The transition from digital to analog starts with creating more digital. And then the analog. So, actually, I suppose there’s still plenty of both going on.
Working on the next phase of what we could call “Luke Design” had me experimenting with various materials. Incuding among these are some very expensive leathers, wood projects, and most of all painted pieces.
Naturally, working with leather required some tools and equipment that I didn’t have, so I managed to fill a few toolboxes with new tools, including this vintage Italian industrial sewing machine. Most of the projects that I created were experiments in handstitching, assembly techniques, and operating an industrial walking foot machine. If you hunt on the Cream website, you’ll see quite a few that I’ve added there. At some point some of those will become available, I think.
Why Cream Co? You can read a little bit about that on my Cream article.
On the other hand, the shaping and painting of skateboards was scratching a serious itch. Here are some of the designs currently available in the Cream shop:
These decks just launched yesterday!
We also finally found deck mounting hardware for floating the deck art on your wall without scratching it up or casting odd shadows:
And so the Cream site for now will be a chronicle of the work I do in the analog space. A log of my work that also serves as an ecommerce platform should suffice. That part’s next.
Eventually, with several good friends and family encouraging me to push foreward, I began to spend time on the Cream website as a platform for selling these artistic ideas to the public. I created so many versions of the Cream shop on so many platforms, that it was silly. Fortunately lots of platforms have been maturing very well in the last few years, so that was a benefit.
I settled on Shopify as a platform that meets my needs, but of course, the service you choose for you will depend on your requirements, so I share this as a way of explaining my path and progress.
Having spent several years using Webflow to service clients in the web industry, I was suprised to hear that they were releasing an ecommerce platform as well, tied into their regular hosting service. Perfect: designing sites was easy and powerful, and I already had sufficient experience using it. The first shop was created was there. And so was the second, third, and fourth versions. A great ecommerce choice, if you’re looking, but I hit a few hurdles early on while testing their new platform. That was already a year or two ago, as well. I did manage to help a friend work through his Webflow shop lately and they’ve made some wonderful upgrades.
The fifth (or so) shop design was created with my own design and code using Paypal buttons. It really didn’t create the all in one experience I was hoping for, so I kept looking.
I then explored the setting up the shop all over again within Etsy. This has a list of pros and cons that is too long to discuss in this brief article, but, suffice to say it was a comfortable platform in someone else’s garden with all of the other gardeners.
The final version was with Shopify. With all of the limitations inherent in using stock theme designs, creating a store was very straightforward. After this process was nearing completion it was then that I realized that it was the most mature and professional choice for me. With so much of their platform having weathered several years of development and iteration it was reassuring that so many more details were already worked through. Owning everything about my store was more important to me than sharing space with others in marketplaces such as Etsy, but don’t get me wrong, I wondered several times why there wasn’t a marketplace for Shopify stores, and eventually they released the Shop app for mobile devices. Effectively integrating shopping for all of the stores you use on their platform, showing you stores near you, and notifying you of order status and shipments in one place. So, they were already on it.
In a balance of launching a reliable, safe, and trusting e-commerce platform for my customers, tempered with a satisfying amount of control on my end with the design and function of the shop itself, I finally buckled down and built out the latest version. Which is what we have today.
Is it custom coded by me? No. Did it serve its purpose and get me closer to my goal? Yes. Do I spend more time now painting than coding? Yes.
These days there are apps that will help you convert your design into the liquid code used by Shopify for a simple fee. Very helpful. Necessary for me? Not for now. For now, we have a shop up and running with a reliable backend and shopping platform with integrated shipping, tracking, email, customer support, analytics, and everything else I’ve needed up until now. Some of these parts have only shipped recently on the platform, but they’re working perfectly for me (including schedule product availability, and scheduled email newsletters).
The best part lately is setting up email newsletters that go out every Tuesday morning for New Deck Tuesdays that happens at noon Pacific time. Sign up and find out what deck is dropping that day before it goes live.
Then automatically the deck(s) that are ready to go live are published automatically whenever you choose.
2020 was a year that everyone dove in to creating their online presence, and some of the nuances of Shopify are easy to see on shop sites if you know where to look. Suddenly I could tell that so many sites I shop on use Shopify.
Let me know what your thoughts or experiences are on your shopping platform. I’d love to hear about it.
We have already explored several kinds of artwork to share, including an integration with several physical aesthetics, including upholstery, paint, metal, leather, automotive, guitar amiplifiers, and more. There are also a couple of fun collections of these being prepped for the store.
We still push imagery and ideas to https://instagram.com/creamltdco.
Welcome to Cream Co, again!
We’re happy that you’re reading this far and we hope you enjoy where we are going with this project of ours. We also thoroughly enjoy working and collaborating with friends. Keep in touch.
Luke & Cº
Like it? You can ☕️ Buy Me Cocoa.