New Plans for Tango Product Lines

The plan is coming together! Well, mostly. Thanks to feedback and requests from tango friends from all over the world, I have a pretty solid plan of action for my tango designs on the Infinitetango RedBubble Store.

There are, at this time, 3 departments in the shop:

1. Custom Designs - these are designs, usually geometric or abstract, to match specific shoes, apparel or other requests. These are mostly geometric patterns created from color picking directly from the image of the shoe or garment, and then creating patterns with the exactly colors for the best possible match.

2. Tango Quotes - both famous and a bit more obscure. I have a huge library of quotes in Scrivener that I've been trying to decide what to do with. Once I realized that the tango quotes are my most popular posts on my Instagram page, I knew what to do!

3. Digital Artwork - Most of these are created from pictures of my trip to Buenos Aires. Some are from local milongas though, as well.

I'm developing all three lines simultaneously as I'm inspired, have time or have requests. I am getting a little bit overloaded with commissions, so turnaround time on custom requests is about 2 weeks right now. I appreciate everyone's patience with this!

Leaning into the Sharp Points

First, thank you readers and friends for such swift feedback on my previous posts! Your emails mean the world to me! Some of you already know what lit a fire under me to get this latest RedBubble project going, but for those who don't, please read on . . .

So let's back up . . .

The last 7 months have been devastating financially. My husband was very ill and in the hospital for a week. Our furnace/air conditioning units failed and cost twice what we were quoted 2 years ago. The ceiling of our garage caved in (and because it wasn't storm related, but poor workmanship, insurance wouldn't pay anything.) We've had to gut our house so that nearly everything in it can be bleached or boiled, to help protect my husband from future infections.

That's the just the big (and human-related) stuff. If this were a TV show, it would be some kind of dark comedy. The crazy thing is, the hospital bills that usually bury us, got paid by the insurance company. Miracle of miracles. But it's been literally everything else that has piled up. All the home care, all the broken appliances. I still have a leaky sink, a broken bathroom fan and and various other small things that will have to wait until I can figure out how to fix them myself.

Aside from the human challenges, both of our Shibas have had their own problems. Kuma lost an eye to glaucoma. His surgery was two weeks ago. Now he looks very much like one of those over-loved teddy bears that's missing his button eye. Just as he was healing (last week), Vixen got sick from something we've yet to identify. She's currently in a veterinary hospital while they try to figure out why she can't eat. They're tube feeding her to build up her strength. Tonight will be her third night away from us.

Any two or maybe even three of these things together, we could have weathered, at least eventually. All of this together is more than we can cope with.

It's time, as Pema Chödrön wrote, to lean in to the sharp points. It's time to turn toward the storm and get busy.

That's how I settled on finally getting this RedBubble print-on-demand shop off the ground. I had the artwork - I just had to clean it all up for upload and printing. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the design work and that's actually been helping me cope with the stress. But the biggest thing I need is a second income - from home, so I can work around all the cleaning, the dog care, the infection control protocols . . .   the everything our lives are right now.

We planned for these things - we just didn't plan for them to happen all at the same time - or with such severity. So all of this is just to say thank you to those of you reading who've already reached out, and a request to share my store with anyone you think might be interested.

One last thing.

I wrote and deleted this line 3 times. This is my fourth try to get it down without berating myself and deleting it again:

If you would like to donate to Vixen and Kuma's bills, you can donate through PAYPAL at my email address: INFINITETANGO(at)GMAIL.COM. (Using "at" instead of "@" to slow down the bots from grabbing my email address.) 

It is just under $1,000 a night for all that they are doing for her while they try to figure out what happened to her. Even if she had a miraculous turnaround tomorrow, she would probably need one more night there.

Vixen on the left before she went to the vet hospital, and Kuma trying to get some rays while in his "cone of shame."

Thank you again for reading this far, for sharing this post, for sharing my store, if you feel the desire to, and for the well-wishes you've sent thus far. It is so very much appreciated.

Abrazos and warm, happy dances to you all.


As Requested - Tango Sheet Music Shoe Bags

So a couple of dancers requested lyrics or sheet music on shoe bags and accessories and I thought what a great idea! Here are the first few. Let me know in comments message via blogger, what tangos I should look for in the public domain to apply next!

So far I've done Arrabalero, Milonga para un armonica and 2 La Cumparsita's (the red one was commissioned.)  The bags can be found HERE.

New Designs for Coordinated Tango Accessories and Clothes

One of my favorite things about designing custom shoes for Mr. Tango Shoes customers, was being able to tailor the patterns to clothes dancers enjoyed wearing to milongas. What an easy way to set your look apart!

I stopped designing shoes because it was so time and labor intensive, but I really missed doing design work. So now I've turned it around and I'm on RedBubble, designing clothes and accessories that match dancers' shoes instead. I wish I'd found this site ages ago! The tough part right now is not designing an entire wardrobe of accessories for myself!

So save me from myself and give me some ideas of what you'd like to see. I'm already perusing the latest, greatest shoe models hitting the stores here and in Buenos Aires - as well as taking a peek at Pantone's upcoming color features. In my store, Infinite Tango on RedBubble, also look for my artwork making its way onto tote bags, t-shirts and even scarves!

While I haven't been able to check every product, the I have found that the tote bags, zip bags and t-shirts are made in the US. I'm waiting to hear back on the place of manufacture for the other products. So far the quality, especially compared to most print-on-demand sites, is very good!

Update on where things are manufactured, from the website:

"Each of the 3rd party printers in our global network manufactures specific products and services particular parts of the world. We ensure your goodies will be printed in the most convenient location for your delivery address, ensuring fast and affordable shipping services!"

So in short, it depends on where you have your ordered delivered. 

I'm back in the Tango Design Business!

Have you ever had trouble picking out your shoe bag from everyone else’s in the milonga? Are your shoe bags too small to store everything you need? I've applied my tango shoe design experience to other accessories to solve those problems!

Normal shoe bags measure about 13"-15" long, and 10"-12" wide. They also tend to be the logo and design of the shoe company, which means your bag could look exactly like a lot of other bags under the milonga tables. Or worse, the bag is black! Not only does it look like other bags – but it’s hard to see in the milonga (especially in the US where milonga lighting is particularly low.)

RedBubble bags measure 19.5" tall, and 15" wide. They’re thicker than most shoe bags that come with the shoes, and they can be designed to coordinate with your shoes, your favorite tango outfit - whatever! Every pair of shoes has its matching shoe bag – so much easier to pick out in your closet and at the milonga!

For an additional fee, I can personalize the bag, or other accessories with your name, your favorite tango song title, or whatever you choose.

About RedBubble’s drawstring bags:

- Made from very sturdy, 100% polyester woven fabric
- Wide, soft drawcord that’s easy on your shoulders
- Durable quality metal grommets
- Long-lasting printed design on both front and back

Plus, you not only get a shoe bag that matches, but zip studio bags, tote bags, for some designs even scarves or leggings, that all coordinate with the design.

RedBubble doesn’t let creators set prices exactly, but we can set margins. So I’ll be very transparent about markups according to the amount of work and personalization each bag requires.

- For designs that are already in the store, my margin is lower than the default – only 10%.
- Designs that I create to match a pair of shoes or outfit etc., to be sold in the store generally (which means it will be available for purchase by others), 20%.
- Designs that include personalization – like name, community etc., 25%.
- Designs that will be created and sold exclusively to one person and not listed again, 30%.

Please see my RedBubble Infinite Tango Store for more information and pictures!

While you're there, be sure to check out my tango artwork on a variety of accessories, like the tote bags pictured below.