Imagine being able to make a living combining your greatest passions and a great business opportunity.
Thanks to sites like welovefine, artists are able to create fan-made, original pieces based on well known franchises, like Star Wars and start their own licensed merchandise business.
Founded in 2009, the online community allows artists to create and share officially licensed merchandise “for fans, by fans.”
While big names like Star Wars are typically off limits when it comes to selling for profit, this third-party site takes a small cut in exchange for the ability to share ‘licensed’ products with other fans around the world.
One example is the ‘I Am Chewie’ hoodie, an homage to the beloved character, Chewbacca from the Star Wars films. The hoodie is now on pre-order on the site. Visitors can buy it now for $60 and it will be shipped out on June 1, 2015.
Like everything on the site, the product is made by fans with the idea that this obsessive approach will result in a high quality, well made item. You can even order matching leggings, an ‘I Am Hann‘ T-shirt, and a Boba Fett hooded tank top to finish your look.
Of course, Star Wars is not the only available franchise to choose from. Welovefine is filled with a virtual galaxy of different products created for and by fans. These include Marvel superheroes, Web-comic sweethearts, and items from Star Trek and other fan . Fans and artists, alike, can find and share some of the most unique and creative pieces and even make a living doing so.
Hoodies and T-shirts are not the only things you can find on the site. Hardcore fans can find cosplay (a portmanteau for “costume play”) items like headbands and stuffed creatures of all shapes and sizes.
Vinyl art prints, backpacks, lanyards and jewelry are also available, offering everything a fan could possibly desire.
The site also holds design contests, encouraging members within its community to create new custom pieces in exchange for features on the front page. With popular franchises like My Little Pony, God of War, and even Bill and Ted availble, welovefine certainly keeps its selection fresh and, presumably, its members pleased.
Even non-artists can take part by voting for their favorite designs in contests, rating them, and helping their favorite artists to continue creating officially licensed merch, right from home.
Users can follow artists, create wish lists, view contests that others are participating in, and even showcase their own designs.
This opens the doors for some of the most talented artists and creators out there. No longer do they need to worry about lawsuits from big companies if they want to sell a shirt or bag with a licensed character. They can create fan art that is legal.
Creators can use these third-party sites to actually make money creating fan art and clothing based on some of the most popular and memorable franchises.