200 Years Later, CafePress Delivers the 'Leisure Society'

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FreeKatie.net Founder sets example for new class of online mini-entrepreneurs.

In the early 19th century an economy based on manual labor made a rapid transformation to an age in industrialism and mechanical manufacturing, promising the world a “leisure society” and freedom to choose how time is spent. Today, two hundred years later, we find ourselves forever lost in the madness of 80-hour workweeks, endless commutes and declining paychecks. In an unpredicted twist in the technological revolution we see a new breed of online mini-entrepreneurs breaking the mold, discovering a new leisure society, with CafePress.com leading the way.

Enter Sheila Cameron of FreeKatie (http://www.freekatie.net) with her solution to make ends meet without leaving the comfort of home. Armed with an intimate knowledge of Hollywood and pop culture, Cameron began to notice celebrity and political news translating well into merchandise ideas; an appearance of Tom Cruise on Oprah cemented her vision and FreeKatie.net was born. Using the services of CafePress.com, the Internet’s leader in customized merchandise; Cameron was able to turn her love of news and pop culture into a thriving retail business.

“I knew people would react strongly to his odd behavior, however I had no idea they would react so strongly to my t-shirt designs. It was this initial success that has inspired the current theme my business is based on -- news related products,” explains Cameron. “I just do what I do normally, read the news, watch gossip TV, and spend time on the web. If I am inspired by a story, I’ll design a shirt and see what happens. Sometimes the results are simply incredible, after all I now work independently, from home.”

“More and more people are looking for a way to participate in this new online economy, a revolution of sorts we call web 2.0,” explains co-founder and VP of Business Development for CafePress Maheesh Jain. “Sheila and Free Katie is an inspiring story of the success found with a little work, CafePress, and great ideas. The days of corporate America dictating what we wear and what we buy are on the decline; it’s user created designs and participation that will shape the future of the web, and retail.”

“We’re all constantly inundated with news, it’s all around us. People love expressing their views of current news stories, my products provide a medium for social commentary, and people think they’re pretty funny,” Cameron adds. “CafePress handles order processing, billing, customer service, shipping, taxes, returns, and I am able to operate for virtually no cost. Because of this I can focus on the fun stuff, my designs. The extra money I make pays for my websites and extra things for my family, like paying off my husband’s car.”

With Free Katie showing no signs of slowing down, Cameron plans to continue to create designs and products inspired by relevant news topics. Most recently she achieved great success with a wildly popular design relating to the Dick Cheney shooting incident. It features a drawing of the vice president and reads, “I’ll bust a cap in your ass” (http://www.cafepress.com/mccam/1202075).

CafePress plans to continue helping its members achieve a much deserved "leisure society."

For more information, or to schedule interviews with Cameron or Jain please contact Marc Cowlin at 650-655-3039.

About CafePress.com

CafePress.com is the leading online marketplace that offers sellers complete e-commerce services to independently create and sell a wide variety of products, and offers buyers unique merchandise across virtually every topic. Launched in 1999, CafePress.com has empowered individuals, organizations and businesses to create buy and sell customized merchandise online using the company's unique print-on-demand and e-commerce services. Today, CafePress.com is a growing network of over 2.9 million members who have unleashed their creativity to transform their artwork and ideas into unique gifts and new revenue streams.


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Marc Cowlin
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