Shapely Prose store is up!

Okay folks, you asked for it, so over the weekend I set up a Shapely Prose store with t-shirts and sundry other merchandise! We’re starting out with five T-shirt designs, some of which are on other items like mugs or buttons, and a few kinds of stickers. At the moment, there are three types of shirts — unisex, ladies’, and plus — but CafePress has others available, as well as various gift items and whatnot. If you want a particular item with a particular design, like say you’re dying for a baby donuts baby onesie, just let me know. And of course let me know if you have ideas for other designs, or if you want to send me a high-res PNG of your own work for inclusion in the shop.

A few apologies, off the bat: I’m really sorry that plus-size shirts cost so much more. We went with CafePress because their plus shirts go up to a 5x, which is greatly appreciated, but the markup is ridonk. (Our profit margin on those shirts is lower because I couldn’t stand to increase the price too much, so buy lots! We need to keep ourselves in donuts, and web hosting!) And the plus shirts also only come in white and black, and that is kind of ass as well. That said, I think most of the designs look best on white or black anyway, and CafePress is still the best custom printing biz for the plus-size market. Midsize fatties are especially well-served; the non-plus shirts go up to a 2x if you pay their $3.00 markup. The size chart says that’s a 52″ bust, which could theoretically fit up to like a 22! (Please let me know if you have experience with the CafePress 2x that corroborates or contradicts this claim.)

Again, don’t hesitate to let me know if there’s a specific item you want, or you have an idea for a new t-shirt design — shapelyprose@gmail is the address to reach me (and Sweet Machine). Oh, and ideas for bumper sticker slogans are particularly appreciated. I might not respond right away, because this week is crazy for me, but I will consider all ideas, and I should be able to honor all requests for particular items using the existing designs.

87 thoughts on “Shapely Prose store is up!

  1. My personal favorite is the baby + donut. Those are like my two bestest favoritest things.

    But, I will not purchase those, nope no way. I prefer to let the world know that 1) I am the real Kate Harding (imposters be damned!) and 2) I am a certifiable member of the Fat Club. ;-)

  2. A word of caution – and this is true on BFB’s store (BLATANT PLUG!) too – the plus-size scoop Ts are very thin. Very very.

    Great designs, though. The “I am Kate Harding” shirt is genius.

  3. The thing I have to wonder is if just having a red background is a big enough denoter of “stop” for the stickers to make sense. Maybe it’s just because I just woke up, but I didn’t really get that.

  4. Alexandra, it’s street activism: you put them on a stop sign. A la “Eating Animals” or “Collaborate and Listen.”

    Anyone else not clear on that? I can try to add more words to the description.

    Paul, thinness of tee is actually a big selling point for me… but it’s absurd that they charge so much extra if the material is flimsy!

  5. It might actually not be obvious; my test market didn’t have a problem with it, but that was just my boyfriend and Sweet Machine, both of whom I have discussed stop sign stickers with (in the abstract). If other people are having a problem I will totally make the description more descriptive.

  6. One thing that Big Moves does around pricing, on the rare occasions that we do something like a t-shirt or a cast sweatshirt for a show, is add up the total costs and divide by the number of people, so that everyone is getting charged the same amount. So many of our dancers have been traumatized in the past by extra costs of having a costume made just for them (and not looking like the rest of the girls in the troupe), that we really try to not have that situation crop up again.

    In this case, you don’t know how many you’re going to sell–I hope you sell lots, and I am thinking of buying an “I am Kate Harding” item–but I’d still encourage you to consider finding the mid-range price of the whole range of sizes, from S to 5x, and then raise/lower prices (always keeping cafepress costs and your own margin in mind) to give an approximate same price across the board. Pricing mark-up for plus sizes IS insidious and awful, and if there is anyway to jerry-rig the system to make it more equitable, I’m in favor.

  7. Instructions might be nice. Like
    1. Peel sticker from backing.
    2. Slap sticker on stop sign.
    3. Eat a baby flavored doughnut to celebrate your part in bringing about the fatpocalypse.

    I’ve seen such stickers before, but I think context may be key for people who don’t have them on their mind. I’d suggest putting a picture of a stop sign on the page, if Cafepress lets you do that kind of Aytch Tee Em Elle sorcery. (I have a Cafepress store but like I said, it’s too early in the moaning.)

  8. Kate, I was kinda hoping you’d make Al buy one.

    Marina, that’s a good idea, but I don’t think CP lets you take a loss on individual items — they need to recupe their supposed costs, which already makes plus-size shirts $10 more than basic shirts. If we were doing the wholesale buying, I would absolutely do this, but since CP is the wholesaler, you’re constrained to a high base price on the plus stuff.

    AErin, I may did just steal that as-is.

