Merch By Amazon
Adobe Creative Cloud – This is by far the best money I’ve ever spent on my business. Learning Adobe Illustrator has been very rewarding but watching friends and family struggle to create their shirt designs on free tools I wouldn’t ever recommend another tool to create designs. I wouldn’t even be on Merch by Amazon if it weren’t for Illustrator.
Creative Market – When I don’t have the time or the skill to create the custom graphics that my designs require I turn to creative market. They have thousands of fonts, graphics, templates, mockups and more. Usually for a lot less money than you’d expect. Definitely recommend. Links to Tee Shirt Design Master Bundle, a great set to get started.
Huion 610 Writing Tablet – This is a bit of an advanced item and if you aren’t an artist I definitely understand. But sometimes I just can’t get the Illustrator pen tool to do what I want and I know that I could simply draw the line or shape I can see in my mind. This tool has been great for me but you certainly can get by without it.
Blogging and Hosting
Hostgator – I host all my sites on hostgator. I’ve been with them for years and have never had a problem. They’ll help you migrate your wordpress site, their support is available 24/7 via phone or online chat. It’s a great tool that I use for my personal sites and for my business.
Neewer Video Recording Backdrop and Lighting Kit – This kit is amazing, it’s everything you need to shoot high quality video (minus the camera). It comes with 3 different color backdrops, 4 lights and enough clamps and stands to shoot a minor feature film. Ok, maybe not but its great for my YouTube videos.
Nikon D5300 – This camera is amazing. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of newer cameras but it shoots 1080p in 60 FPS and you can get one for about 300 bucks. There are a ton of lenses available and when you decide to upgrade if you stay with Nikon you can still use all your lenses. It has a flip out monitor so you can easily set up a show when you’re working alone.
Audio Technica ATR3350 Lavalier Mic – This little mic works great with a DSLR camera and it’s only $35. The sound quality is a vast improvement over the camera microphone which isn’t really usable. The only downside of this mic is that it’s wired.
This section is difficult to narrow down because I read a ton of books. But I’ll try to keep it related to Design or Business.
The E-Myth Revisited – It’s easy to get bogged down in the little things and lose sight of the bigger picture. This book is great for anyone starting a small business and will help keep you working on your business and not in your business. After all, who wants to replace their boring job with another boring job? The E-Myth will lay out the groundrules for making sure you small business gets a real chance at success. Merch by Amazon is a business, you need to treat it like one!
Color Index 2 – I have no background in art or graphic design. Before I designed my first tee shirt for Merch by Amazon the most impressive thing I’d ever created was probably a stick figure. Color index 2 is a must get book if you’re like me and have no idea what colors look great together. There is a short section on color theory but the majority of this book is just sample pictures re-created using a series of color swatches. You can easily browse and look for something appealing and incorporate it into your design.