2023 Was a great year for Mystery Supply Co. The first thing to note is that is was still a lot of fun. I spend nearly all my spare time doing something or other for Mytery Supply Co., whether it’s making new products, cleaning up more old artwork or photos, or working on new YouTube videos.
The second thing to note is that I generated enough revenue to prove this could be more than just a fun hobby. Turns out there are plenty of people that like spooky and kooky, and each year more of them become aware of Mystery Supply Co.
Early in 2023, I spent a lot of time and money experimenting and trying new things. I tried many new product options, many of which were simply fails (like socks – the samples were so bad I could never sell them). I also spent time documenting everything I do and automating things to speed up making prints and products. I’m doing everything by myself, so being efficient is key!
Most of the work done in the lair this past year was done while listening to hour after hour of Fool’s Paradise and Music to Spazz By on WFMU. If you like your music off the wall like I do, you have to check out WFMU – and those shows in particular.
In October I got a chance to take a break and visit Disney World with my family. We attended Mickey’s No-So-Scary Halloween Party, which meant we were able to visit the Haunted Mansion a few times right up until midnight, which was a lot of fun.
Here are some highlights of different areas where I spent my time in 2023:
Users added nearly 500 reviews (almost all 5-star), and 561 more admirers brought the total to 1,015.
I added only 43 new products – way down from 2022, but that’s because I spent more time on the YouTube channel. Many of the products were in new categories: pillows, tapestries, mousepads, canvases, blankets, and pint glasses.
For 2024 I expect to add more items like the t-shirts and pillows.
Sales increased by over 200% in our own store in 2023, so that was a nice development! Because I now have a newsletter, I’ll be able to offer exclusive sales and discounts to subscribers in the Shopify store that I can’t do in the Etsy store. More on the newsletter below.
A big goal of mine for 2024 is to develop the Mystery Supply Co. YouTube channel. I started on YouTube in March 2022, and had my first handful of subs by June. I started 2023 with 1,112 subscribers and ended with 1,987 subs and 433,783 views. At this point, I’ve still mostly done only one thing: ambience videos based on old Scooby-Doo cartoons. You can check out all my Scooby-Doo themed videos on this playlist.
My goal is to try new types of content, and to post more consistently – I only posted 7 videos in 2023 – but I learned a lot about YouTube this past year. YouTube is a lot of fun and I think there is a lot more I can offer there.
I finally put a website together at www.mysterysupply.co so I can start blogging – you’re looking at it. My goal is to blog about subjects people have shown interest in such as 1950’s science fiction posters, or Vincent Price.
I started a newsletter so I can keep interested people updated about what I’m up to. I call the newsletter subs “Children of the Night.” (CofN for short…)
If you like Mystery Supply Co.’s products, you’re going to want to get on this newsletter, because I periodically offer exclusive discounts and sales to subscribers. Once you’re done reading this, head to the signup form on the homepage and join the Children of the Night!
Goals for 2024
I accomplished all of the above while spending 30% less time on Mystery Supply Co. than I spent in 2022. Now that I have more processes and automations in place to help me work faster, I should be able to continue doing more in less time.
It’s still just me, so in order to do multiple things in 2024, I want to make better use of AI. Leveraging AI should help me continue to make new products, develop the YouTube channel, and write content for the new blog.
Thanks for helping make 2023 a great year for Mystery Supply Co.! I’m looking forward to making more mysteries in 2024!