Dark Rain Design FAQ

1) Who are you guys?

We are a husband-and-wife pair of artists from Plymouth Meeting, PA. Alex has a long history with prop and model making, electronics, painting, stained glass, and sculpture. He's also very quiet and at shows prefers to just stand in the back of the booth and try to look artistic. Sterling sews, crochets, paints, does leatherwork, and is a much better at sales than her hubby.

2) How long have you been in business?

As Dark Rain Design, about six years.

3) Is this your full-time occupation?

Both of us have day jobs. Which are boring, but pay the mortgage.

4) Do you have a physical store?

No. We sell at various shows through the year, and from our website www.darkraindesign.com

5) Why did you leave Etsy?

Apart from some recent fee increases, we found the platform limiting. There were restrictions on the things we could sell, limits on how listings could be formatted, and we couldn't use video in descriptions.

Update: Due to show cancellations resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we have re-listed our handmade items on Etsy. And they now support video, although without sound. 

6) You used to just sell Clockwork Critters, now you sell lots of things. How come?

There were a number of reasons. Because of the time invested in creating them, our Critters can be pricey, so that limits the market to some extent. We're also finding a lot of the toys we base them on are getting harder to find. And while they're still fun to make, at this point we've done over 1200 of them and like to mix it up a bit with the stained glass and crochet.

As far as the wooden model kits, building blocks, random frippery, and craft supplies, we just think they're neat. Finally, having different product lines allows us to vend at a variety of non-Steampunk events; we can tailor our offerings to the show.

7) Do you do custom work?

We can, and have, but it depends to a large extent on the nature of the request. Your best bet is to either email or speak to one of us at a show and let us know what you have in mind.

8) What's with all the Pride stuff?

In our personal lives we are active in the alternative lifestyle community, as both participants and educators. Many of the people we know are LGBTQ, and we want to do what we can to show support. What we are NOT doing is taking advantage of a cause for financial gain, as our only goal is to cover our costs on these items.

9) Hey, you should sell at <extremely large and/or popular event>!

We appreciate the thought. However, most of our hand-made products take quite a while to make, so creating enough inventory to justify the expense of a large event isn't worth it to us. At some point the process goes from being art to being production, and that's just not somewhere we want to go.

10) I run <a new event or one we haven't vended at before> and would like to have you guys join us. What's the best way to get you involved?

Contact us as far in advance of the event as you can - most of our yearly schedule is set at least six months before. We'll ask some basic questions about the event, decide if we think we'd fit, and then if we do we'll go through whatever your normal vendor application process is.