The Life and Times of Cardinal Artworks

Christmas was certainly different this year.  I alluded to the thought that it would be in our previous blog post.  Three of our boys were able to get tested and quarantined before coming home.  Our other son and his fiancé were not able to get tested, but I purchased face shields and combined with our masks and maintaining social distancing, we were together long enough to exchange gifts. As an advocate for shopping locally to support our community, the majority of gifts were either made here in our home studio or purchased locally.

USPS Shipping was a nightmare.  Packages that were sent as early as the second week of December were in transit for weeks!  The last two packages we sent on the 14th and 18th of December reached their destination this past week.  Hopefully things will settle down now and deliveries will go much smoother!

2020 is now in the rearview mirror and 2021 lies ahead.  It’s a new year and great things are happening at Cardinal Artworks! 

We started our online business after the pandemic hit us and it has been a slow uphill climb.  We hired a marketing company to help us grow our online brand awareness, and build our social media following.  We had high hopes for fourth quarter sales, but sadly it was not meant to be.  Both Facebook and Instagram denied us the ability to utilize their platforms for marketing our business.  The A.I. system used for ad reviews determined that we were violating their advertising policy and community standards when we launched our first print give-away of a landscape.  When we asked for clarification, we were too insignificant for a response.  Apparently their A.I. system doesn’t have an algorithm that allows human interaction.  However, we are permitted to boost a post, putting money directly into Mark’s pocket.  So anyway… that was our 2020.  Sales are slow, but steady.  Our merchandise was a much larger success than our photography, but we have high hopes for 2021.

We have a couple new product offerings we will be adding to our online merchandise store, one of which is our Mug and Coaster Sets and we just recently rolled these out.  These sets will consist of a 15 oz mug and a matching coaster.  We are in the testing phase for 300 pc. puzzles featuring our photography and kids 12 oz customized water bottles.

Scott and I have talked about launching our Youtube channel, but we aren’t quite there yet.  We aren’t 100% comfortable in front of the camera yet!  Additionally, we have to carefully think about and develop our content.  But, we know it will help build our brand so we do need to rip that band aid off and like Nike, just do it! 

Speaking of Nike – I am constantly learning and challenging myself to learn more.  In the last six months I’ve learned that people don’t care about copyright or trademark infringement.  Etsy is plastered with NFL Teams, Disney & Marvel Characters, and the list goes on and on.  I’m thinking they need to purchase Mark Zuckerberg’s A.I.  Those Etsy shops will be shut down before they ever launch!  And did you know that words are actually copyrighted and trademarked?  I hope Nike doesn’t come after me for my comment about just doing it in my previous paragraph!  Sometimes I’m scared to open my mouth without looking up what I’m about to say first!  All kidding aside, you all know that we have merchandise on our site that is made with custom designs in addition to our own photography.  This merchandise is all made by us in our home studio.  Rest assured, every item that we haven’t designed ourselves was purchased with a commercial license.  As photographers, we respect the art and photography of our fellow artists.

A few other things we are kicking around for 2021 is getting our product in front of our local community.  We are researching a spot at our local farmer’s market and getting our product into our local stores.  Lastly, we might try our hand at helping out our ASF Family and see what products we might be able to offer them for their clients! 

Stay tuned for more of The Life and Times of Cardinal Artworks!