Thousands Sign Petition To Stop Selling Indie Games On This Controversial Digital Store

Almost 4,000 people have signed a Change.org petition asking controversial video games key reseller to stop selling indie games through its marketplace. The petition comes off the heels of a holiday weekend where G2A published a blog post attempting to defend itself against critics, which in turn spurned indie devs to launch a new wave of criticism against the retailer, culminating in the online petition.

Indie games publisher No More Robots and its founder Mike Rose launched a petition on Change.org last week asking G2A to stop selling indie games. The petition was created as a response to G2A’s own blog post which claimed only 8% of sales on G2A are made from indie games.

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2019 Indie Spirit Awards Winners: Complete List (Updating Live)

The 2019 Independent Spirit Awards are taking place on a beach in Santa Monica, Calif., with “We the Animals” topping nominations with five. “Eighth Grade,” “First Reformed,” and “You Were Never Really Here” are up for four each. The Spirit Awards are chosen by the Film Independent’s 6200 members after an anonymous committee votes on nominations. […]

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Stars of The Favourite on female leads and indie films

The Favourite, by Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos, is tipped to bring Oscar and BAFTA nominations for its all female cast including Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.
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Concern grows for missing indie band lead singer

The lead singer of the indie band Frightened Rabbit has been reported missing by friends and family, who are concerned about his “fragile state”.
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Don’t Let Blockbusters Keep You From Seeing Indie Movies This Month

It’s a quiet place at the box office until the new Avengers flick opens, so check out “Lean on Pete,” “Where Is Kyra?” and “You Were Never Really Here.”
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Agenda: Payback Trailer #1 (2018) | Movieclips Indie

Check out the new trailer for Agenda: Payback starring Eric Balfour! Let us know what you think in the comments below.
► Buy Tickets to Agenda: Payback: https://www.fandango.com/agenda-payback-209548/movie-overview?cmp=MCYT_YouTube_Desc

US Release Date: February 23, 2018
Starring: Sean Patrick Flanery, Eric Balfour, Cherilyn Wilson
Directed By: Giorgio Serafini
Synopsis: Steve Walsh is living the high life but it’s a life built on the ruin of other people’s dreams. Peter Farrell is a man with nothing left to lose and there is nothing more dangerous than a man seeking retribution.

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Midnighters Trailer #1 (2018) | Movieclips Indie

Check out the new trailer for Midnighters starring Alex Essoe! Let us know what you think in the comments below.
► Buy Tickets to Midnighters: https://www.fandango.com/midnighters-2018-209255/movie-overview?cmp=MCYT_YouTube_Desc

US Release Date: 2018
Starring: Alex Essoe, Perla Haney-Jardine, Dylan McTee
Directed By: Julius Ramsay
Synopsis: Midnight, New Year’s Eve: when all the hopes of new beginnings come to life – except for Lindsey and Jeff Pittman, whose strained marriage faces the ultimate test after they cover up a terrible crime and find themselves entangled in a Hitchcockian web of deceit and madness.

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Where Is Kyra? Trailer #1 (2018) | Movieclips Indie

Check out the new trailer for Where Is Kyra? starring Michelle Pfeiffer! Let us know what you think in the comments below.
► Buy Tickets to Where Is Kyra?: https://www.fandango.com/where-is-kyra-203038/movie-overview?cmp=MCYT_YouTube_Desc

US Release Date: April 6, 2018
Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kiefer Sutherland, Suzanne Shepherd
Directed By: Andrew Dosunmu
Synopsis: In Brooklyn, New York, Kyra (Pfeiffer) loses her job and struggles to survive on her ailing mother’s income. As the weeks and months go on, her problems worsen. This leads her on a risky and enigmatic path that threatens her life.

