Interview: Sick on Sin
Shiny: How about a brief bio? Where are you from, how did you get started, anything you want to tell us…
SOS: Sick On Sin is an online store for clothing and accessories that was launched in December 2005. It specializes in sweatshop-free tshirts for men, women, kids and dogs with a wide selection of unique and cute designs; as well as a devilishly delightful array buttons, magnets and pocket mirrors. Sick On Sin is also the official retailer of merchandise for the popular comic, Orneryboy.
It is one-gal indie biz owned and operated by me (Jennifer Krebsz) and based out of a quiet suburb in Ontario near Toronto. The store is proudly Canadian, something apparent in having the prices in Canadian dollars. However, this hasn’t stopped it from attracting a world-wide customer base.
Shiny: Do you have any formal education or did you just pick this up?
SOS: I entertained the idea of having my own store since my early 20s (I’m 33 now). I even went to college for Retail Business after graduating from university with the idea of opening a brick n’ mortar store. However, then I got sucked up into the dotcom world managing kid websites and that got pushed to the backburner. In early 2005 I began to seriously consider opening an online store. So plans were put in motion, I quit my job and in December 2005, Sick On Sin launched.
I think having education in retail, as well as over 5 years experience of online marketing has definitely helped having an ecommerce business. However, a lot of knowledge has come from doing it and trying different things. I learn things everyday!
Shiny: Where do you get your inspiration?
SOS: The majority of my inspiration comes from personal interests or are designs I would want to wear myself. For instance, I am a vegan, crafty, animal-loving gal who digs skulls and zombies and loves the cuteness - hence the desire to carry pro-veg, pro-crafty, animal and goth/punk type stuff all done in a cute style.
I view my target audience as people similar to me, and I’ve been really lucky in the fact that there seems to be a lot of people out there who like the same sort of stuff I do! I also pay a lot of attention to trends, which can inspire some ideas for designs.
Shiny: What is your technical process? How do you actually create your stuff?
SOS: I come up with the ideas for all of the designs on the merchandise. I can’t draw at ALL but lucky for me my SO is an artist who is cursed with only being able to draw cuteness. Michael transforms my ideas into designs that are better than I even envisioned! I ‘make’ all my products myself.
In terms of the clothing, I get high quality plastisol ink (i.e. screen-print ink) transfers made which I apply to the shirts, etc. with a big industrial heat press. With the buttons, magnets and pocket mirrors I print out the designs and assemble them manually using button makers.
Shiny: What are you working on for future release?
SOS: Right now I am working on getting wholesale up and running. Stores from all over the world have been contacting me since launch so I figured I probably should take advantage of that! I am also working on a site revamp. Product-wise, I will be adding tote bags and hoodies soon. I am also looking into doing greeting cards. Design-wise, I am just about to add a bunch new button packs … more pro-veg designs…zombies…maybe even a ninja?
Shiny: Got any shops or sites that you love, that we should check out?
Orneryboy of course! It’s Michael’s online comic that is loosely based on us. It’s packed with lots of zombie goodness!
My fave blog ever is SouleMama. She is so creative and seems like such an amazing mother/person
Cuddly Rigor Mortis has ADORABLE plushies. We own 3 of them and want more!
Neile Butterfly Jewelry and Stained Glass Art - beautiful pendants made from real butterfly wings (after their natural death). I have one and I love it!
Magic Pony - own by one of my good friends…it offers tons of cuteness and artist goodies
Shiny’s favorite Sick on Sin products: