Frequently Asked Questions

I have an idea for a design. Can Spider make me something?

Yes! Custom design is a service we offer. Once Spider agrees to make your design, he will give you an estimate for how much time it would take. Custom designs are $30 an hour, with a half hour minimum, paid upfront via Paypal. This includes a digital proof and one set of any tweaks or changes. Turnaround time for designs is 7-10 business days from the payment date of the invoice, with a 25% upcharge for rush designs completed within 48 hours of payment (subject to approval - we cannot guarantee that we can take rush items). The item in question will remain in perpetuity on the store, and can be applied to any other item created in the same way; so you won't have to pay for the design again should you want it on something else.


What are your restrictions on custom items?

We reserve the right to refuse any custom item commission at our sole discretion. We will not complete commissions using any homophobic/transphobic/queerphobic/biphobic/acephobic messaging, anything antisemitic, ableist or racist in message or implication, or containing the lipstick lesbian flag or sunset lesbian flag, due to their exclusionist origins. Please don’t ask. As a lesbian, Spider chooses to use the Inclusive Lesbian Flag based on a poem by Sappho, the variant created by Maya Kern.

We will not complete any commissions which replicate another artist’s work or violate copyright. This is for our legal protection.

In the exceedingly rare circumstance where a customer’s tweaks or changes would violate the above, we can and will decline to complete the commission; we do not refund commission fees.


Why doesn’t this item come in a flag I would like it to?

There are two different reasons why this may be:

If it’s a pin, it is possible that the pin in those colors have already sold out. As we have to buy pins in bulk, we restock periodically. Follow us on Kickstarter to get first crack at new pins. 

For other items that are printed on demand, we try to keep the most common flags in stock, but for some other less often requested flags. If you would like one of our items in a flag that it isn’t already in, contact us about scheduling some custom design time so we can figure out a way to make those colors look great on the item you would like!

 

Where is my order? 

You should receive an email with the tracking number(s) of your item(s) when they have shipped, however issues do happen. For items like patches that we make ourselves, the turnaround time on them is up to two weeks, not counting the time it would take to get them to you. For the items that we get printed from our collaborators in other countries like Hong Kong, the U.K., or China, it may take up to three weeks for these items to print and ship. If your items are still not around in time, we can definitely follow up with our printer!

One of our printers no longer offers a tracking number with their items: the maker of the canvas boots. Yes, this stinks, and if we had another source for those boots, we’d switch, but we don’t, and those boots are so comfy. We have never had a pair of them go missing in 4 years, so don’t sweat it. (Even if they do go missing in the mail, we’ll get ‘em replaced.)


I got a part of my items but not all of them, what gives?

Sometimes your items will come from different printers, some in the states and some overseas in China. Regardless of where they are, if they are made by separate companies, they will be shipped to you separately. Make sure to check if your items are still in the shipping window, and if they aren’t, please do contact us to look into it.


Why aren’t all your items size-inclusive? Why do some of your skirts only go up to 2X? Why do some of your boots only go up to a men’s 10? Why… 

We don’t have control over which items come in which sizes: we’re not actually manufacturing a bunch of these things, and we’re a tiny company which doesn’t have the capital to demand that massive manufacturing companies make things the way we want. If we did, everything would come in XS-7X at least and would have pockets. Everything, even the shoes.

Speaking of shoes, they can be some of the most difficult things to find in extended sizes. Boots specifically, since we do have some sneakers that come in up to a US Men’s 15 (EU 49.5).

If the question is ‘do we plan to carry larger sizes?’, the answer is ‘we’re always looking for sources.’ 

Spider spends a lot of time searching for new print companies, consistently and on an ongoing basis. We add only companies we can verify to the best of our ability aren’t sweatshops, and those companies which will allow us to buy items one at a time. NerdyKeppie cannot afford and does not have the space to store stock. Trying to keep stock would prevent us from offering the wide variety of items and flag options that we do. So we need that intersection of products we can buy one at a time and products which are size-inclusive, and that’s pretty hard to find: even within the same company you’ll sometimes find items that go up to 2X and items that go up to 5X. So if we have to pick between not offering a long skirt at all (for example), or only offering it if it goes up to 5X, either we’re just not offering options for those who require modest dress at all or we’re offering the most we can right now and continuing to look for other options. We choose the latter.

 

Why are some of your items more expensive in plus sizes? You know that’s, like, completely wrong, the fat tax is terrible. 

Yeah. We know. And rather than have this be the usual third-party FAQ, this is Spider talking for this next bit:

Both owners of NerdyKeppie are also fat, so we’re very aware of the fat tax as a result. The 5X dress fits Steve perfectly, and if I ever wore dresses, it'd be the 3X for me.

Unfortunately, since we're such a small company, we're at the mercy of the pricing that's passed on to us by the people who manufacture our dresses, and they charge more for the 2X than the XL, and the 5X costs most of all.

In cases where we can do so reasonably, we just eat the cost difference between an XS and a 5XL: t-shirts are a good example of that. All of our crew neck Gildan 5000 t-shirts are $20, because the price difference to us between those sizes is something like $3. So when we can, we just eat the difference.

That just isn’t the way it works for a lot of our items, especially things like dresses, skirts, etc. The difference between a Large and a 5X is enough that it would totally eat up the profit on those items. 

The only way for us to stay in business and offer sizes up to 5X like we do in those dresses, without showing the graded price would be to charge everyone as much as it takes for us to actually turn a keep-the-lights-on profit for the 5X.

It stinks, but it is what it is, because we're a tiny company which has pretty much no bargaining power. So either we don't offer those sizes at all, or we're stuck with the pricing we can get, which includes our production partners charging more for larger sizes.

I consistently scour the internet for new printers that we feel we can responsibly work with, since we also don't work with companies that we can't verify aren't sweatshops. If we find a company that offers a comfortable dress with pockets in sizes up to 5X that prices consistently without a fat tax and that allows us to buy dresses on a made-to-order basis, since we can't afford to keep stock, and that we can confirm isn't a sweatshop, I'll add them immediately.

Until then, either we price everyone up to 5X or we don't offer the dress in sizes we ourselves can wear. That's basically our alternatives.

We’re a small business run on a shoestring and owned by disabled queer folx, and so we hope our customers will understand that we don't have the buying power of a Fortune 500 company. We can’t resolve this the way we’d like to and to the satisfaction of all of our customers within our current economic power. If you feel you can't order with joy from us because of the fact that we have to do this to be able to stay in business, we understand. We wouldn't want anyone to do anything they don't feel ethically able to do, just the same as we run our business as ethically and inclusively as we can in our current capitalist hellscape.

 

Hey, you have employees, are you living your values or is that like a minimum wage situation?

Starting wage at NerdyKeppie is $20/hr. Right now we can only afford to give people a few hours a week. Our 5 year plan includes at least one full-time employee, but we’re not going to ask people for a full-time commitment until we can give them the benefits and pay they deserve. In the meantime, we keep our hours flexible so our people can do the other things they want and need to do with our time, and pay well for the time we ask for.

Spider & Steve make well under minimum wage, because they’re the ones who decided to take on the risk.


Are you hiring?

Not currently or for the foreseeable future. We owe our current employees at least part-time status with insurance before we could even think about adding anyone else.