In writing out that blog post title, in writing out “5 Years,” I am amazed at how much has happened in that time.
Looking back to where I was 5 years ago, the night I opened my shop, I was working at a graphic design firm full time out of the house with a daily 90 minute commute each way. It was my dream job though so it was totally worth it. I opened my shop with just some printable invitations that I had already designed for friends. My plan was to not have to deal with shipping anything! (oh my, how that has changed!). And then it took a month to even make that first $10 sale.
Later this same year, my best friend was getting married in the fall and as I had started to dabble in handlettering, she graciously let me write out her Save the Dates and address stamp. After which I added the address stamp to my shop… it was with this stamp that really started changing my shop. People started buying it a couple times a month, then a couple times a week. They started requesting other types of stamp designs based on my writing. My writing?! What, how and when did that happen? I then listed these custom orders in my shop, and so on and so on, making my shop a buyable portfolio in a way.
This is the best part about Etsy—or even Instagram, in my opinion, is the approachability that is given between the shop owner and the buyer. We, as shop owners, are so easy to talk to with just a click of a Contact button. Buyers can easily request customized and personalized products, which is just not something so easy to buy at your local Target.
It took about a year and a half to really gain momentum though, and what started as a printable invitation shop morphed into a full service lettering and design shop. Most of my business now comes from placecards and gift tags along with custom rubber stamps (none of which started in my shop!).
It was through this shop that I opened a long, yet short, 5 years ago… that I was contacted to create my art for Hobby Lobby and Michaels… it was through my shop that I was found for creating placecards for the Crate & Barrel catalogs… and it was through this little shop that I found the freedom to leave my job and work for myself (in 2015)!
While working for myself is not always a dream come true and it comes with lots of ups and downs, I am so thankful for this gift of being able to work from home and getting to create art each and every single day!
P.S. Take a trip over to my Instagram where I am hosting a giveaway of three sets of $50 shop credit: instagram.com/samallencreates