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Beauty Care Choices – Free Hair Spray #SuperFirm with INDIE order

Get a free INDIE Hair Spray #SuperFirm with any INDIE order over $ 30. Gift is worth $ 7 retail value. Use code at checkout.
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Indie awards are the best Oscar predictors

With awards season in full force, Oscar predictions have grown increasingly dependent on a previously inconspicuous gong.
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How The Strand Has Made Indie Bookselling Look Easy — For 90 Years

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Meet The Indie Publishers Working To Ensure Inclusivity In Comics

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Meet The Indie Publishers Working To Ensure Inclusivity In Comics

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How The Strand Has Made Indie Bookselling Look Easy — For 90 Years

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Loving director plans new indie film festival

The director of the Oscar-nominated movie Loving has announced plans to launch his own independent film festival.
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Machine-A’s Stavros Karelis on Curating His Indie Concept Store

LONDON — Stavros Karelis likes nothing better than going where few fashion retailers have gone before — and taking a risk on emerging talent for his independent multilabel concept boutique Machine-A, in London’s Soho. The shop, at 13 Brewer Street, spans 700 square feet and stocks men’s and women’s wear brands ranging from Gosha Rubchinskiy, Cottweiler and Expert Horror to Chalayan, Raf Simons and Mugler.
While many retailers tend to be risk-averse, favoring labels with a well-established customer base, Karelis said he is speaking to a customer who is “willing to spend on a lot of the unknown brands and young, emerging designers. They want to collect them from the beginning and grow with them, because ultimately they will become the future of fashion. It’s great to be able to buy those collections from the beginning.”
Karelis, cofounder and buying director, launched Machine-A in 2013 with Anna Trevelyan, the store’s fashion director.
“In retail you always have the challenge on how you remain at the frontline,” said Karelis. “And how you remain is to always push the boundaries and offer to your customers the best possible merchandising — with the best possible pricing. I think in that sense we have tried to represent and

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Minimal Engagement Rings for the Indie Girl–Like Zoe Kravitz

ESC: Engagement RingsWedding fever is real, people. And it really starts to set in around this time each year.
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Play Over 80 Different Games at the Indie MegaBooth

The line-up for this year’s PAX East Indie MegaBooth has been revealed. Over 80 games are scheduled to be on the floor and playable.

In addition to the MegaBooth, the Indie MiniBooth returns, along with the return of the tabletop gaming section of the MegaBooth.

Among this year’s playable games are Nidhogg 2, Night in the Woods, She Remembered Caterpillars, and more. Indie Megabooth promises more announcements “in the coming weeks” on its official page.

Games showcased at past Indie MegaBooths include Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Hotline Miami 2, and Shovel Knight.

If you can’t make it to PAX East and you happen to live in, or plan on traveling to, Australia, PAX Australia 2017 dates were announced last week, with tickets going on sale March 14.

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Ryan Gosling: From Mouseketeer and indie darling to Hollywood movie star

2017-01-04-1483567905-5581445-ryangosling600x324.jpg

La La Land, the award-tipped ode to musicals from Hollywood’s Golden Age, sees Ryan Gosling dance, sing, wax lyrical about jazz and woo Emma Stone’s aspiring actress in modern day Los Angeles. It’s a terrific performance and the 36-year-old seems to be a lock for one of the best actor Oscar nods. To top that off, he will be hitting the screens across the year in Terrence Malick’s Weightless and the eagerly anticipated Blade Runner sequel.

Showbusiness isn’t new to Gosling – he was a Mousekeeter (alongside pre-teen Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera) in The Mickey Mouse Club, and he played the title role in the Young Hercules series in the late 1990s. Gosling followed television with some smartly chosen indie features and, not too long after, he was primed for the big leagues as a major movie star.

Let’s take a look at the films which gave him those A-list credentials…

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American Honey named best British indie

Road trip drama American Honey was the big winner at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs).
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Moonlight and Honey lead US indie nominations

American Honey and Moonlight have emerged with the most nominations for the 2017 Independent Spirit awards.
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Going Indie: 25 Things You Should Know Before Self-Publishing Your Book

