Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question? I’ve got an answer.  

Payment & Shipping

How do I know I can trust your shop?
Buying online from smaller stores can seem risky. That's why I've provided 5 reasons you can trust us.

What payment methods do you accept?
I am a Verified Paypal user and can also accept all major credit cards. Apple Pay & Google Pay are also available when using the Safari or Chrome browsers respectively.

Do you ship internationally?
Yes, I’m happy to ship orders to most countries. Current exceptions include the 27 EU countries (who can order through my Etsy shop). Please see the Shipping Information page for more information.

I’m not from the UK. How do I see prices in my local currency?
You can set your country/region using the dropdown at the bottom of this website to view prices in your own currency. If you pay using PayPal, it will automatically convert the cost from your local currency in UK£. If you pay by credit card, you will be charged in UK£ and your card company will do the conversion.

Can I buy your products anywhere else?
Yes, you are welcome to shop with me on Etsy, Folksy and Not on the High Street, though the product range, pricing and shipping may be different. I also have a few stockists, where you can buy some of my products in person or online.

How long does shipping take? 
Please see the Shipping Information page for answers to all your postage queries.

Are the free things really free? What's the catch?
My free zines, printables and wallpapers are things I made for fun, and as a way to promote my work to new people. I am moving most of my free content to my Ko-Fi Shop which has a pay-what-you-can option. If you enjoy them, consider adding a donation or supporting my work in other ways - some of those options don't cost you a thing but help me afford the time and resources to create new work. Do note that free downloads are still protected by copyright and are for personal use only. Please read the copyright notice on the file and do not sell, re-share, copy, edit or otherwise profit from my work.

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Problems

Something’s broken on your site!
Sorry! If there’s something wrong then do let me know so I can get it fixed. Please include details of which browser and operating system you’re using. Also check if turning off your ad blocker fixes the problem. I don't run any ads on the site but some things can be wrongly classed as advertising.

I can’t place an order! HELP!
Oh no! I use Shopify and PayPal to run the shop and payment systems and on rare occasions one or the other might be having problems. Do email me though and I can help you find a solution. If you are in the 27 EU countries you will need to use my Etsy shop.

I’m unhappy with my item(s). What are you going to do about it?
I’m sorry to hear that. Please see my returns policy for more information.

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Shopping & Products

Is your packaging eco-friendly?
I've been working really hard to improve this and I'm happy to say that almost all of my products no longer include any plastic packaging. Please check individual product pages for more information on the packaging. Find out more on my Recycling & Environment page.

Do you have wholesale/SOR prices?
I do! If you’re interested in becoming a stockist, please contact me for a current price list.

Will you be getting any more of (sold out item)?
It depends. Sometimes I have just temporarily run out of stock or materials. Other times, I'm unable to source the materials I require. And sometimes products just no longer fit in with my aesthetic and are discontinued. I try to update product pages with the details but if in doubt, email and ask me!

Can you make a card with different text, or put a different character on this product?
It's possible I already have! Thanks to print-on-demand and my licensing partners, I can offer my characters and designs in many more options than I can afford to print and sell myself. Have a look at my Licensed Products page, and if you don't see what you need, email me and I'll see if I can add it.

Do you take commissions?
Sometimes. If you see something you like but you’d prefer a different colour, size or illustration then email me and I’ll see what I can do. I can also take on larger custom orders for wedding favours, thank you cards etc.

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Press & Promotion

Can I use your images for my blog or social media?
You can use my product images as long as you credit me and link back to the products or my shop. Individual images from my blog may be used as long as I am credited as the photographer and you link back to the original post. If you wish to use multiple blog images or personal photos please check in advance. And send me a link or tag me - I'd love to see! If you use my characters for a profile picture I would appreciate a credit, and that you don't try to pass it off as your own work.

Do you have hi-res press images?
Yes, please contact me with your requirements.

Can I interview you for my blog/magazine?
Absolutely! I love being interviewed - contact me to arrange it.

Can you answer some questions for my school/college project?
It depends how busy I am. I often receive these requests that usually require a lot of detailed answers for no reward - you can try me and see.

Can you send me products to review or for a charity event?
Sorry, I do not have the budget for this at the moment. If you wish to buy products I can give you a discount code or include some freebies - contact me.

