The merch table: It’s every super fan’s Mecca, the place to cement one’s allegiance via pins, posters and XL Ts. Most merch, however, is kind of… shall we say… lame? Enter SoulBlendr.
SoulBlendr is a kind of “Etsy of bands” — a community of musicians and designers working together to create anti-run-of-the-mill band goods. The site — which is open to everyone at present — was created for three groups of folks: fans, bands and designers.
Designers and bands can hook up via the site and work together on standout merch (tooled leather bags, belt buckles, flasks) and fans can browse through the goods and buy at will. Bands also pull in dollars when their logos are used on goods.
Soulblendr founder Charley Hoefer says that he created the service partly because of the fact that music is no longer the most lucrative product for musicians (bands often rely on touring and merch to survive), but, he says, fan engagement is at an all-time high.
“We believe that the craft movement can do amazing things if they legally work with people they love to work with,” he says, referring to the future of similar services, like Etsy and Cafe Press. “You’re empowering artists to work together — that’s good.”
Right now there are around 40 bands working with the site, but Hoefer says more are waiting in the proverbial wings. As the site expands, he also plans to add a curation element to the whole deal, making it a more controlled, quality environment for expression.
What kind of goods do you dig?