Backpacks, SDCC, and a newsletter -- oh my! August 06, 2018 10:03From Jess:
At San Diego Comic-Con last month, I teased a new product that I've been chomping at the bit to share with you: "Rescue Sirens" backpacks! The backpacks that I brought with us to the convention were samples and not for sale, but now I'm happy with them and have added all five designs to our online store! You can click the image below to check 'em out.
Just like some of our new vinyl stickers and acrylic charms, these backpacks feature "Rescue Sirens" artwork by Kellee Riley; boasting bright colors, cute poses, and adorable faces, they really stand out in a crowd! If you know a little Rescue Siren-in-training, one of our backpacks makes the perfect back-to-school bookbag.
With a secret pocket on the lower back for your cash/cards and an interior sleeve for a 15" laptop, they're great for grown-ups, too. I used one of our sample backpacks to tote around everything but the kitchen sink at SDCC and was super pleased with how it held up.
Speaking of SDCC, 2018 was another wonderful year! It's so strange to me that Chris and I spend the first six months of each new year thinking about, planning, and making merchandise for SDCC, and then it arrives all of a sudden and it's over before we know it. The end of the convention always leaves me feeling a little out-of-sorts and bewildered -- like, this huge thing has come and gone, so what am I supposed to spend my time stressing out over and panicking about? (Just kidding; I have a million other things to stress over and panic about.)
After SDCC, Chris and I are exhausted and glad for a breather, but we miss our friends and fellow creatives, and, of course, the attendees. We never take enough photos during the show, but here are a few pictures that I shared on Instagram! I posted them as a pair of slideshows, so, you know, click the left and right sides to view them all.
We’ve been home from #SDCC2018 for a week now, and we’re finally starting to catch up on everything! 😅 As always, we had an amazing time, and we love getting the opportunity to see our friends, fellow exhibitors, and wonderful attendees. Here is just a small sampling of happy moments from the show! Post 1 of 2. 1️⃣ “Rescue Sirens” creator @jessicasteelesanders with her husband and co-author, @chrissandersart. 2️⃣ Artist @seangallowayart showing off a #rescuesirens commission that he drew for us. 3️⃣ Our friends and “Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist” collaborators, @delgaduck and @teresamtzjun. 4️⃣ Sneaking away from the convention center for an absolutely marvelous dinner with @coliegreno, @nathangreno, @tanyalehoux, and @jscottcampbell. 5️⃣ @jessicasteelesanders with stunning ladyfriends @tanyalehoux and @coliegreno. 6️⃣ @chrissandersart holding the first of two gorgeous original paintings by @pernilleoerum that we purchased... 7️⃣ ...while @jessicasteelesanders holds the other! Not pictured: the utterly delightful @kikidoodling and her husband, Nik; our dear friend and “Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist” illustrator @genevievetsai; awesome neighbor @terrydodsonart; brilliant and talented @whitneypollett; sweet @caseyrobin; and probably a million other of our beloved “art friends”! We need to remember to take more photos next year!
We’ve been home from #SDCC2018 for a week now, and we’re finally starting to catch up on everything! 😅 As always, we had an amazing time, and we love getting the opportunity to see our friends, fellow exhibitors, and wonderful attendees. Here is just a small sampling of happy moments from the show, focusing this time on mermaids! Post 2 of 2. 1️⃣ Bryn and Zach, part of the fin-omenal @finfolkproductions team, stopped by to visit! (And when @jessicasteelesanders was wearing her Finfolk leggings, too: perfect timing.) 2️⃣ Over at the truly incredible @cfxmasks booth, @jessicasteelesanders got in touch with her inner sea monster. (We totally bought that mask at the end of the show.) 3️⃣ It’s not SDCC until @mermaidkalynn drops by... 4️⃣ ...and the same goes for @badkidbebe/@themergoth! 🧜🏻♀️🖤 5️⃣ Okay, this was real SDCC magic: @jessicasteelesanders and @chrissandersart first noticed this adorable Orange Bird dress (Jessica owns it in navy), and then discovered that it was being worn by none other than @lovelysundae, who recently drew an outstanding Kelby illustration! She was an ab-shell-ute joy to talk to. #rescuesirens #sandiegocomiccon #finfolkproductions
As usual, we're already talking about what we're going to do for SDCC 2019!
