Cape Coral Artist Brenda Boss Launches Online Store with Cape Coral Themed Gifts and Apparel
Some of her products are currently available for purchase at the Family Hardware Store on SE 47th St and at House 2 Home Goods at Surfside shops.
July 5, 2019. Local artist, Brenda Boss, has launched an e-commerce web site to promote and sell her Cape Coral-themed products to consumers and retailers. Her product line, which she says is just in the beginning stages, includes coffee mugs, tote bags, T-shirts, and jewelry.
The products feature her burrowing owl paintings and often convey a sense of humor. For example, some of the products feature a burrowing owl peering out of a heart illustration, and the words “I love Cape Coral.” She is working on a product line, “Leroy Says” centered around one of her funky fish paintings, named Leroy, with captions such as “Leroy says: Keep it in the Cape” and “Leroy says: I’m green with envy that you are in Cape Coral” (Leroy is green with ogling eyes and big red lips). One of her funky fish paintings hangs in Big Blue Brewery.
“I have been offering my art on sites such as FineArtAmerica and RedBubble, but those are such crowded spaces and I don’t think they resonate with the average consumer. I still have my art on those art sites, but because these Cape Coral themed items are aimed at such a niche market, I decided to build a web site focused 100% on Cape Coral.”
An exciting part of CapeCoralGear.com, she says, is the ability to sell at wholesale (discount) prices to local retailers. Her decision to offer wholesale pricing started with a Facebook message from Steven Stewart, the Store Manager of Vision Ace Hardware in downtown Cape Coral, who saw her burrowing owl products on the consumer web site Zazzle.
“He sent me a direct message asking if I would consider offering wholesale pricing and I jumped on it. Absolutely, I said.” Stewart and Boss met a couple of times to review the products he was interested in, prices, and quantities. Boss says that Stewart plans have products on the shelves in time for the fall season when snowbirds return.
Those meetings with Stewart inspired her to think about how to get her products into other local stores. After stopping in to show sample products to the staff at Family Hardware, she was thrilled to get her first order from them soon afterward. She also has some of her art prints at House 2 Home Goods at Surfside shops and she has sold original artwork at Su Casa on Coronado Parkway, and the now defunct Hidden Shells Gallery in downtown Cape Coral.
She says she hasn’t quit her day job (Boss and her husband David Sage run a successful real estate business and she manages their real estate web site, SageRealtor.com), so she needed a way to get to retailers throughout Cape Coral virtually.
The site is built with state of the art tools such as WooCommerce and SSL that make it relatively easy to offer secure online shopping. For consumers, payments are made via the secure payment portal PayPal (shoppers can pay with just about any credit card) and for retailers, payments are made upon delivery.
As of now, Cape Coral Gear is an internet only store. Boss does not have retail space and she does not carry much inventory. For small, consumer orders, she uses print on demand services. For larger wholesale orders, she uses local printing vendors.
“I was thrilled to find a Cape Coral print vendor, Cheetah Printing, that will work with me on small quantity orders. This in turn allows me to offer low quantity ordering to retailers. My hope is that offering low minimums will encourage more retailers to give the products a try.” After their raging success, chuckles Boss, she hopes those early adopters will place larger orders that, in turn, will allow her to discount the wholesale pricing further.
I also plan to offer logoed merchandise, coupled with my art images, to retailers. For example, a burrowing owl coffee mug with the ACME logo.
Boss and her husband have lived full time in Cape Coral for over 15 years. Making art is a hobby for Boss, but one day in retirement she hopes to be a full time artist making commissioned original works, displaying art in galleries, and designing and selling her Cape Coral Gear.