Beau Bergeron is a graphic designer and creative born in Baton Rogue, Louisiana, living in Oakland California. When disastrous flooding hit his home state last month, he “sprang” into action. Inspired by the people who used their fishing boats to rescue neighbors during the flooding in Baton Rouge, Beau designed tees celebrating this “Cajun Navy,” to do what he could to help his hometown. Beau stopped by the Teespring HQ in San Francisco to share a little more about how it felt to raise over $50k and counting for a cause so close to his heart.
How did you first discover Teespring? I was on a flight and started feverishly brainstorming a business that would make it easy for anyone to create t-shirts. And then I Googled it and cried.
One of my main 2016 resolutions was to get into making products. I run a design and development firm (FoundersAndCo.com) and I’ve wanted for years to venture into selling stuff. Teespring made it so easy for me to throw lots of designs out there. Rapid failure and rejection is where successes are made.
I had read that I would need to crank out 40+ campaigns before finding any success, but my 18th shirt finally broke my losing streak. And now, my 22nd campaign raised over $50,000 for charity!
Beau rocking two of his best selling designs, 100% of profits going to Louisiana Flood Relief charities
Tell us a little more about your professional background! How has that informed your Teespring marketing? I began my career as a designer with design consultancy, IDEO. After leaving, I co-founded a SaaS startup and later launched my design firm. Selling my hours has always pushed me towards wanting to sell my products. Creating a direct relationship with my customers moves me closer to the goal of being an artistic auteur! I could make music and draw and dream all day if you’d let me.
In regards to effective Tee-marketing, I’m still a novice. I still haven’t really experienced the magic moment when you know X ad dollars will yield Y revenue. I’ve read lots on targeting strategy and I even purchased some training sessions with a t-shirt selling guru on Clarity.FM. All the Tee-bros will tell you that designs don’t matter; it’s all about micro-targeting, (Ex: Ladies that love their Pomeranians and red wine.) but I haven’t found much luck with that approach. Lately, I’ve just tried to create things I really want.
If any growth hackers want to collaborate with me, I’m firstname.lastname@example.org. I run ads on Facebook, and also directly target my Facebook friends to see if things will catch fire. If I’ve made something desirable, I can instantly tell from the engagement and discussion amongst my peers on social media.
Explain a bit about your past campaigns, and what inspired you to create one for the relief efforts in Louisiana? When the devastating flood hit my home state of Louisiana, I sat down and cranked out two designs to sell on Teespring pledging to donate 100% of the profits to charities benefiting LA flood relief. Check out all of the designs and variations here: https://teespring.com/stores/cajun-cool. My home state has incredible humor and heroism, and I tried to capture that in these designs which pay tribute to the men that used their fishing boats to rescue victims of the flood.
Anyone who’s made 10+ designs on Teespring knows that you can’t really hope that anything will succeed. You just offer it up to the Tee-Gods. Immediately, my friends and family on Facebook were sharing my post and buying shirts. It took off like a rocket. I just sat there hitting refresh.
“It felt so surreal. Internet virality is such a crazy thing to witness.”
What did it feel like when you really started to gain momentum? How much did you raise, and what charities are you donating to? It felt so surreal. Internet virality is such a crazy thing to witness. My original Facebook post was shared over 5,000 times which generated tons of sales and has raised over $50,000 to date! Hundreds of people from LA have friended me on Facebook which made it possible to connect directly with the fans and to crowdsource from them suggestions for the very best charity organizations doing work on the ground in Louisiana.
Teespring has been amazing in supporting my challenging request of dividing the dollars amongst multiple charities. Heres’s the list (below) and here’s a video I created at Teespring documenting the process:
Bridget (Teespring Head of Community) and Beau at the SF headquarters coordinating to send the $50,000 (and growing) to the charities his audience suggested.
Again, I’d love to extend an invite to any Teespringers with more marketing experience than me to reach out for collaboration. My depth (and passion) is in designing and selling shirts that people are overjoyed to wear.
I’d like to thank Teespring for all of their support in helping me help my home state in such a big way.
Beau hanging at lunch with some members of the Teespring Team
Thanks Beau! We look forward to seeing your creativity and generosity make a true positive impact in the LA flood relief efforts.