Going Indie: 25 Things You Should Know Before Self-Publishing Your Book


Self-publishing used to be the last resort when an author had exhausted all other channels. Self-publishing meant that your book wasn’t good enough for a traditional publisher. Even if you knew your sales would be virtually nil, you self-published because your vanity required it; you self-published so that you could say that you had published a book, even if it never sold a single copy. Since the e-book explosion, self-publishing no longer carries the stigma it did a few years ago; it is no longer considered equivalent to vanity publishing. If you choose to go independent, your luck is that self-publishing has become a whole lot easier in the last few years since the advent of the digital age. Self-publishing is no longer a last resort, but a conscious choice that comes with many advantages over traditional publishing. The technology available today has made it possible to self-publish in both electronic and paperback versions, even if you don’t have a penny to invest in the process. The electronic book market is growing, and publishers have traditionally paid lousy royalties on electronic books. Despite your lack of publishing experience, you might have a better chance making money if you self-publish rather than pursue a traditional publisher. But knowledge is power, and it is crucial to educate yourself on the process and be aware of the factors that might influence your decision. Going Indie: 25 Things You Should Know Before Self-Publishing Your Book, offers a number of tips that will raise your awareness of the benefits of self-publishing over traditional publishing.

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‘Welcome To Night Vale’ Is The Indie Podcast For Your Inner Weirdo

“All that glitters is not gold. Particularly that thing over there. That’s maybe a giant insect of some sort. It’s really too dark to tell. Welcome to Night Vale.”  – Cecil Palmer, “Night Vale” radio host (Episode 44, “Cookies”)

If you’ve never listened to the podcast “Welcome to Night Vale,” you’re already less of a person. But that’s okay, because you can always become more of a person. It’s one of the many perks to being a person.

Every two weeks, writers Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor and actor Cecil Baldwin take audiences into the small desert town of Night Vale, where real estate agents live inside deer, a five-headed dragon runs for Mayor and is also a blogger, and a faceless old woman secretly lives in your home.

It’s a perfect mix of engaging storytelling and absurd humor. Think “Prairie Home Companion” meets “Twin Peaks,” but where space and time sometimes don’t matter.

The Huffington Post sat down with the trio to talk about the release of their new book, Welcome to Night Vale, a more traditional format for a very untraditional project.

What did you see as the biggest difference between writing the book and writing the podcast?

Joseph Fink: It’s a lot longer.

[Everyone laughs.]

Jeffrey Cranor: We decided to take it out of Cecil’s voice, because while Cecil is reading the audiobook, it is ultimately a novel, so there is about 12 hours of audiobook there. The idea of a 12-hour radio show is not what we were doing. We wanted to take it into a narrative author’s world, go around Night Vale outside of Cecil’s point of view, which allows us to see something new.

You guys were writing the book while still doing the podcast. Did you have to plan ahead since this book wouldn’t be coming out until a year further into the “Night Vale” narrative?

Jeffrey: We definitely put thought into it. We had to think about when the book was coming out, and kind of where in the vicinity of the timeline it would be. We didn’t want to write the book ignorant of the podcast timing. Months and months from now it won’t make a ton of difference because people will be picking up the book at a different point from the podcast, but I think the people who are keeping time with the podcast are probably the same people who will buy the book the day it comes out and read it immediately. 

Does the podcast, and the often odd logic of the writing, make it easier to write the book and not worry so much about continuity?

Joseph: Oh, we worried strongly about the continuity. I mean, “Night Vale” has very strict continuity. That’s sort of the thing that allows us to be as weird as we are. From the very start, we said we can doing anything we want as long as we have a strict continuity. So there’s actually a very strict continuity that goes into the book as well.

Cecil, what were your influences, voicewise? Because it seems to change from episode 1 to episode 70.

Cecil Baldwin: It changed so much. We were still trying to figure out what this character was. And it was definitely a disembodied late-night radio host voice. There were some specifics here and there but there wasn’t a true personality yet. Much like any pilot. As the show went on, we all found more about the person behind the microphone and the people around [him]. Then they’ll write more and then it reflects back on itself, performance to writing. 

From a physicality standpoint, once the show started taking off, were you very protective of your voice? Were you walking into rooms yelling, “I need a humidifier in here!”?

Cecil: [Laughs] Oh, no! It’s just years of working in the theater, there’s certain things you try to do. Honestly keeping hydrated and taking vitamins are probably the best things you can do. We have a pretty rigorous touring schedule, and it’s trying to maintain that, but for the most part for the making of the podcast and the live shows, the microphone does a lot of the heavy lifting, which helps give the performance layers.