  9. Oh, and can we get any kind of bulk discount (that’s a fat joke) for 20 or 50 of the stop-sign-colored bumper stickers? The kind of activism that I’d like to do requires QUANTITY!

  10. BMB, the only way to make it more equitable would be to mark up the regular size tees by a LOT, so everybody’s paying the same crappy high price. We’re currently taking one dollar in profit from the plus-size ones and two dollars from the regular ones — everything else is the Cafepress mark-up.

    I suppose technically it would be more fair to make them all the same price — and hell, we’d make a lot more money — but I also like that there are lots of different price points going up to women’s 2X/unisex 3X at this point, for the sake of readers who can’t pay $26 for a dumb website tee. I realize that leaves the 4X and 5X readers out in the cold, and I HATE that, but the best solution is probably to write letters to Cafepress about the mark-ups.

  11. I do not buy from cafe press as the quality of the shirts I did buy is pretty yuck – I have a baseball shirt in 2x mens only of course, and it is so thin I have to wear a undershirt or not care that everyone know I have stripes on my bras. The plus size tank top stretches but the printing is so bad it stretches out the print too much to read.

    Not that I have any better suggestions, other than figuring out how to charge for the files so people can print them on their own iron ons.

  12. Marina, email me! If I’m reading this right, it looks like you can get volume discounts ordering from your own shop, but not third party, which is bizarre but CP is weird.

  13. Fillyjonk, I’m writing you now. Big Moves has a few items up in our own shop, and I know we can volume-discount our own stuff, which is why I asked. Thanks!

  14. Speaking of t-shirt ideas, I have always (“always” meaning since I first saw the slogan somewhere on the internet a few months ago) wanted to make a t-shirt that said “Riots Not Diets” but I’m a terrible computer-style designer. I keep meaning to make a DIY screen printed version, but I spend all my free time eating butter and not exercising and have yet to find the time for crafty t-shirt creation.

    Anyway – there is my idea for a shirt or bumper sticker: Riots Not Diets.

  15. Am I the only one who initially read Fat Club as “Eat” Club? I don’t know if that was just a societally response or what :)

    I am putting together an order, although as a wimp, I would prefer the stop sign on the stickers. That way the meaning would be understood for other uses, such as on my car :) I don’t think I am set up for guerrilla actions of that nature.

  16. Mother-flower, fillyjonk, you freaking ROCK. Love the stop sign stickers. Well, and everything else, too, but especially those. Cripes, I’m going to have to revisit my budget for Feb.

  17. I would so do one or more of the stop sign stickers if they had a stop sign in front of the words (“stop sign” and fearing fat, for example). Those would be awesome bumper stickers. And being the red, they’d show up very well on my minivan’s black bumper (I’d do them front and back, just because I could).

  18. Hrm… if you put a stop sign on the stickers, though, it would defeat their purpose. They could be bumper stickers but they couldn’t be stop sign stickers anymore. But I can certainly do bumper stickers with the full phrase (“stop hating your body,” e.g.). How do people feel about that? And does the black on white work for you? I feel like overdesigned bumper stickers are counterproductive.

  19. But I can certainly do bumper stickers with the full phrase (”stop hating your body,” e.g.). How do people feel about that?

    Or maybe billboard activist stickers? I keep seeing totally atrocious weight loss ads on bus stops that I would love to stick things on, rather than just stewing in silence.

  20. Oh yeah! I think you can get “this demeans women” stickers somewhere already, though, and “Riots Not Diets” too — I don’t want to step on any toes.

    This is what we really need for diet ads.

  21. Oro, IIRC you are mit oven-bun, yes? I can easily add a maternity shirt for ya. (Although I totally understand the no-money thing.)

  22. Kristin, yup. You have to go to the individual item’s page — they don’t have (I don’t think) a master size chart showing sizing for every item, just individual ones for particular items.

  23. If the maternity shirts are long enough to cover the belly cut-out on maternity jeans, I think I would love to have one… let me also check the budget! Of course, they probably don’t do plus size maternity because we all know that nobody wants to have sex with a fatty, let alone impregnate on who might pass on her fat genes. :-P

  24. True, true. They go up to an XXL only: bust 45-47″, waist 47-49″ (WHAT? A max 4″ bust/waist difference for a pregnant lady? It better be stretchy), length 30.5″.

  25. I didn’t read all the comments, so forgive me if I’m repeating stuff that’s already been discussed. 1st — Oh, can’t we have a shapeling tee, oh please, oh please? Just the word shapeling with kateharding.net underneath would do. 2nd — yeah, I didn’t get the stop sign reference, I guess because it isn’t actually shaped like a stop sign. If this is an urban trend thing that everyone knows about but me, ignore me. I tend to get behind on those things. 3rd — the abstract baby + doughnut is awesome.

