I'm A Marine Corps Mom
What Does It Mean to Be a Marine Mom?
Behind every Marine is a proud Mother. We just can't get enough Marine Corps information, especially when our sons and daughters first decide to take the plunge and tell us "Mom, I've joined the Marines". Every Marine Mom then goes right to the internet and searches for any information about the Marine Corps she can find. I know, I've been there twice.
After the initial shock, tears, denial, then acceptance and pride occurs we become just a little obsessed with Marine Corps products, whether it's stickers for our car, clothing, or iPhone covers.
As a Mother of not just one, but two US Marines I have a hard time finding items that show my pride to everyone. It's easy to find a "Parent of a Marine" bumper sticker, but not one that tells the world you are a proud parent of two Marines. So I created my own CafePress store and started designing Marine Corps products in Photoshop.
My boys call me Moto Mom, but this hasn't stopped me from continually doing searches for unique Marine Corp products and learning more about the USMC. I'm not only a Marine Parent, but a Mom, we live through our children.
Marine Moms are Moto Moms
This means I not only buy, but design Marine Corps products
My son was quick to point out that I am the ultimate Marine Mom. Not only do I have TOO many stickers on my car, but I design Marine Corps products that support other MoM's (Mothers of Marines) to him that is a Moto (motivated)Marine Mom.
I started selling on CafePress purely by accident. In October of 2012 I decided to design a custom Marine Christmas ornament for my son who had just gotten back from a deployment in Afghanistan. After creating the design I thought I might as well create a few additional designs and put them up for sale.
The first couple of weeks I sold nothing, squat. So, I forgot about the site for a couple of month until Christmas time when I needed to order something else. Wow! Was I surprised. I had made $65.00 and didn't even know it. Maybe there was something to CafePress after all? So I decided to get serious and actually try to promote my products and make some extra money. With the economy and our budget being so tight I could use money for gas and groceries to balance our finances. PLUS I can use the money to travel and visit my Marines away from home.
There are strict requirements and I have had really nice designs rejected because they did not follow the branding and terms of service agreed upon between CafePress and the Marine Corps.
Besides the obvious nudity, alcohol and obscenity restrictions there is a USMC guideline in which the text cannot be above the logo, text can be on either side or the bottom, but not above. The designs or text cannot infringe on the outer borders of the EGA logo, and each design must be tagged with USMCFP in the Cafepress image description. The usmcfp tag alerts the powers that be in Cafepress there is a Marine design and allows them to inspect and assure the United States Marine Corps they are doing their best to "play by the rules".
Some of my Favorite Marine Corps Designs
Found on Cafepress
I do have to say, I am addicted to not only photo editing, but also designing in Photoshop. Once I get started it's so easy to get carried away. I save each design in a layered Photoshop file in case I want to go back and adapt it for another design. For example several of my RED Friday Marine shirts have been adapted for the Army.
The most attractive designs really need to be created in a graphic design program that allows you to save the final file as a transparent PNG image. This eliminates the white background around the logo and text that prevents placement on dark clothing and items. I use Photoshop and save each image in a layered file so I can easily change and adapt it for another design.
CafePress has templates for each product in their store, although many designs can be placed on several products without changing the dimensions. I started thinking of items that parents of Marines would like, especially Marine Moms.
Below are some items from my Cafepress store that features gifts a Marine Corps gifts ideal for Christmas, birthdays, Marine Corps graduation, or any other occasion.
I Shop For Marine Corp Gifts - ...and Amazon has a LOT of USMC products
Amazon is also my friend. I have created Amazon wish lists so my family knows what I want for Christmas and both my Marine sons always ask, "Mom, have you updated your Amazon list lately?" I have several Marine Corps items on my wish list.
Since I'm a Mom of two Marines I can't get enough of Marine Corp items. My sons may call me super "moto" (short for motivated), but I'm just a proud Marine Mom and we're all the same. From marine blankets, picture frames, ornaments, car accessories and home decorations this Amazon store has it all for the Marine family.
Yup, I have this on my bed. I bought it as a Christmas present for my youngest Marine. He thought it was awesome, but a little too "moto" to have in his barracks. Maybe he'll use it in his home when he gets out, but for now it's on the guest bed.
It is the softest blanket and very thick and warm. Perfect for snuggling up on the couch.
When you attend your new Marines graduation you will take lots of photos. Take one as a family group and place it in this official Marine Corp frame and display it at home for everyone to see.
This frame is ideal to display any medals or challenge coins along with the award certificate.
Marine Corps rubber ducks, these are way too cute and perfect to put on the tables for a USMC homecoming or deployment party, especially if there are young kids at the party.
Seems quite appropriate since the Marine Corps is part of the Navy.
I'm the Most Proud of my USMC Calendar - This can be custom designed by just asking in the comments below
The Marine product I'm most proud of my latest Marine Corps calendar. Half of the photos I took myself and the others I found on Flickr via their Creative Commons license. I matched famous Marine quotes with the appropriate photo and combined them to make a very motivating image for every month of the year.
Within twenty four hours of posting the calendar I sold one. Wahoo, I just earned enough for a gallon of gas! That's how I measure my success on CafePress, how much gas I can pay for to commute to my "real" job.
Sample months from my Marine Corps Calendar - A project of Marine Corps LoveClick thumbnail to view full-size
My USMC Products on Amazon - Marine Corps Clothing and Apparel
Once you sell so many items on CafePress they sometimes cross market to Amazon, it's their choice which products to post on Amazon, I'm just pleased they have chosen some of my designs.
I don't make very much, a very small percentage (5%) but I'm using the extra funds to visit my son at his permanent duty station (PDS) this fall.
Other Marine Corps Products Sold on Amazon - Buy USMC items on Amazon
Amazon has hundreds if not thousands of unique Marine Corps items you can purchase, some are customizable through CafePress, others are not.
Welcome home banners are very popular during homecomings or boot camp.
Many signs at the airports and on base are home made, but the banners hanging at home are normally made of weather proof material such as vinyl or a polyester blend.
This banner can be customized with a photo of your Marine and their name.
Marine Family Poll - How many Marines are in your family
Let's see what the typical number of Marines you have in your family. This can be sons, daughter, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
How many Marines do you have in your family?
Graphic Design Programs - Take your designing seriously
Although you can find a few free design programs online the standard graphic design program is Photoshop. You don't have to spend a lot of money, if graphic designing is only a hobby Photoshop Elements will work just as well.
But the major benefit of the Adobe Photoshop programs is the ability to create layers in your design which allow you to adapt and change any portion without having to start over or entirely scrap your image.