Joseph and Jeffrey, how has your writing evolved since the start of the podcast?

Joseph: We sort of just keep trying to do new things. We write, I feel, almost exactly the same in both the work rhythm and the general goal of telling stories that seem interesting to us, and then not really worrying about outside of that. On a personal level, I just constantly try to find new things to do with the 30-minute audio format, and new ways of telling stories, and things you can do with language. And that’s just a constant search.

Jeffrey: Yeah, as a writer I find I’m always trying to find tics and habits I have that I want to phase out. Then you read other stuff and go, “Oh, this is really beautiful, I’m really inspired by this, I’m feeling more emotional lately and I’m going to talk about these types of feelings.” I think that’s just how we are as writers. You’re always taking things in and putting things back out.

Is there a “Night Vale” film in the future? And given the characteristics of space and time, is that even possible given the way the world of Night Vale works?

Joseph: Sure, I think anything’s possible.

Jeffrey: We always have people interested, whether it’s a movie or any number of things, like “Please make a ‘Night Vale’ keychain!” or something, you know.

Cecil: “Night Vale,” the musical.

Joseph: “Night Vale,” the card game.

Jeffrey: All kinds of stuff. And you know, for us, we all come from this background of theater and stage performance and writing, so the idea of going from the podcast to the stage was a really logical and obvious transition. It’s been really great because Cecil’s so great onstage and we feel very comfortable in writing for that and understanding that, and the same thing for the novel.

And you know, moving into other mediums, it just takes more time finding the right people to work with, because none of us come from the background of making a TV show or making a film or making a tabletop game [laughs]. That requires a lot more reaching out. It’s not like we hit on a thing that could get us a check written. I’m sure if we said, “Sure, write us a check,” we could find someone to write a dollar amount, but that’s not what we’re interested in doing. We actually like “Night Vale.” Like, we’re not trying to sell it off.

You mentioned earlier about following a strict continuity for “Night Vale.” Do you guys have a show bible the way some TV shows might?

Joseph: My only bible is the actual Bible.

[Everyone laughs.]

Jeffrey: That’s what we use, we use the actual Old Testament.

Cecil: That’s it. If it’s not in the Bible, we don’t want to talk about it.

Joseph: No, I mean we had a spreadsheet, briefly, that lasted like four episodes. Because there’s only two of us writing it, you have lot more control than if you had a staff of writers and new people coming and going and you have to keep everything stable. Which is not to say we don’t make mistakes; we constantly make continuity mistakes. And then we sort of talk our way out of them in later episodes. But yes, we depend entirely on our fragile memory.

Cecil: Somebody made a “Night Vale” wiki page. I use that all the time. You know, trying to remember if this one character in episode 50 has appeared in episode 5 and also, did that person have a specific voice? That’s always a challenge and it’s easy to look online and be like, “When did X character appear, and in what episode?” and then I can go back through my sound files of old episodes and, “Oh, that’s what that person sounded like.” Then I can choose to, you know, pick up that character voice or do a more third-person read of what that person said. I think that’s the only online resource I really use. Because it is, you know, unwieldy amounts of pages and pages.

You had Will Wheaton on the show several times. Are there any other celebrities you would love to get on the show?

Joseph: Yes. Tatiana Maslany.

Cecil: Yeah!

Joseph: Tatiana Maslany. As Hiram McDaniels’ sister. I’ve been very seriously trying to get her. We’ll see how that goes. That’s my biggest dream.

Jeffrey: Barack Obama.

[Everyone laughs.]

Joseph: Oprah.

Cecil: Whoopi Goldberg. I always thought Whoopi Goldberg on the show would be amazing.

Where do you see podcasts, as a form, going? Because it hasn’t quite been monetized yet.

Cecil: Oh, don’t worry, people are always finding ways to monetize anything.