  26. So you guys just want “shapeling,” no graphic? Because I can’t really imagine what I would do with it design-wise.

  27. FJ-

    I would love a Fat Club hoodie (pull-over kind, I think it would look silly on a zip-up). I totally want to wear it to my boxing class!

  28. oh, if you make a graphic for the shapeling shirt, you should make two or three (i know you have ALL kinds of time, right?): I for one would love to have an apple shaped shapeling graphic! The apples are always left out. Sniff :(

  29. But I can certainly do bumper stickers with the full phrase (”stop hating your body,” e.g.). How do people feel about that? And does the black on white work for you? I feel like overdesigned bumper stickers are counterproductive.

    I would like one with the full phrase, because I’m more likely to wear one on my car than to put them on stop signs. The red and white still works for the color scheme, though. More eye-catching than black and white. I’d love one that just has the word STOP added to the front in stop-sign font.

  30. *wishes I wasn’t jobless at the moment*
    I’m going to use my first paycheck from whatever job I get next and browse the Shapely Prose store. :)

  31. oh, if you make a graphic for the shapeling shirt, you should make two or three (i know you have ALL kinds of time, right?): I for one would love to have an apple shaped shapeling graphic!

    I was originally just thinking the word “shapeling”, but you know it might be cute too to have a little apple or pear right next to it (both, but just one at a time, right.)

  32. Okey doke, I’ll work on Shapeling designs, though if they’re not just text it might be a while. Probably will be, though; I’m not fond of the apple/pear false dichotomy.

    Stop sign bumper stickers are easy enough, so that should be up in short(ish) order. I might even try to find a font that looks more like stop sign font, though I do like Impact (for certain occasions).

    Kristin, Fat Club hoodie is a GREAT idea. Whatcha thinking — logo on the chest, text on the back? Or just logo on the back? Email me?

    Oh, and juliafaye, I was just saying to Kate today that I need to work up some Sanity Watchers merchandise. Have to figure out a way to nod to Weight Watchers without actually using their logo or getting sued, though. Weirdly I don’t think CafePress has a keychain, though, unfortunately.

  33. I love it.

    It would be really neat to have some shirts that say iExercise. Or Exercise: Not just for weightloss anymore! With a big beautiful woman kicking it up.

    This isn’t fat related, but I’ve always wanted to have a t-shirt that says “I’m not Daddy’s little princess, and I’m NOBODY’s little whore.” In response to a t-shirt that a friend of mine bought that said “Your little princess is My little whore.”

  34. Oh, and the bacon and muffin and cheeseburger are clip art, so I actually have no idea if we’re allowed to reproduce them… Kate paid for her clipart.com membership, but I don’t know what privileges that gains her. I will definitely talk to her about that when she gets a chance to breathe, because those guys are kee-yoot.

    I’m going to put the cheeseburger on a thong, just to piss off SM!

  35. Oh, if you do an “Exercise, not just for weight loss anymore” T-Shirt I am SO BUYING THAT. To wear to the gym.

  36. Word, Arwen, I’m thinking we put it on a muscle tank and some hoodies.

    And the plus-size tees, of course, because goddamit even people wearing a 5x do exercise.

  37. I vote for the “fat=/=bad” on a tshirt, too. Though the other idea kicking around are great, as well.

    And crappy about the maternity shirts. I couldn’t wear that size if I weren’t pregnant!

  38. The “Citation Needed” stickers are great for some things, not so great for the particular ad I saw the other day, which was actually a gorgeous close-up nude profile shot of a woman’s body from the hips to the armpit, curvy and perfectly lit — and it had little dotted lines following along inside the actual body with captions like like “My jeans will fit again” or “I’ll look great in a bikini.”

    A “stop hating your body” sticker would have been great at that moment in time.

  39. Holy crap, occhiblu.

    I think I’ll do the “stop” concept as both bumper and regular stickers. I’ve heard that red is a bad background when you intend a positive message, though, so the regular stickers may be black on white.

  40. I’m am spending my next paycheck in the Shapely Prose store. I need baby-doughnut shirts in every colour they offer.

  41. Oh, I am so needing an “Exercise: Not just for weightloss anymore” t-shirt. I’ve had 3 weight-related encounters with strangers and friends/co-workers in 24 hours.
    One exchange was this:
    Friendly co-worker: “Have you lost weight? You look like you’ve been losing weight.”
    Me: “No. Just wearing black today.”
    Friendly co-worker: “Are you sure?”
    Me: “Really, no. I did go for a long swim yesterday, for the first time in a long time, and swimming always makes me feel great, so I might be standing up a little bit taller and feeling good about myself.” (Smiling.)
    I am not sure how proud of myself to be about that exchange. But wearing an “Exercise: Not just for weightloss anymore” or an “I am Kate Harding” shirt would have made the exchange more empowering, overall.