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Customer Accounts

Why should I create a customer account? Do I have to?
Customer accounts are entirely optional. Check out as a guest and you will then be given the option to create an account after checkout. Having an account means your details are saved for next time and you can check on the status of your order by logging in to your account or using Shopify's Shop app.

Will I be added to any mailing list if I create an account?
Absolutely not. You will only be added to my mailing list if you fill out the form yourself and confirm your subscription.

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General

What's kawaii?
Kawaii (pronounced a bit like like Hawaii), is a Japanese word that means cute, adorable or lovable. Over here, we use it to describe the Japanese style of cute, which pervades the entire Japanese society. Think food with faces, animals pretending to be furniture, furniture pretending to be food etc, etc. For more on kawaii, see the Super Cute Kawaii blog, which I co-run - or buy my book, The Super Cute Book of Kawaii!.

What's a zine?
Zines (pronounced 'zeens') are independently published magazines. Sometimes they're photocopied, sometimes they're professionally printed and sometimes they're digital PDFs. The content can include writing, illustration, comics and more - if you like magazines or blogs then you'll love zines. My Let's Make Zines! guide explains everything.

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Printing & Making

Where do you get your printing done? What other suppliers do you use?
I used to be happy to share my sources since it brings them new business, and I'm a nice person generally, but I get an increasing amount of emails from people who think they are entitled to demand I tell them where I get everything made without even saying hello or thank you. I do a LOT of research when I have a new product idea and sometimes it takes weeks or years until I can find a suitable printer or supplier, get samples made, work out costs etc. For that reason, I'm no longer willing to share specific sources.

I will however recommend Moo, Printed.com and Vistaprint for affordable small-run printing, Yeah Laser for laser cutting and Zap Creatives for both + Awesome for general merch. I buy most of my supplies from eBay and Etsy, though I am very loyal to specific sellers that serve me well. 

Do you make everything yourself?
Depends what you mean by 'make'! All items involve my artwork in some way, though some products are made by hand and some are professionally printed or manufactured to my specification. There are also some licensed items available 'print-on-demand'. This means I designed the product but another company (Zazzle, Spoonflower) take care of the manufacturing and shipping)

What's your design process and what programs do you use?
These days I mostly draw directly in Adobe Illustrator on my laptop or in Procreate or Adobe Fresco on iPad. My repeat patterns are made in Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. My zines are created using Adobe InDesign. I sometimes share process posts on my blog.

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About Me

Have you been to Japan?
Yes, five times! Once on a guided tour, once just to Tokyo, once to Tokyo and Osaka, 3 weeks around Japan and another trip to Tokyo & Osaka. I love visiting Japan and always hope to return again. I've blogged a lot about all my Japan trips, as well as self-publishing books and guides.

Is this your full time job?
Pretty much. I split my time between my shop, running Super Cute Kawaii, marketing/design work for a local company and freelance work in web design and Shopify consultancy. Check the About page for more info.

A web designer eh? Will you design my website/shop?
Possibly, depending on how busy I am! You can see my portfolio at www.marcelinesmith.com and contact me if you think I can help.

I really like your shop design - did you build it all yourself?
Thank you! My shop is hosted by Shopify, who are amazing and do all the backend e-commerce stuff. The template is available free from the Shopify Theme Store.

Wait, Shopify, Cakeify? Is there a link?
Yes, Cakeify the happy cupcake got his name after Shopify called me out on my wish to bake them a cake for being so awesome. You can read all about that here.

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Contact Me

I still have questions!
You can send a message through my contact page and I’ll reply as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours.

Why haven't you replied to my message or email?
Emails with order enquiries/issues and short questions from polite people will always get a prompt answer, but do remember it's just me here so I may be asleep, having a day off or unwell. If it's been more than a couple of days, feel free to email me a reminder or nudge me on Instagram or Twitter. Direct messages or comments on social media are easily lost and forgotten and I don't check them very often. Please send an email instead (as that will likely be my answer anyway!)

Longer emails, especially those looking for advice, may have to wait until I can find time to give you a considered answer or write a blog post. I have also become disillusioned by sending lengthy helpful responses to strangers, to not even get a simple thank you in return. I know that's unfair to nice people but I don't know which you are in advance.

I need to phone you! What's your number?
I am not able to take phone enquiries unless arranged in advance by email.

Questions previously answered on Formspring can now be found in my Features & Interviews section.

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