Joseph: It’s being monetized, actually, in a huge way. It’s a little worrying, in the last few months, big money has really come into podcasting. Bill Simmons’ podcast is produced by HBO. WNYC just announced a $ 15 million podcast studio. And they also had like a contest where the winners got, like, a $ 100K to do a podcast? GE is producing a serial drama podcast that’s 20 to 30 minutes long.

So, yeah I find that all super worrying because I think what makes podcasting really good is that it has this very low barrier of entry. You just need to have a very good and very specific idea and then you need to be able to execute that in front of a mic and then you’re on the same playing field as everyone else.

I think that’s still very much the case but I worry about that going forward as big money starts pouring into it.

Jeffrey: One of the great ways to find out about podcasts is the gatekeepers like iTunes and their lists and mysterious algorithms for why things move to the top of the list. In the four months that “Night Vale” was No. 1 overall above “This American Life,” it was never because “Night Vale” had more listeners than “This American Life.” That’s never been the case. We just had this surge of popularity.

Cecil: There was a dramatic spike.

Jeffrey: Once that surge came back down to a naturally steady increase, we obviously fell back below “This American Life.” But for us being an independent podcast, it was a really great thing to be able to have that. And my worry comes from whether or not that can stay a thing. “Lore” is another new podcast that is interesting and independent.

Joseph: “Lore” just hit the top 10 on iTunes.

Jeffrey: And that’s great, it makes me super thrilled to see independent podcasters reaching that. And I think there’s this hope that institutions like Radiotopia can hold it together and still be at the forefront of putting new, cool stuff out there that people can discover. You know, if big money comes into it, and Bill Simmons and GE and people like that are always at the top of the list.

Joseph: Or if they can buy big ads, because at the moment the iTunes main page is an equal mix of weird independent stuff, and if you have GE podcasts and HBO podcasts, then it really kills that.

Cecil: I think a lot about the ‘90s and the independent film movement when technology became more affordable and more accessible to filmmakers. All of a sudden, you have so many more diverse films being made under the banner of independent cinema.

And then now that’s like 25 years later and IFC [Independent Film Channel] came out of that, and is IFC independent film anymore? What does that mean?

It’s sort of the natural way of things, and it’s amazing to be on the vanguard of any movement. For us, it’s just keeping it going and exploring other new avenues and new mediums.

Joseph: I used to be super into fracking until the big energy companies moved in.

[Everyone laughs.]

Cecil: Ugh, yeah it’s so over.

Jeffrey: Yeah, it’s really annoying, now it’s everyone’s thing. All the hipsters are fracking.

Thanks to Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor and Cecil Baldwin. Their new book, Welcome To Night Vale is out Tuesday wherever books are sold, and probably some places where books aren’t sold and the vendor is perhaps wondering where all these books came from.

 

 

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Meet Phases, the Indie Pop Band That Should Be on Your Radar ASAP

A few years ago, you may have read our enthusiastic plea to add superband JJAMZ and their bubbly tunes "Never Enough" and "Heartbeat" to your summer playlists. Since then, the L.A.-based group has reinvented a…


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Indie Rock 101

Indie Rock 101


Indie Rock 101 is a clear, concise, all-in-one primer for beginning to mid-level musicians looking for the essential fundamentals behind running, recording and promoting their band. It’s all the basics that can take years to collate from more specialized or technical books, magazines and websites-and it’s written by a real independent musician* Part I, Running Your Band covers the topics most relevant to forming and running the band: the people, practice and songwriting* Part II, Recording covers pre-production considerations, gear and how-to basics, and timeless fundamentals and techniques around recording, mixing and mastering* Part III, Promoting covers what you need to know to establish and grow your fan base, including graphic design, your press kit and website, sharing and selling your music, playing out and making a videoWhether you’re just starting out or looking for a 360-degree primer to help take your music to the next level, Indie Rock 101 is the one book that covers it all. Featuring photos and Q & As from: Birdmonster * CDBaby founder Derek Sivers * Juliana Hatfield * John Vanderslice * Karate * Mark Kozelek of

