I love the custom manufacturing business models of Zazzle, GoodStorm and CafePress. They blend made-to-order JIT manufacturing with UGC, seemingly as effortlessly as ABC. Example: upload a favorite romantic photo and make official USPS stamps for your Valentines. Or a single t-shirt, or a print for your wall. Product production and personalization delivered on a micro scale!
But I just had a shock, learning that our recently deceased family pet, and rescue greyhound, Gracie, is featured in a whole line of CafePress merchandise. I knew that the local Grey2K activist group had commissioned a photo shoot of her a few years ago, for their publications. (Imagine driving down the road and seeing your own dog on a bumper sticker.) And for Christmas we received some lovely notecards from the Grey2K director which featured a watercolor painting of Gracie on the cover. But take a look at this Cafe Press link. Gracie is now the canine cover girl on everything from coasters, to tshirts, to mugs, to….a “Classic Gracie Thong!” I can’t get upset, though. Sandy, the artist, gives 10% of her profits to animal rights groups. And now I could, thanks to CafePress, choose to pursue a whole “Gracie, Greyhound with Character” lifestyle. Maybe someone out there will. Go Gracie Go.