner when she adopts the abandoned zebra shark that she's befriended and promises to always care for her. With animal facts sprinkled throughout and Dylan's bright, engaging illustrations, this slim 32-page paperback has already become a favorite bedtime story in the homes of our beta readers!
And one of the best parts? "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" is water-resistant. How cool is that?! When I was but a tiny wee Jess, I used to wish that all of my books were waterproof so I could swim and read at the same time -- and that's why "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" is printed on synthetic paper, which is both rip-resistant and splash-proof. If the book gets wet, simply wipe it dry!
To keep your copy looking shipshape for years to come, please remember: DO NOT leave the book to dry on its own. If a wet book is allowed to dry while closed, the pages can stick together and can cause ink transfer when separated. With just a bit of tender loving care, however, your book will come through exposure to water looking good as new! For all those little mermaids and mermen out there, this means that you can safely bring "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" to the pool or the beach, or combine bath time and story time.
What adventures will your book go on? If you pick up a copy of "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up," share your photos with us on Instagram by using the hashtag #rescuesirens -- we'd love to see them!
If you and your family enjoy "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up," remember, it's only the first in our planned line of children's books! I have storylines in mind centering around each Rescue Siren that teach valuable lessons about marine conservation issues while giving kids ways to apply what they've learned and to take action in their own backyards. When it comes to making a difference, every little bit helps!
If you've just gotta have something but you can't make it to SDCC, all hope is not lost: we'll be offering very limited online sales of our pins and stickers later this summer, while "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" should be available for purchase on Amazon sometime before fall.
Plus, we'll be rolling out some awesome new merchandise in our online store -- http://shop.rescuesirens.com -- over the coming weeks! Chris and I have had a lot going on behind the scenes lately, and it's thrilling to unveil some of those projects at last. We hope that you like everything as much as we've enjoyed making it!
"Rescue Sirens" logo T-shirts available now! November 16, 2015 13:35
Ever since Chris and I debuted "Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist" at San Diego Comic-Con while wearing our snazzy "Rescue Sirens" shirts, we've been asked if we'd sell that same T-shirt design someday. Thanks to the miracle of modern technology known as direct-to-garment printing, that day has arrived!
TeePublic offers DTG-printed apparel in a variety of styles, so you can choose from short-sleeved unisex or women's tees; tank tops in either a standard cut or racerback; and even kids' tees for your little Rescue Sirens-in-training. Shirt prices start at $18.00 for Toddler or Juvenile kids' shirts, with adult tees costing $20.00-$24.00 (depending on the style selected). In the image above, I have on a women's T-shirt in size Small.
If you're not familiar with print-on-demand apparel companies, TeePublic's FAQ should answer any questions you may have. They handle order payment and processing, shirt production, and shipping.
Want to show your support as part of the "Rescue Sirens" team? Get your very own logo T-shirt here!
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