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Indie Rock 101

Indie Rock 101


Indie Rock 101 is a clear, concise, all-in-one primer for beginning to mid-level musicians looking for the essential fundamentals behind running, recording and promoting their band. It’s all the basics that can take years to collate from more specialized or technical books, magazines and websites-and it’s written by a real independent musician* Part I, Running Your Band covers the topics most relevant to forming and running the band: the people, practice and songwriting* Part II, Recording covers pre-production considerations, gear and how-to basics, and timeless fundamentals and techniques around recording, mixing and mastering* Part III, Promoting covers what you need to know to establish and grow your fan base, including graphic design, your press kit and website, sharing and selling your music, playing out and making a videoWhether you’re just starting out or looking for a 360-degree primer to help take your music to the next level, Indie Rock 101 is the one book that covers it all. Featuring photos and Q & As from: Birdmonster * CDBaby founder Derek Sivers * Juliana Hatfield * John Vanderslice * Karate * Mark Kozelek of

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Idris Elba teams up with indie band for charity single

Manchester Band ‘The Last Party’ are donating profits from sales of their single “A Thousand Smiles” to the Campaign Against Living Miserably
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Smoke Meth and Hail Satan Skate Hipster Hipsta Swag Cool Urban Goth Indie Metal Mens (White) (Large)

Smoke Meth and Hail Satan Skate Hipster Hipsta Swag Cool Urban Goth Indie Metal Mens (White) (Large)


This item is also available in Women’s – please see our other listings. tdm-style clothing was created in the cultural quarter of Bristol – Stokes Croft. Surrounded by the coolest Street Art and inspired by various Banksy pieces, Stokes Croft has quickly become the go-to place for musicians and artists alike. Our designs call upon the style, art and bohemian culture, to bring you the freshest designs from the streets. Using local artists and supporting the local scene, you can be sure your garment is highly original and of the highest quality. Our T-Shirts are all printed to order using the latest in Direct to Garment printing technology. We print the ink pigment directly within the fabric of the shirt, which gives a superior quality print that that will withstand repeated washing but is soft to the touch and doesnt crack like many screen printed shirts do. Your T-Shirt will be manufactured expertly and with care in the UK and shipped to you rapidly with our no quibble satisfaction guarantee. We only use the latest, top of the range printing techniques and equipment, for the ultimate in long lasting design wear and only the highest quality of garments. All have a classic contemporary cut, ensuring you always look good. T-Shirt Selection info and size guides: Men’s Premium: Genuine Gildan Brand Heavy Cotton GD005 (or equivalent) * 100% cotton pre-shrunk jersey knit. * Seamless, twin needle 7/8′ collar. * Taped neck and shoulders. * Twin needle sleeve and hem bottoms. * Quarter turned to eliminate centre crease. Fabric 100% pre-shrunk cotton Sport Grey – 90% cotton, 10% polyester Weight White 175 gsm Colour 185 gsm Size Guide Chest (to fit) S – 34/36′, M – 38/40′, L – 42/44′, XL – 46/48′, 2XL – 50/52′

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Smoke Meth and Hail Satan Skate Hipster Hipsta Swag Cool Urban Goth Indie Metal Mens (Marron Brown) (Small)

Smoke Meth and Hail Satan Skate Hipster Hipsta Swag Cool Urban Goth Indie Metal Mens (Marron Brown) (Small)


This item is also available in Women’s – please see our other listings. tdm-style clothing was created in the cultural quarter of Bristol – Stokes Croft. Surrounded by the coolest Street Art and inspired by various Banksy pieces, Stokes Croft has quickly become the go-to place for musicians and artists alike. Our designs call upon the style, art and bohemian culture, to bring you the freshest designs from the streets. Using local artists and supporting the local scene, you can be sure your garment is highly original and of the highest quality. Our T-Shirts are all printed to order using the latest in Direct to Garment printing technology. We print the ink pigment directly within the fabric of the shirt, which gives a superior quality print that that will withstand repeated washing but is soft to the touch and doesnt crack like many screen printed shirts do. Your T-Shirt will be manufactured expertly and with care in the UK and shipped to you rapidly with our no quibble satisfaction guarantee. We only use the latest, top of the range printing techniques and equipment, for the ultimate in long lasting design wear and only the highest quality of garments. All have a classic contemporary cut, ensuring you always look good. T-Shirt Selection info and size guides: Men’s Premium: Genuine Gildan Brand Heavy Cotton GD005 (or equivalent) * 100% cotton pre-shrunk jersey knit. * Seamless, twin needle 7/8′ collar. * Taped neck and shoulders. * Twin needle sleeve and hem bottoms. * Quarter turned to eliminate centre crease. Fabric 100% pre-shrunk cotton Sport Grey – 90% cotton, 10% polyester Weight White 175 gsm Colour 185 gsm Size Guide Chest (to fit) S – 34/36′, M – 38/40′, L – 42/44′, XL – 46/48′, 2XL – 50/52′

