Digital membership helps micro art studio’s community stay connected through pandemic distancing

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Steam Crow is a micro art studio that creates monster inspired illustrated products and the “Monster Rangers” – a digital membership community of fantastic folks. The brand makes amazing, odd goods with a unique old-time cartoon aesthetic.

Launching a digital membership community

Steam Crow is run by husband and wife team Daniel and Dawna Davis. They draw cartoon monsters, design t-shirts, write/illustrate books, design patches and pins, and create fiction that brings it all together. They also launched a formal community of supporters called the “Monster Rangers.”

The digital subscription is designed for people that love Halloween, monster movies, roleplaying games, and Steam Crow’s unique brand of art and storytelling. Almost immediately, the Monster Rangers wanted to do campouts, have badges, and other “membershipy” things. So Daniel and Dawna launched a digital membership called “The ORDER of OBSCURIA” which was an instant success.

Subscription membership management via PayWhirl

Steam Crow discovered PayWhirl via their store provider, BigCommerce, about three years after the digital membership launched. Since transitioning to PayWhirl, it has been the ORDER of OBSCURIA engine. It allows folks to sign up, make changes to their membership, and keep track of payment details. They pick a level of support, and receive Monthly rewards.

“Prior to PayWhirl, we had a WordPress plugin that worked pretty well for a few years. Unfortunately it had some quirks that were hampering our professionalism. It was frustrating to our Members and excruciatingly stressful from our end when things weren’t working. So we needed a better solution. Paywhirl, though a little more expensive than the plugin (and much less expensive than Patreon), has alleviated these problems. It’s far more self-service oriented, and is really nice for us to manage on the back-end.”

Daniel Davis, co-Founder, Steam Crow

Digital membership provides pandemic-resistent connections

“The “OoO” really was central in us surviving when we couldn’t do any physical events at all. Our Membership model is more like Patreon, we have monthly rewards that we send out each and every month. (Badges, craft items, patches, shirts, etc.) Implementing PayWhirl as our digital membership engine avoided the costs associated with Patreon and delivers greater value to our members.”

Daniel Davis, co-Founder, Steam Crow

Advice from Steam Crow’s founders

Before the digital membership launch, Daniel and Dawna knew they had a supportive community who already supported the brand. This customer base knew they could count on Steam Crow to deliver a valuable subscription offering.

“Being odd/fun and taking the time to foster a community is a great way to make friends and create loyal supporters. Be sure you have a clear plan of what you’re delivering for folks, and how you’re going to communicate the benefits with your potential Members. As with anything, trust is paramount.”

Daniel Davis, co-Founder, Steam Crow

To learn more about digital membership based payment models, please reach out through the live chat on – we’re here to help!