18 July 2011

2011 - Equality Store development report

The programming of Equality Store is reaching end. In the past week I have been on two 3-hour meetings where head of the project at the web programming company introduced me with the back-end functionality of the Equality Store web shop. The Magneto platform which the shop is based on is a very robust and complex software with many functions. It took the programming company almost two month just to customize it for my needs. And now there is still a lot of work to do from my side until it will be ready to open. I was not aware in the beginning what takes to run a web shop, but now I see that it is very demanding and time consuming project.

Let's take for example just one product. If we look at T-shirts, there are models for women and man and unisex models that fit both sexes. So I will be going firstly for the unisex model in order not to have so many variations at the start. Then we have 7 different sizes, like: XXS, XS, S, M, L, 2XL, 3XXL. Since the sizes are very different, I can not print the design in same size on all sizes of T-shirt, but will have to decide for at least 2 print sizes that will be suitable for all size range. Following we have many T-shirt colors, cuts, qualities and brands. So if we look just at unisex model for one T-shirt cut, one color, one quality and one brand, I would need to have many T-shirts on stock for every single design. That means a lot of physical space for storage and a lot of investment in providing necessary stock.

I want to provide as fast delivery service as possible, but I can at this stage not afford a big storage space, so I decided not to order pre-printed T-shirts, but to firstly print on demand. I will order designs in two sizes on heat transfer paper and then print them daily with use of heat transfer device. If there will be a great demand for T-shirts, especially for specific print design, then only will I consider a pre-printed T-shirt and a larger wear-house. And this is just one product, so there are many more, like: caps, bags, stickers, umbrellas, mugs, badges, and the list goes on and on. This could in time develop in a very big business, and I plan to handle it with most efficiency. I will have to employ a lot of people to handle all that stuff and the first ones that I plan to invite are Destonians from Slovenia. They are now all finishing high-schools now and have accumulated knowledge from different fields that will be very useful to support the development of Equality Store.

But let's not rush too much. I am now at stage where I have to firstly prepare T-shirt print designs. I have done a lot of graphic design in the past, but this time I wanted to invite other designers to participate in creating design. I was suggested to use 99desings web site in order to create a contest where best designers from all overt the world would create their suggestions. So I tested this out and the first thing that I noticed was that the standard contest time is set to only one week. Considering the complexity of information at Desteni to grasp in order to create a proper design, I expected that designers will have troubles with creating satisfying design and this was true. But I awarded two best designs anyway that I will now enhance in order to fit my standards. I have now decided to invite all, especially young Slovenian graphic and textile designers and illustrators for a long-term collaboration on developing graphic designs for Desteni promotional products. This way they will have enough time to get familiar with Desteni agenda of creating a Heaven on Earth and making this world a better place for all with help of online training program Desteni I Process and political agenda of and Equal Money System.

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