And there's my cue to bring up my last topic for today: the "Rescue Sirens" newsletter, the most reliable way to find out what we're up to. Chris and I love keeping you up-to-date on what we're doing, but we've noticed a big difference in social media reach over the past couple of years; Facebook shows our posts to only a fraction of our followers unless we pay for more views, and Instagram is quickly heading in that direction, too. Lots of people just plain aren't hearing from us. The solution, it seemed to me, was to start an email newsletter and talk directly to you.
How can you join? When you purchase something from our online store, you have the option to subscribe to our mailing list; you can also do so by visiting our signup page. If you missed our introductory email, you can read it now! Future newsletters will include sneak peeks at what we're working on, event information, and maybe even some subscriber-only exclusives. It's also the first place that we'll announce new products (such as the backpacks!). I'll probably use it to share blogs with you, too, so you don't have to remember to check the website every month.
All in all, I expect to send out only a handful of newsletters per month. I hope you find this a fun and useful way to stay in the "Rescue Sirens" loop!
"Rescue Sirens" at SDCC 2018 July 17, 2018 00:00
That time has come around again! Chris and I are headed down to San Diego for Comic-Con International (affectionately known as SDCC), and, while this year's focus at our booth is on Chris's sketchbook full of personal artwork (his first in five years!), we're also bringing with us some fun new "Rescue Sirens" accessories that I've been dying to share with you all.
First up: stickers! Last year's weather-resistant vinyl stickers were really popular, so 2017's designs are making a reappearance along with eleven more sticker styles to collect! WOW!
Let's take a look at the new ones, shall we?
Aside from a brief teaser on Instagram, I haven't had an opportunity yet to really talk about our awesome new artwork from two of our favorite artists: Gabby Zapata (top) and Kellee Riley (bottom).
Chris and I love both of their respective art styles for different reasons, and we're already beginning to use these massively appealing illustrations in our online merchandise -- and, of course, these stickers! Want to plaster your world in Gabby's and/or Kellee's drawings of our lifeguard mermaids? Then swim by booth #4616, where we're selling each mermaid sticker for $4.00 apiece. (We also have a clear sticker with the "Rescue Sirens: Mermaids On Duty" logo in black for $3.00.)
And we can't forget our stickers from last year, which are Chris's chibi-style drawings of the Rescue Sirens -- also $4.00, with the round "Rescue Sirens" emblem available for $3.00.
In the past twelve months I've developed a bit of a... problem... with acrylic charms. (I can quit any time I want, I swear!) Maybe you've seen them on Etsy; these charms are typically sold as phone charms, something to hang on your Nintendo 3DS or other handheld console, tiny keychains, or even necklaces. I've amassed quite a collection, and I knew that I wanted to create our own for SDCC this year.
Ta-da! I turned Chris's chibi drawings into cute little charms, about 1.5" in height with the image visible on both sides, and I attached them to straps that you can loop onto--well, just about whatever you want! But did I stop there? Ohhhh, no.
Because the charms are double-sided, I really wanted to take advantage of that, so I asked Kellee if she would mind drawing two versions of each Rescue Siren: one in her lifeguard top, and one in her mermaid top. How cool did the charms turn out as a result?!
Chris and I also asked Gabby if she could do the same thing -- but with an added twist.
Gabby drew each Rescue Siren in her mermaid form AND in her human form! She did an amazing job coming up with poses that would work for both versions, didn't she? That's harder than it looks, but these all turned out super adorable.
On the human side of the charm, you'll notice that the extra space surrounding the girls' legs where their mermaid tails are on the reverse is a solid block of the color that I've been using to represent each Rescue Siren -- aqua for Nim, coral/pink for Kelby, blue for Echo, purple for Pippa, and yellow for Maris -- with similarly-colored straps to match.
Each double-sided charm costs $10.00, and you can add a color-coordinated necklace for $2.00.
In addition to the stickers and charms, we'll also be bringing a limited number of our first set of enamel pins, which we debuted in 2017.
We're down to literally a handful of our Nim pins, so please show up early if you'd like to snag one. I did set aside a few Nim pins for Etsy; after SDCC, I'll be selling three more full sets, along with individual pins from our remaining stock, but I don't recommend waiting until then if you don't have to. Last time we opened online orders, they sold quickly! Each pin sells for $12.00.
And, last but never least, we'll have signed copies of our fully-illustrated, water-resistant children's book, "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up," and our novel, "Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist," for $20.00 apiece.
There are also some new products that we have in the works that we've yet to add to the website, and we're going to be giving SDCC attendees a first look at those at our booth, with an opportunity to order them online -- right at our booth! -- before anyone else! Stay tuned for more about that as the week goes on.
Speaking of online sales, our intention as always is to make our SDCC merch available in our shop and/or on Etsy after we return (and recover) from San Diego. So, if you can't make it to SDCC, you can still add to your "Rescue Sirens" collection!
Okay, fishes. Let's do this!
SDCC takes place at the San Diego Convention Center from Wednesday, July 18th (Preview Night) through Sunday, July 22nd. "Rescue Sirens" is located at booth #4616 (Chris Sanders Art).
Happy third anniversary, "Rescue Sirens"! Let's shell-ebrate with a pin sale! July 01, 2018 00:00From Jess:
Wow! It's July, which means it's been three years since we first introduced the world to "Rescue Sirens"! The series has been around in development for considerably longer than that, but July 1st, 2015 is when Chris and I made it public with an announcement that we'd be selling our hardcover first editions of "Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist" at San Diego Comic-Con later that month.
In 2015, Chris and I debuted the hardcover first edition; in 2016, we released the paperback second edition; in 2017, we published our first (water-resistant!) children's book, "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up"; and, while we won't be selling a new book in 2018, we do have some cool new merchandise that we're dying to share with you in the next couple of weeks leading up to SDCC.
But first! How can we shell-ebrate our third anniversary? By FINALLY making our hard enamel pins available online! Check them out here! (Announcer voice: link operational while supplies last.)
There are so many things that I want to get done when it comes to "Rescue Sirens," and, in general, I feel like I do an okay job of checking items off my prodigious to-do list. Sometimes, though, I'm forced to transfer tasks to the back burner, and selling our pins online has taken a lot longer than I would've liked. I can't thank you enough for your patience while I've gotten everything sorted and made the time to process and fulfill orders!
The pins will be up for sale in our Etsy shop in limited batches, stocked on the basis of when I can package and mail them to you. Each hard enamel pin costs $12 individually, or you can purchase all six together at a special discounted price of $65 (not including shipping and handling).
And some great news for our fans outside the US: these will ship internationally! Yay! Etsy calculates the shipping for me, based on package size and weight; if the actual cost of shipping is off by more than a dollar, I'll happily refund you the difference, so rest assured that even though US shipping prices are ridiculously high, I'm giving you the lowest price I possibly can. We don't profit on shipping.
What's next for our "Rescue Sirens" summer merchandise? You'll have to stay tuna'd! (Sorry, it'd been a second since I made a terrible ocean pun.) If you'd like to see a sneak peek, though, be sure to follow us on Instagram and check out our Stories feature.
Beach towels, ahoy! June 06, 2018 19:00From Jess:
Now that all five of our "Rescue Sirens" Summer Splash 2018 prize packages have been successfully delivered to their recipients, we've made our new beach towels available to purchase in both our online store and our Etsy shop!
We're really pleased with them; beach towels are simply the perfect product for our lifeguard mermaids, and these turned out great. We already sell "Rescue Sirens" totes, but one of my next projects will be creating a proper beach bag to complement the towels!
