A millennial quit her job to start a NFT line and create a lifestyle brand.
SINGAPORE — Although some might dismiss Non-Fungible Tokens, (NFTs), serious money is possible for those who are involved in the trendy cryptocurrency market.
Ask Chanel Lee about the sale of her 7,600 bread cartoons NFTs called Tasty Toastys for 0.02 Eth (or S$87) each in February. She plans to create a lifestyle brand that is based on these cartoons in the coming decade.
I wanted it to be a brand and a licensing business. Lee stated that the design was simple because he wanted it to be the next “Hello Kitty” in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance Singapore.
Lee left a career in corporate America after four years, which included a two year scholarship bond. She decided to leave her comfort zone to focus on her NFT collection. It was inspired by an idea she had, to create household products under the brand Toastys.
While preparing to interview for a local metaverse startup, Lee became interested in NFT in June 2021. Lee didn’t join the company but she began to read up about the metaverse. After a month, she left her job in automation technology to pursue her Toastys dream of selling NFTs.
“I am the type of person who will do anything if it is something I love. Lee stated, “I can work during the day and work on the NFT project in the evening, but I wouldn’t be 100% in either.”
Lee put her all into the project, buying NFTs and drawing Toastys. Each Tasty Toastys NFT is named after the toasty sensation of warmth and comfort. It’s a random-generated bread cartoon that features a unique bread flavour, spread and garnish.
Lee, 30 years old, created all the cartoon elements – enough to create over 3 million combinations – in less than two months.
Lee stated, “I am not an artist by training. But it’s okay. With NFTs it’s less about art and more about how it brings joy and how meme-able it is.”
She first put Tasty Toastys up for sale on the market in November 2021. According to Lee, it was a failure because NFTs were too expensive at 0.058 Eth in a bear market. Lee felt she hadn’t built up enough of an international network so Tasty Toastys didn’t gain much traction.
The collection was reworked by her and launched on 31 January. The collection was popularized by its simple, cute designs and sold out in less than a week.
Tasty Toastys is a brand that embraces the Internet age. For example, they adopted the tagline “let’s get this bread”, which translates to make money. Behind the meme culture references is a mission that builds a loyal community and supports strong business fundamentals.
Lee hosts a weekly gathering on Twitter Spaces where Tasty Toastys holders can interact in audio conversations. For members who prefer to type, there is a Discord server that Tasty Toastys has been hosting events in. Partygoers can wear Tasty Toastys backpacks to the Decentraland party and dance to live DJ sets while their NFTs hover above their shoulders.
Lee stated that “We hope that we can create more of these gifts so that our community can show off their Toastys digital merchandise in every metaverse they go to”. “Our community will then be able to go into each metaverse together, making it’sticky’ for the future.”
Lee plans to expand Tasty Toastys’ brand to include collaborations and NFT artists from other metaverses. Her NFT experience is being leveraged by Lee as an advisor to Metapoly. This Metaverse land tycoon, described as “the first decentralised metaverse land operator that assists users in driving investment in the Metaverse”, claims it.
Lee acknowledges that success in the metaverse space is not always easy but emphasizes that NFTs do not guarantee a quick buck.
The NFTs are not what make the project unique. Lee stated that it’s the business model. It’s a business model, so think of it like a regular company.
Why are your NFT collections called “Tasty Toastys”?
The spelling of “Toastys” is incorrect because it is the feeling of toasty, which is warmer and more cosy than actual toast. It was the original brand feeling that I kept.
This was more a feeling I was trying to achieve than anything tangible. But a brand can’t exist without a mascot, or something people can understand visually. Because NFTs are all about meme culture, we decided to turn the word “toasty” into slices of toast. It is also similar to other NFT-related projects that use funny names or alliterations.
What makes Tasty Toastys so different from other NFTs? Why should people collect them.
We have decided to give the NFT owners full commercialization rights. If you have a Tasty Toasty with a smiling face and grape juice, then you can do what you want with it. You can even build your brand or start your own business. This is something I believe in. If we hold onto IP (Intellectual property), it restricts the community’s ability to express their ideas and can even lead to a disruption of what IP stands for.
Commercialisation would be impossible for a corporate company that releases an NFT. Tasty Toastys was born in the NFT era. It’s worth trying this IP opening. This is what sets us apart from other brands.
What made Tasty Toastys so popular among NFT collectors. Did the collection sell out?
Pricing the NFTs at a lower price than other products helped. It was the combination of their low price and how open I was to discussing them in public that made people trust Tasty Toastys. People saw there was less risk in trying out my space because I was involved and opened public discussions about NFTs.
It is important to time the market. If you don’t get taken up in a bullish or soaring market, it may not fly.
How did your friends and family react when you made the decision to pursue NFT Creation full-time?
A close group of friends have been with me for many years. They were aware that I obsess over NFTs all the time, so they didn’t be surprised when I said I was doing this full-time. They were all supportive and knew I was a person who can’t sit still. They felt that this was another crazy thing Chanel would do.
My brother was a great help throughout the entire process of creating NFTs. This is his hobby, and he works full-time so he can help me in my spare time. Because he is more tech-trained that I, he helps me to study strategy and the tech.
What advice would you give to aspiring NFT creators
People need to realize that NFTs do not represent the end-all or be-all of any project they are working on. They are a way to create value, so I view them like a business. You must consider the value that you are delivering to your community and whether NFTs are a good fit.
Selling artist work would still be possible, but it would not be as easy as before NFTs existed. I believe people are more interested in the artist’s story than the artwork. Twitter for NFTs is the place to build community. It makes life easier as an artist. Name recognition is greatly enhanced by community involvement and marketing.
What’s the future for women in NFT?
Human nature is to seek out quality connections regardless of our backgrounds. Web3 is already seeing more diversity because more people are actively creating inclusive communities. This means that the future looks bright.
It’s a great feeling to present yourself as the person you are in the metaverse. I have had many great experiences, and my gender has not been a limitation to my life.