  42. I’ve been reading (and loving) for a little while now, but absolutely had to comment to applaud your stop sign stickers. I’m pretty interested in public/guerilla art, particularly positive, non-destructive graffiti (e.g. chalking, wheatpaste, knitta-style cozies). the existence of these stickers made my day — and I’d already been approved for the apartment of my dreams, so nice work! this thinnish shapeling will be adding your stickers to her city decoration repertoire pronto.

  43. So fabulous! I’m dying for a baby donut shirt– it’s like a secret code that only awesome people will understand. :)

    Also, I think you could totally do a Fat Club zip-up hoodie, with the design on one side (like where the breast pocket would be on a button-down shirt) and the website on the back. Tres chic!

  44. I can’t locate the fattitude.com website anymore, but it had “Riots Not Diets” and “Jenny Craig is a Tool of the Man” Tshirts. Does anyone know how to reach the artist? Maybe you could get permission to bring them back.

  45. I think the [stop] signs are brilliant, and make perfect sense now that you’ve explained them. Having said that, and though I’m generally pretty swift on the pop culture references, I didn’t get them at first. Maybe this is an urban/rural thing? I think the design is perfect, but it definitely couldn’t be hurt by a bit more explanation for the benefit of the suburbanites and rural amongst the Shapelings.

  46. one more vote for a “shapeling” shirt with just text and no graphics.

    Because, like, my breasts are totally 3D, which is graphic enough.

  47. Okay, we’ve now got a Fat Club pullover hoodie (logo on front chest, text on back) and a zip-up hoodie (logo on back — it looked weird on the frong — and no text).

    Do expect “Shapeling” and some version of “exercise is not just for weight loss.” And more stickers. Don’t expect them before the end of the week, though.

  48. Hey, how much do y’all make on these sales? I would like to think I’m supporting the subversives. ;)

  49. The Fat Club text on back is great, but could you do a “bleeped” version so it’s school friendly?

  50. I *adore* Fat Club. It’s a shame the hoodie doesn’t come in black and the raglan doesn’t have room for the words. Could you make a women’s plus dark t for Fat Club?

    I’m torn about bleeping – tho if there were a bleep, I could wear this to work.

  51. I second the request for a “bleeped” version of the Fat Club. I love the shirt, but I need one I can wear even with little kids (who can read) nearby.

  52. *Delurking from somewhere in the mid-1970’s*

    Are iron-on transfers still in existence (or some modern equivalent that you kids thesedays use)? As an o/s Shapeling, it would be a hell of a lot easier for me to purchase something I could use to make my own (much-admired, I’m sure) activist gear, rather than worrying about Customs and whether any tee I order would fit or not. (I’m not overly keen on the cut of the tees available at the mo.)

    Looooove the Tiny Pants design. Want to own it on anything and everything – mugs, buttons, stickers, shirts that show off mah kurves – everything.

    Great job, FJ!

  53. I can do a kid-safe version of Fat Club. (Again, probably not right away… shit is fierce at work, and not in a Christian from Project Runway way.)

  54. Oh, but I can’t do Fat Club on black at the mo, sorry. The design doesn’t work in white on black. A white circle with the logo in it on black might happen eventually.

  55. for the DIY fan, if you’ve got an ink jet printer (or access to one), you can buy t-shirt transfer paper at craft or office stores, mirror image the design, print it on the special paper and iron it on. i’ve done it a couple of times and it’s pretty easy. the things to watch out for are that unless you cut away the paper from the white areas you wind up with a block of almost clear ink texture around the design. and you can’t make the design bigger than 8.5 x 11. still, you can get a pack for less than the cost of a tee from cafe press.

  56. Wow, the designs are totally amazing, even if I’m late to the party. I totally just bought a fat club sweatshirt.

    Me so happy!

  57. Yayyy I’m so excited. =D

    I just did an order from Cafepress last week so I’m going to wait until that stuff comes in to make sure I’m ordering the right size.

    But this is totally the highlight of my life.

  58. I’d kind of like to see a “cognitive dissonance” section, with shirts that say things like “Salad Is Outstanding!” and “I (Heart) Vegetables” in the plus sizes, though I kind of suspsect the people who wear them would hear the “LIAR!” line everywhere they went.

  59. Oh huh, I would have figured that was too in-your-face for folks to want on a shirt. Cool. That should be easy enough to do.

  60. I just want to give a little review on my SP stuff that came today…

    The sweatshirt runs REALLY big. I ordered the xxl, and it is ginormous. I am hoping it will shrink a little…

    The plus womens tshirt is awesome. It is the perfect length (I hate all the new super long tees, they look horrible on my shape) and a great thickness. Someone up the thread said they are really thin, which may be true of the white shirts, but the black one is perfect.

    And as soon as it dries up outside, I will put my tiny pants bumper sticker on!

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