Price: $
Sold by Rakuten Play.com

How Etsy Changed the Rules & What It Means for Indie Designers

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I’m a conscious consumer. I shop second-hand, I limit my consumption of “stuff,” and I try to keep my purchases local. I believe in voting with my dollars, and I’ve gone so far as to dedicate my career to figuring out what that means.

On occasion, though, when I’m hankering for a new piece of jewelry or a unique gift I can’t find in my local thrift shop, I’ll look to Etsy. If I’m going to dish out the cash on a new item, I know that my purchase has more impact if it goes to the local makers who are working on their craft.

As someone who is directly involved in the maker movement, I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I didn’t pay much attention when Etsy changed its policies last fall. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, CEO Chad Dickerson announced that Etsy sellers could use outside manufacturers to produce their designs. In other words, items sold on Etsy no longer had to be handmade.

It wasn’t until a few months ago, when looking on Etsy for a new watch that I realized the implications of this change.

I had a specific brown, repurposed leather, wrap-watch in mind. I knew the one I wanted was handmade by a seller in Ohio, but I didn’t know his name. Typing in a simple search for “wrap watch” into Etsy, I proceeded to spend nearly an hour sifting through 50+ pages of three-dollar “wrap watches” from China.

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My eyes scanned over page after page of items I would have expected to find in the kiosks of Daytona Beach, not on a website for handmade goods. I sat at my computer with my jaw on the keyboard, wondering what had just happened. When I eventually found what I was looking for I purchased the handmade watch, for significantly more than three dollars, and moved on. I didn’t think much more about the experience after that.

A few months later, I met an Etsy seller through Factory45, the accelerator program I run for designers and makers. Among other reasons, she applied to my program looking for business guidance on restoring her Etsy shop sales.

She recently told me, “Last year my Etsy sales tripled in the spring and then again in the fall, so I figured things were still looking good. But in May, my views dropped off to about one-third of what they were in the previous months and as compared to last year. I thought they just dipped because of the holiday weekend and the nice weather, but in June they did not pick back up.”

She went on to explain that several message boards had popped up about similar drops in traffic for other Etsy sellers. When I went on the site to see for myself I found threads with titles like, “Are most of you feeling the low traffic, views and sales?” “Can Etsy stop letting Chinese factories sell here?” and “Your Stuff: Made in China?” with diplomatic responses from Etsy administrators encouraging the sellers “to take advantage of the downtime.” (Interesting advice when downtime could mean the difference between paying and not paying your rent.)

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Aside from the issue that independent designers are now competing with full-scale production operations, there is the issue of sheer volume — Etsy now has over 1 million shops. When a seller is competing in a sea of 999,999 other shops, the odds aren’t good.

Now that Etsy shoppers have the option of buying from middlemen selling three dollar watches, finding that handmade wrap watch you’re looking for will undoubtedly be more difficult. From the seller’s perspective, no matter how many times they change their “tags,” SEO or refresh their storefront, the traffic just isn’t going to come like it used to.

So what actually happened?

In the fall of 2013, Etsy shifted their loyalty from the maker to the shareholder as it made plans to further scale its business model. How did this change things?

Because Etsy’s policy changes happened at the maker’s expense, many of the people who were once making a living off of their shops are now seeing a fraction of the sales. The difference between Etsy, and let’s say, Wal-Mart just got a whole lot smaller. At the core, Etsy changed its mission. No longer is it a website for makers of one-of-a-kind, original goods. Instead, it has become yet another website for the mass-produced and cheaply made goods that satisfy our insatiable culture of mindless consumption.

