In all honesty, I've never truly thought of my stationery shop as a business. I think of it as a hobby; a creative outlet. A place where I can hawk my goods so that I'm not forcing them on friends and family, or piling them in my closet (well, ok, I'm still piling them in my closet but at least they have the potential of a future home).
A FRESH PAGE, A CHANGE OF PACE
For about a year now I've been playing with the possibility of selling gift, stationery and snail mail supplies. I talked to a friend about opening a separate shop like that together - but unlike me she has a full time job and cherishes the lack of pressure in her spare time (i thrive on pressure!). So I put the idea on the back burner until last fall. I decided that, although I love creating things, I don't feel as though I am giving enough time to my baby throughout the day. Let's put it this way, he already knows the meaning of "independent play."
With a supply shop, most of the work is in the beginning. Once the goods are ordered, the accounts and shipping navigated, the products wrapped and listed...all I have to do is work with customers, ship out, and order more in. I'll add products of course, and try new things - but hopefully this type of set up will allow me to have more time for my son and a "real" job, in addition to feeding my creative, entrepreneurial side.
I am still going to stamp and emboss envelopes, writing paper and greeting cards. For the envelopes though, I'll be decorating pre-mades (did you know it takes me an hour to make only 5-10 envelopes by hand?). I love designing text and making an otherwise blank product unique so I'll punch up my supply shop with those items. I'm completely phasing out images that aren't my own design however.
SO WHAT AM I SELLING??
Oh right! The best part! As of now I plan to sell goody bags, doilies, engraved pencils, tissue paper, gift wrap, labels, envelopes, shipping tags, rubber stamps, washi tape and baker's twine. oh my! all in the most beautiful hues and metallic.
This is the first creative project I haven't planned and executed within a frighteningly short amount of time. Everything has been in the works for months and months (a lot of that has to do with a new branding design! More on that later). I usually dive head first into projects - often creating personal crafts or commercial products in just days or weeks. You know, like that time I read a blog post about how to make a wall weaving and two days later I had constructed a loom, purchased extra yarn and completed my first one.
I'm excited to talk more about the process of this venture. I always struggle to be more forthcoming because I'm afraid it will ruin that big "ta da" moment. But some of my favourite creators and entrepreneurs discuss what happens behind the scenes. So stay tuned!