Chris and I love seeing our "Rescue Sirens" gear out in the wild, and we wanted to share these adorable photos that we've received from our giveaway winners:
Today was like Christmas Morning! I received my package from @rescuesirens and boy was I blown away! A total Kelby celebration!!! A wonderful beach towel, stickers, buttons, keychains, an adorable bucket hat, a tote bag, and oh my gosh the dive belle keychain stole my heart! I am so happy and blessed to have received such a wonderful prize. I will cherish this for years to come!! Thank you Jessica and Chris! I remember meeting you both at Comic-Con years ago when you were selling Rescue Sirens books, and then Chris again when he visited my school, LCAD, and both of you were so kind and patient!! You are both so incredibly talented and your passion is admirable and influential. I can't wait to see where Rescue Sirens goes next!! Also a little shout out and thank you to @genevievetsai who illustrated the book inserts. You too are such an inspiration, you are one of my favorite artists and seeing you team up with such a rock solid team like the Sanders is the perfect icing to the best of cakes! I've totally added Mer-mazing to my vocabulary!! #mermaid #rescuesirens #kelby #rescuesirenssummersplash #summer #mermay #mermaidsonduty
Im an #echo fan, and thanks to @rescuesirens I can now show it off! All the cool swag I won from the #rescuesirenssummersplash drawing. Best thing to come home to after a long shift! I'm so excited to carry some of this stuff around with me, especially to my job, so when i get down or doubt myself, i can look down at this strong mermaid and remeber why I'm a rescue siren in my own world. Alway, thanks to @chrissandersart and @jessicasteelesanders for being creative and inspiring! ~ ~ ~ #mermaid #mermaids #strong #workoutgirl #idkhowtotag
HUGE thanks to Jessica Steele-Sanders and Chris Sanders, creators of @rescuesirens for sending Ev her prize pack! She had a surprise waiting for her this morning. She even shared stickers with her brother. ;) "See, she's saying, ❤️!" Good thing the pools are opening soon for the summer. This girl is ready to get back into the water!
#Repost @cortezwife4life: All of our #rescuesirenssummersplash winners have received their prize packages, and we cannot WAIT to share their fun photos with you! First up is our adorable #RescueSirenMaris fan, looking happy as a clam with her new beach towel and other Maris goodies. We love it!! 💖 Want a “Rescue Sirens” towel of your own? Great news: they’re now available on our website! Swim over to SHOP.RESCUESIRENS.COM and look for our “Mermaid Lifestyle” collection to order yours today! #rescuesirens ・・・ Prize Mail!! 📬🎉😄 Huge thank you to Jessica and Chris over at @rescuesirens for this incredibly Mermazing prize pack!! We LOVE everything!!! 😍You’ve made my Kali girl one happy mermaid 🧜🏼♀️, which makes for a very happy MerMama!! 🧜🏼♀️💖
Do you want to show off your own "Rescue Sirens" accessories or apparel? Just tag our Instagram account and/or use the #rescuesirens hashtag to get our attention!
"Rescue Sirens" Summer Splash 2018 May 01, 2018 00:00From Jess:
Happy Mer-May, everyone! Whether you shell-ebrate by participating in (or simply enjoying the products of) artist Tom Bancroft's swell mermaid-themed drawing prompts on Instagram, flaunting your favorite siren-inspired fashions, getting your tail on at the pool or the beach, or just adding a lot of salt to your nightly bath, it's a fin-omenal month for mermaid fans. Chris and I like to run some sort of contest or giveaway to commemorate Mer-May, and this year is no exception!
For 2018, we're giving away five different prize packs to help you get ready for summer, showcasing a unique sample version of one our brand-new beach towels. Each of our main Rescue Sirens has her very own towel design, and you can enter to win your favorite! Each winner will also receive an enamel pin and stickers featuring his or her favorite Siren, and a couple of other "Rescue Sirens" goodies.
The fine print: you must have a United States mailing address (or a friend who has one) so we can ship the prize pack to you if you win. Your Instagram account must be public so we can see your entry. The "Rescue Sirens" Splash Into Summer Giveaway is not affiliated with or endorsed by Instagram in any way, shape, or form. The five winners (one for each character) will be selected at random and announced on Wednesday, May 16th, 2018. Prizes will be shipped out before the end of Mer-May.
Good luck and best fishes to all of you! We're looking forward to helping you start your summer off with a splash.