So what’s a seller to do?

If you’re an independent designer or maker with an Etsy shop, there are a few ways to try and get your traffic back up.

  • Create a small network of fellow sellers. Etsy offers the “team” feature but going beyond that, find five other sellers who have a similar target market and non-competing products. Work together to promote each other’s shops using your individual social media outlets and outside networks.
  • Narrow down your niche and create very specific tags. “Screen printed t-shirt” just isn’t going to cut it anymore. The competition is too high. Use tags and keywords you know would appeal to your target market and get specific.
  • Guest post on the Etsy blog. The blog run by Etsy is “consumer facing,” meaning the content is written for shoppers. It’s an entire platform where your potential customers could be hanging out. Come up with a few article ideas that would appeal to Etsy shoppers and pitch the editorial team.
  • Move marketing efforts away from Etsy to Pinterest, Instagram and a personal blog. Etsy ads are not going to be as effective as they used to be, so save your money. Focus your marketing efforts on creating compelling content through your social media outlets. Host contests on Pinterest, run giveaways on Instagram and write about the “behind-the-scenes” of your business on your blog.

As someone who supports the manufacturing movement in the USA, I believe that Etsy sellers should be able to scale production when their sales numbers get too high to manage on their own. My issue with Etsy lies in the lack of a discerning gatekeeper.

It comes down to this: the world doesn’t need another eBay. It needs the old Etsy.

Get more business strategy for your Etsy store or small business from Factory45 here.

Photo credit: Etsy
This post was originally published on the BF+DA blog.
Style – The Huffington Post
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Indie Brides Are Bound To Say Yes To These Non-Traditional Dresses

By Kellee Khalil for Lover.ly

Temperatures are rising and summer wedding season is nearly upon us! Summer lends itself to relaxed and casual weddings, making it the perfect time to try something non-traditional. If you’re saying “I do” at an offbeat celebration this summer, you may want to say yes to one of these stylish bridal frocks. Browse below for unexpected cuts, colors, and styles worthy of a hot-weather fete.

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True Religion Men s Indie Fashion Slip On Loafer Shoes, 11

True Religion Men s Indie Fashion Slip On Loafer Shoes, 11


True Religion Men’s Indie Fashion Slip On Loafer Shoes Canvas Upper. Decorative Penny Keeper Strap. Frayed Round Toe & Heel Edging. Removeable Cushioned Insole For Shock Absorbtion. Rubber Sole With Textured Overlay For Traction
List Price: $ 70.00
Price: $ 70.00

True Religion Men s Indie Fashion Slip On Loafer Shoes, 10

True Religion Men s Indie Fashion Slip On Loafer Shoes, 10


True Religion Men’s Indie Fashion Slip On Loafer Shoes Canvas Upper. Decorative Penny Keeper Strap. Frayed Round Toe & Heel Edging. Removeable Cushioned Insole For Shock Absorbtion. Rubber Sole With Textured Overlay For Traction
List Price: $ 70.00
Price: $ 70.00

True Religion Men s Indie Fashion Slip On Loafer Shoes, 9

True Religion Men s Indie Fashion Slip On Loafer Shoes, 9


True Religion Men’s Indie Fashion Slip On Loafer Shoes Canvas Upper. Decorative Penny Keeper Strap. Frayed Round Toe & Heel Edging. Removeable Cushioned Insole For Shock Absorbtion. Rubber Sole With Textured Overlay For Traction
List Price: $ 70.00
Price: $ 70.00

True Religion Men s Indie Fashion Slip On Loafer Shoes, 8

True Religion Men s Indie Fashion Slip On Loafer Shoes, 8


True Religion Men’s Indie Fashion Slip On Loafer Shoes Canvas Upper. Decorative Penny Keeper Strap. Frayed Round Toe & Heel Edging. Removeable Cushioned Insole For Shock Absorbtion. Rubber Sole With Textured Overlay For Traction
List Price: $ 70.00
Price: $ 70.00