Watts the Safeword is an LGBTQ+ and sex education YouTube channel run by Kristofer and Amp. The channel focuses on LGBTQ+ inclusive content that aims to break down stigmas surrounding sex while educating viewers in a fun and inclusive way. With Pride just around the corner, we wanted to share Kristofer and Amp’s story as well as valuable insight on how they create and promote successful merch collections within their community. Continue reading for the full story!
Amp (left) and Kristofer (right)
Breaking down stigmas
Kristofer and Amp decided to create Watts the Safeword in 2015 in response to the lack of sex education they recieved growing up. Since then they’ve built a loyal community of 200,000+ followers. Bursting with a variety of content, the channel has become an educational, fun and safe space for the LGBTQ+ community.
“The content we create is a very clear reflection of the lives we lead, the oppression we face, and the pride we have in how we identify and who makes up our community. From sit down interviews with members of our community, to talking about past trauma that we hope will help others heal, or learn from our mistakes. Our content is a part of our lives in an intimate way and shapes how we create it.”
Community inspired merch
After looking into new ways to support their channel, the pair decided to create merch. Teespring’s on-demand 50+ products enabled Kristofer and Amp to create a complete merch collection instantly and for free, plus with Teespring handling order fulfillment and customer support, this leaves more time to dedicate to creating content for their channel. 😉
“Providing fun and customized merch for our audience made it so we could continue to pay the bills and create the content we felt needed to be made. Teespring is a fun and innovative way to apply your ideas to sellable items. It gives our audience a way to support what we do, while getting something fun that we designed with our audience in mind.”
A selection of Watts the Safeword merch
Kristofer and Amp’s priority is to represent their passion for the LGBTQ+ community in their designs, as well as incorporate popular elements from their YouTube videos their community recognizes and relates to. Their favorite way of finding merch design inspiration is from inside jokes and crowd-sourced designs from their community.
“Our merch designs are very reflective of our community. Sometimes we say or do something ridiculous and it really resonates with and makes our audience laugh.”
Kristofer and Amp follow promo best practices like regularly mentioning and wearing their merch in YouTube videos as well as sharing visual posts on Instagram. By following promotional best practices they’re able to increase merch sales in a fun and engaging way.
Celebrating Pride 2020
This year Watts the Safeword have created a limited-edition design dedicated to Pride and are donating profits to a special non-profit. The Trevor Project is an organization close to Kristofer and Amp’s heart, and is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth. They wanted this design to not only match their existing merch aesthetic but also to embody what Pride means to them—so they chose to adapt one of their popular designs by giving it a Pride twist using rainbow foil specialty ink. Keep in mind that rainbow foil is only available in the US—however holographic foil is available, which also has a rainbow effect and can be fulfilled globally!
“Pride for us is about standing up for what we believe in and being a voice for our community even when faced with adversity and censored from a number of platforms.”
Due to COVID-19, Pride parades around the world have been canceled, but the celebrations for this important event will still be going strong. Online events like Global Pride 2020 will be taking place in the month of June to make Pride celebrations accessible to everyone! We’ve created a dedicated Pride 2020 Pinterest board, which includes this year’s design trends to inspire you. Don’t forget we have a range of free pattern collections, including rainbow tie dye, that can be uploaded to the Teespring Launcher.
Keep in mind LGBTQ+ and inclusive/positive design themes are popular year round (not only in June) so consider incorporating them into your existing design collections.