An interview with Rachel, a full time frog artist.

某日,无意间在 twitter 的时间线上看到 Rachel 设计的产品,觉得很有趣,于是按图索骥地找到了她的 Instagram 主页、Shopify 店铺,出于好奇及工作的相关性,还有自己对于柔性供应链相关产品的思考,给 Rachel 发了邮件,询问是否可以采访,于是有了这些问题与回答,解开了我心中的一些疑问。what a kind person!

First could you introduce yourself?

Hello! My name is Rachel Reichenbach! I am a 23 year old college student and full time frog artist

I have a silly sense of humor and like cute and girly things, so I draw a lot of cute frogs who are very mischievous! I also enjoy walking my dog and reading.

Shopify store:

What do you think about the Graphic Information Technology, how many courses do you need to learn in the University?

I really love my major! It has so many different topics it covers, so I know a little bit about a lot of different things. Everything from video editing, animation, website design & programming, user interface design & experience, graphic design, photo editing, and digital marketing. I have taken a lot of different courses! It has been a lot of different topics and a lot of work, but I enjoy learning!

When did you create the “Son the Frog”, what is the story about this frog?

For one of my classes, I had to program a short game. I decided to make a frog catching raindrops. I tried to draw a frog from memory and it looked very silly. My friends and I laughed so much at his facial expression, and I just kept drawing him!

His story is that he was a normal frog who one day decided he wanted to break the rules. He enjoys committing crimes and wearing silly disguises. He is a mischievous frog, and is often seen holding a knife.

How many social media are you using, what difference between them and which one do you prefer?

I am using Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook, but I mostly use Instagram and Twitter. I like Instagram the most because it allows me to connect with my audience and show them “behind the scenes”. They get to know me as a person and not just a business. I can be more casual on Stories feature since they disappear after 24 hours! I can also talk a lot in the captions haha. Twitter is nice, but it is difficult to crop photos correctly for the platform. TikTok requires videos, so it is more work to post there. Facebook is just too boring for me, but I have it automatically reposting my Instagram posts.

When did you decide to find a supplier to produce “Son the Frog”, and sell them on Shopify? Why is not on Amazon?

I started off selling my keychains and stickers on Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade goods. As I grew bigger, I wanted my own website, and Shopify was the best way to set up my online store and site. I was originally selling my fan art of video games, but kept drawing Son the Frog in there as well. I eventually transitioned to only drawing frogs because I injured my arms from using them too much! The only thing I could draw with my injury was simple frogs, and now that is all I make!

I don’t sell through Amazon for a few reasons! One is because I am just one person running my business, I don’t have the logistics or inventory for Amazon. Another big reason is because America has a very strong culture of “the customer is always right”, even when they are not. People do not have empathy when shopping with a big company like Amazon – they don’t know that I am just one girl handling many different jobs. I am in charge of design, customer service, social media, and shipping up until I started working with White Squirrel. Sometimes I have big tests I need to study for and send out orders late. People don’t understand that – they expect instant.

How do you choose the suppliers,  are they all base on America, or also some other countries?

All of my suppliers are from overseas, actually! It’s very hard to find suppliers in America, since there is no Alibaba equivalent for sourcing suppliers here. You have to just find them on your own, I don’t even know where to look! It is much easier to find exactly what you want on Alibaba! I also have problems that adults in America do not take me seriously. I look and sound very young, so they don’t trust that I am a businessperson and don’t want to work with me if I call them on the phone or visit in person (T_T) When I work with suppliers via Alibaba it is text based, so I sound more confident.

Any tips on this progress?

Always be kind and considerate when working with others. Having a good relationship is important! I try not to bother people on holidays or when it is late at night in their time zone! I want to be someone who is pleasant to work with. Trying to find the right manufacturer for your products takes a lot of trial and error! You might have to work with many companies before you find the right one for you!

There are some kinds of products on your Shopify store, Tee, socks, pin, stickers, bags, why do you choose these categories?

I started making stickers and keychains because they are the easiest to make in small quantities! As I grew bigger, all my products are chosen based on what I want to make! I wanted a new bag that had many pockets, so I designed it. I wanted a frog shirt, so I designed it. I choose what makes me happy, haha!

We know you use the White Squirrel, what is White Squirrel, how do you cooperate with him?

White Squirrel is the name of the warehouse I use! They are a small business that ships out orders for many different artists like myself! When an order comes in on my store, they pack it and ship it for me. I really enjoy it, because it gives me more time to draw more frogs, instead of having to spend the time shipping out so many orders!

What do you think about the Patreon, and how do you use it?

Patreon is a website that allows fans to support their favorite creators on a monthly basis. I call mine my “frog cult”, and send new pins & stickers monthly to supporters. They also get other benefits like discounts, phone backgrounds, early access to new products, and give me feedback on designs. Patreon has been very important in helping me create a community and fan base for my art!

If some creators want to learn from you, could you give them some advices?

My best advice is to use social media a lot! It is important to have a strong fan base who interacts with you and enjoys your creations! I wouldn’t be able to do anything without the love and support of my fans!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *