June 1, 2014

Fairy Tale Merch--Disney Does it, and So Can You, By Nora Stasio, Fairy Tale News Reporter

Fairy/fairy tale themed merch is hot!
This necklace is by Nora, see below.
I know I always say this, but it remains true--these days, fairy tales are trendy. From movies to books to video games, these classic stories are absolutely everywhere. The smartest of entrepreneurs have an understanding that now is the best time to sell Fairy tale-themed merchandise, and if you're creative and business-savvy, you may also be to cash in on the trend.

There's no dispute--whatever you're selling, the key to success is marketing. The folks at Disney have spared no expense in marketing their latest fairy tale epic, "Maleficent," and one of their major targets is young women with an interest in fashion. They've teamed up with Hot Topic Stores to create an exclusive clothing line inspired by Angelina Jolie's portrayal of the iconic villainess. There are currently seven items: three black dresses, one white dress, a leather vest, a grey tunic top, and a wickedly cool hoodie. So if you've ever wanted to dress like an evil fairy with a modern-day twist, it looks like now's your chance to grab some "Maleficent" swag. But I'd act quickly. The Batwing Hoodie was sold out before it even officially went on sale. In this case, it looks like the marketing is paying off.

With a little ingenuity, you can market any product to suit any particular trend. Here's a good question: Have you ever wished your afternoon cup of tea tasted like a fairy tale? If you've got an idea for a delicious new blend of herbs, spices, and exotically flavored teas, Adagio Teas will actually mix it together for you and have it sent right to your house. You can even design the logo that goes on the front of the package.

Adagio.com is a really cool website. Not only do they have a great selection of high-quality teas and "signature blends," but I'd recommend you check out the "fandom" section. People all over the world have been creating tea blends based on their favorite characters from film, TV, and literature, and if you like their concoctions, you can order them for yourself. There are teas inspired by Marvel Superheroes, Game of Thrones characters, even "One Direction" band members.

But of course, I'm more interested in the fairy tale teas. It seems most, though not all of them, are inspired by the Disney films, which isn't too surprising. A quick search for "Cinderella" brought me to Kayla Larson's "Cin-ful Cinderella" blend. It contains rooibos tea, black tea, apple pieces, cinnamon bark, and all natural apple, cinnamon, and creme flavors. Sounds heavenly, if you ask me. The flavor is, as she puts it, "inspired by Cinderella's sweetness and internal spice." I also like the drawing of Cindy on the packaging, which I presume was done by Miss Kayla.

I can definitely see myself creating some teas through this website. Have you ever tried it?

How about Etsy? A lot of artists are using Etsy.com, a global e-commerce site, to buy and sell vintage and handmade items of all kinds. The beauty of this marketplace is that you can make and sell basically item you want, with any theme or style you want. If it's unique and high-quality, there's bound to be somebody out there who has to have it. There are a lot of amazing artists all over the world making a lot of money by utilizing this great website. If you go there, you'll see for yourself. And your wallet will cry out in pain.

I actually just set up an Etsy shop of my own. The shop title is "Sense of Wonder by ShanghaiHilltop," and I sell handmade, fairy tale-inspired costume jewelry and accessories. I only have a few items up, and I don't have a nice camera to take photos with, so the shop is still very humble at the moment. In the future, I do plan on doing a fancy fashion photoshoot with my photographer friend, and probably also making a video to showcase my work. I'm told that without good photography, it's hard to get your work noticed on Etsy. So when I have the time, I'll definitely make that a priority. In the meantime, check me out here. (Editor's note: I LOVE the pieces Nora has made!)

So, who else out there is on Etsy? Or perhaps you make and sells crafts via other marketplaces. What has your experience been like so far? Are your items fairy tale-themed? If not, what inspires you to create art? I'd love to see all of your shops. Please, do share a link with us!

When it comes to selling fairy tale-themed merch, we may not be able to make as much money as Disney does... but money is money, and it's a fun business to be in, if you ask me. Because, in the end, an artist is filled with a deep sense of satisfaction when the money she earns, meager as it may be, is the result of a labor of love.

Can I get an amen? (Amen! from Editor.)

Bio: Nora writes, "I have been a lover of creative writing and fairy tales for basically my entirelife! I recently graduated Cum Laude from Rutgers where I completed a minor in English, with a focus in Creative Writing and Shakespeare (I majored in Psychology)."


Anonymous said...

I love the idea of fairy tale tea. I am a big herbal tea lover so this sounds fun and tasty. I looked over the jewelry line as well. Very pretty. Jewelry has always been a mainstay of fairy tales from magical amulets to enchanted rings. What a creative way to keep fairy tales alive. Good luck!

kathy g said...

So pretty! I love the pendant, especially!

Brittany said...

Great post and beautiful work! I do indeed have a shop inspired by fairy tales :). You can check it out at http://ashesofrosesdesigns.etsy.com !

Laura B. said...

I think fairy tales and jewelry is a natural connection. When I tell stories to 4th and 5th graders as a professional storyteller I use a pin to introduce stories. I have the pin wrapped in velvet and show it to the students and then pin it on my clothing. It's something nice to do between stories. I have several pins that work for different stories.

Unknown said...

If I were going to sell fairy tale merchandise, I'd probably make it relate to the stories I have published. For example, if "Fire and Snow" ever became a big hit as a fairy tale story, I'd want to sell snowdrop earrings and necklaces, and to find a good artist to make them. But it's a good idea, just one that needs branding.

Amy said...

Really pretty jewellery! And I definitely need to take a look at this tea website, what a unique idea! Fairy tales really do seem to go with anything!

Lissa Sloan said...

Great stuff! I love Etsy for finding really unique gifts and supporting artists.