Alan Lastufka

Oh man, I can’t wait for you guys to see the redesigned/recoded DFTBA cart/website. Visually it’s amazing. And the back-end coding is so complex, but makes interaction feel very natural. We’ve finally got some advanced search and filtering systems in place, so you can, for example, browse only t-shirts that are in stock and are in YOUR SIZE. Our new shipping features allow you to place orders containing preorder items and currently in stock items, and split that single order in to two shipments to get the in stock item(s) right away regardless of when the preorder item(s) ships. And user accounts! Online order history and tracking from your own personalized dash. And that’s not even a tenth of the new features. Gah. We’re, like, one month from unleashing this awesome and each day I get more excited about it.

The DFTBA warehouse is moving! Yes, again. 15 months ago we moved from our 1,000 sq ft warehouse to our current 3,000 sq ft warehouse. But, excitedly, sales were up double digit percentages in 2012 again, for the forth year in a row, and we added a number of new artists.

So we are ditching our current 3,000 sq ft warehouse in IL for an 8,000 sq ft warehouse in Montana! Hopefully these 8,000 sq ft will allow for some growth for many years to come. Hank has assembled an amazing team out in Montana who work on everything from ecogeek to P4A to Lizzie Bennet to SciShow… and they will now also be overseeing the DFTBA warehouse.

Kristen and I are not moving to Montana with the warehouse. With Kristen’s time no longer being spent at the warehouse, she is getting a promotion to Project Manager. She’ll be taking a number of artists away from me to manage on her own, developing new product ideas, handling merch for their tours, and all kinds of fun stuff that now currently overwhelms me.

This is all very good news. But it does mean we’ll have to shut the site down for about a week while we move all of our inventory across the country and get set up in our new warehouse. So if there is anything you want from, you should order soon. If all goes according to plan, we will stop taking orders on Jan 27th, and resume taking orders on Feb 4th. We will not be able to process any orders for the week we are shut down and moving.

We’ve been slowly packing up some bulk merch, and inventorying some other stuff, getting ready for the move. In fact, while working on poster inventory we found a few left over posters signed by John, and a couple posters signed by both John and Hank. We listed them on the site today, but they are super limited, we don’t have more than 100 of any one design. So if you missed out on those, you should grab ‘em today. Plus the DFTBA wristbands are back in stock, we got a fresh second printing of Hannah Hart’s DVDs back in stock, along with a new shipment of Evil Baby Orphanage card game decks.

This whole DFTBA thing has been a wild ride. Thank you guys so much for helping us make and grow a really awesome place to sell really awesome stuff. Hard to believe what started in my bedroom four years ago will soon occupy a quarter of a city block in Montana. =)

This Saturday is DFTBA’s four year anniversary! FOUR YEARS!

It also happens to be Small Business Saturday, an annual holiday invented by American Express to celebrate local and small businesses while also encouraging you to spend more money than you probably should.

Anyway, I cannot describe how different my life is now after DFTBA’s initial success. Not just the obvious monetary success, but my self-confidence and pride are, like, off the charts. I smile every time I check the DFTBA tag here on tumblr, or my various saved searches on twitter, and see everyone geeking out over their new poster or shirt or CD.

Receiving feedback from artists about how happy they are with a new product we developed with them, or after the success of a sale, it just adds to those feelings. Wanting to run the best damn service we can. Not only for customers, but for artists. And knowing that profits will take care of themselves as long as we don’t lose that customer/artist focus.

These past twelve months have continued to get better and better. After a few phone calls between Charles Trippy and me, we took over all of his CTFxC merch, which Alli is super thankful for, they no longer have to stock thousands of shirts in their house. Stan (from CrashCourse) and I just completed the season one DVD of Hannah Hart’s My Drunk Kitchen, with commentaries and bonus features and all kinds of fun things. And we’ve moved into working with more educational channels such as MinutePhysics, CGP Grey, CrashCourse, and SciShow, as well as volunteering our time and resources for numerous charities like TSWGO, P4A fundraising, and various Foundation to Decrease WorldSuck projects.

I dunno what else to say, everything with DFTBA is just in such a good place right now. I love the artists we’re working with. I love our small and dedicated staff/team (Kristen Franklin, Sam Rudge, John and Hank). I never dreamed we’d be here some 48 months ago when Hank posted his first announcement video for the So Jokes preorders. Just imagine where we are another 48 months from now.

Thanks for staying awesome guys. <3

Say good-bye to the old DFTBA warehouse. It has served us and all of nerdfighteria well. Our new warehouse is more than three times the size, and I’ll get pictures of that tomorrow!