FINAL DRAFT - Submitting for final approval.
Most Doge Merch Sucks. Let’s make good merch again, and put it in one place.
So much Doge merch for sale out there today is awful. Like, really bad. While some of the community has made awesome stuff, the majority today is cringe, print on demand stuff you’d be ashamed to wear in public or wouldn’t want to collect and put on a shelf in your house. It’s lame. It’s boring. It doesn’t honor the meme or Kabosu herself. It’s just a bunch of randoms trying to make a quick buck, it doesn’t benefit our cause and it doesn’t Do Only Good Everyday.
It’s time for the Doge NFT community to take the torch on this cause for multiple reasons.
- We can involve our community, and the broader Doge communities, in merch design. We have a lot of talented artists, meme makers, and amazing people who deserve to have their work out there.
- The DAO needs self-sustaining revenue. This is a way we can provide value to the DAO and build a real, thriving revenue stream to do more good things.
- We can incorporate a charitable benefit to honor Kabosu
- We can unite the communities - $DOG, Dogecoin, NFD, and all others behind this.
There are multiple plans for this:
- An ongoing store that has perpetual items, available without restriction or gating. The only limit is inventory - as ideally we’d like to avoid cheap, low quality print on demand stuff. It should be stuff you want to own! Shirts, hats, slippers, backpacks, stickers, skate decks, collectibles! Pudgy Penguins has been a good example of what NFT merch can look like: https://shop.pudgypenguins.com/ - and I think we can do it better.
- Limited editions. This is still in discussion - but limited edition products that either are token gated (it can be $DOG, Pixels, POAPs, or more) or are just genuinely limited run products that are first come first serve.
- Luxury partnerships. This is a longer term goal to make the Doge grow and cement its place in the mainstream lexicon forever. Think DOGE x BAPE, or DOGE x LV, DOGE x GUCCI. There needs to be a charitable element to this. This is very long term, and should be considered back burner - but it’s on our mind.
Goal 1 should be to launch by the holiday season. This is going to be a challenge for some products (serious collectible design and manufacturing would have needed to start earlier), but others will be doable (apparel, stickers, other textiles).
Grant amount proposed:
The initial startup phases are our biggest expenses here. Here’s what I project we will need:
- Legal setup: Will be covered by DAO. This is critical. The project needs USD banking, debit, and critically, proper tax+legal structuring
- First merchandise: $6500 (estimate)
- Initial funding of subscription costs (shopify): $200
- Initial designs will be community-driven
- Initial fund for things like packaging, first postage: $1500
- Initial time value of management: $3000
- Miscellaneous expenses (including getting it to Japan, or any unforeseen startup costs): $1250
Total Requested: $12450
This is for pre-revenue startup phase to get us off the ground. Our goal needs to be self-sustainability. The DIC should be able to choose when to reinvest profits as well, and how to do so.
There are multiple critical KPIs to this project, but the top two are Revenue and Profit. Right now, I do not feel any sort of paid advertising is required - our community is good at spreading the word, so RoAS is not coming into play.
Meet the Team
My name is John Monarch. You might know me by now - I’m the guy who posted “LMBO LOOK @ THIS FUKKEN DOGE” on Reddit in 2010 with Kabosu’s face, kicking off the meme itself, and especially in the West. I went by papajohn56 under that post. Doge became the world’s biggest meme, and spawned numerous offshoots like Cheems (may Balltze RIP) and more. I’ve been in internet culture my whole life - my username papajohn56 is my old AOL name from 1998, I lived on chat rooms, message boards, trolling forums, and more for way too long.
But IRL, my background is very non-memely. I’ve been a founder of multiple businesses, including an e-commerce fulfillment center shipping over 20,000 packages per day direct to consumer, worked on imports, supply chain SaaS and web3, been a consultant for numerous e-commerce companies (including Sofia Vergara’s underwear company ), and run my own stores.
I will take the torch of running the store, managing setup, getting shipping and packaging ready, etc. I can even ship from my house (but we will need a PO Box for returns)
The DIC team is likely to participate pretty heavily early on with design and strategy decisions. The community will participate and submit as needed.
The store should be live before US Thanksgiving, 2023 - with some merch being ready for when we visit Kabosu for her birthday and the launch of the statue. What we need:
- Shopify. We do not need Shopify Plus at this time, just a base plan is fine.
- We will RFP and source merch from multiple vendors, same for packaging
- Ancillary SaaS for marketing such as Klaviyo
We will sell merch on our own site (shop.ownthedoge.com ) at first, and then gradually decide if we want to expand to Amazon sales as well. Amazon seller fees are different, so we want to run as lean as possible at first and focus on owned-sites.
THESE ARE VERY ROUGH ESTIMATES. It’s hard to determine anything without any real data!
All profits should have 3 goals:
- Merch self sustainability. Buying more inventory, running the store, maybe even artist commissions.
- DAO self sustainability. Paying any staff necessary for this project, funding the Doge Improvement Council, web hosting, other expenses.
- More charitable giving
The finances include the following:
- 5% of gross revenue to creator bounties and payments (i.e. giving creators a % of the sales of products their designs are on)
- 10% of gross revenue to charitable giving
- 85% of profits after all expenses to the DAO itself
- 15% of profits to the manager as an incentive to run and improve the store.
In this proposal, for years 1 and 2 I am the manager - however, the DIC should be able to replace me if needed. At any time. Don’t like me? Get rid of me. Think someone else can do it better? Bring them in.
Are there risks or legal considerations?
Yes. We need to consult with an attorney on proper formation of this - likely under an LLC, with an attorney acting as a manager doing what the DIC + DAO say, with the DIC having an override as needed if in the best interest of the project and the DAO. This will require banking for the project, and someone with the authority to sign for things like banking, imports, and a debit card. Taxes will need to be considered, as a DAO is a bit of a strange setup legally. Who is responsible for profits, or is it registering as a nonprofit that owns the LLC for the DAO? All things we will need an attorney to help with.
Can you receive payment in installments or do you need the full budget up front? Vesting is preferred.
- Merch partially or entirely prepared by Doge Pilgrimage 2 (Early November, 2023)
- Store fully launched prior to Black Friday
- Amazon launched mid-2024
- Long term luxury partnerships explored throughout, with a goal of one by 2025.
The DIC will have the ability to appoint the manager and the final say in the store overall, similar to a board of directors.