We Started A Print On Demand Etsy Business!

My daughter, Brittany, and I  decided to open an Etsy shop selling Print On Demand t-shirts, sweatshirts, and any other item we find that will work well with our designs.  We didn’t know what it would take but decided to find out.

The first thing we did was throw some designs together. Some we created ourselves, and others we used elements from Creative Fabrica to make the designs.

We decided since it’s the beginning of October, we’d start designing for Christmas first. I use Illustrator and Photoshop but she didn’t want to take the time to learn them, so she’s using Canva Pro. Both work well but I have a feeling I will need to adjust some of the Canva designs with Illustrator, we’ll just have to see.

I’m making the majority of the designs since she owns a volleyball club which demands a lot of her time. And that’s okay, she’s putting up most of the upfront money. She’s using her credit card to pay for orders to be printed, and she set up a Chime account for us to buy anything we need.

So, are you wondering what’s needed to get started selling Print-on-Demand (POD) products?  Honestly, not much.

Here are the things we’ve done so far:

  • Decided on a name for our Etsy shop.
    • I’ve read that the Etsy algorithm measures conversion rates for placement in their search. If a lot of people go to our shop it will give us a lower conversion rate and our shop won’t be shown as well in search. Also, many YouTubers that teach this say, when they shared their shop, not just their designs, but their entire shops were copied. For these reasons, I’ve decided to not share the shop name. I hope you understand.
  • Made a logo.
  • Opened a Chime bank account (all online) and deposited $200.
  • Purchased some mock-ups for the t-shirts and crewneck sweatshirts we plan to sell.
    • We found two shops on Etsy that sell mockups (there are MANY) where for $15 you have access to their entire shop now and all new items in the future. I purchased both. They are adequate and even have some mug mockups but they don’t have every color tee and crewneck on a modal. We’ll need to buy more mockups eventually. Those two shops are MockUpShoppe and MockUpLoft, a very good $30 investment.
  • Set-up a Gmail account using our company name. We had to add “shop” to the end of the company name because it wasn’t available.
  • Signed up for a Printify account.
    • Why did we choose Printify? Well, to be honest, there are several YouTubers we follow and they recommend Printify. The other big POD company is Printful. Printify has a good catalog, great quality, and they are cheaper than Printful. Yeah, that’s a big thing when all the other factors are the same.
  • Opened an Etsy account. Brittany put it in her name since the credit card and bank account is in her name (they have to match the account). And we set-up the shop with our new company name. So when you go to the shop, it’s our company name but if you want to contact the owner, it’s Brittany.
  • Then we started adding our designs to items on Printify! Really very easy, and once the item is good on Printify, you click Publish and it’s automatically added to Etsy.
    • That’s not the end though. The mockups from Printify just won’t cut it so you have to make photos to use in the Etsy listing, that’s where the mockups come in. Also, there are some fields on the Etsy listing that need to be filled in. I will do a future post that explains the process, maybe even a video. Stay tuned for that.
  • Lastly, I purchased Sales Samurai to help us find items that sell well. It also tells us what other sellers are using for tags and keywords.

Another thing we decided is that we would have a “general store”, not one built on a specific niche. Most people teaching this stuff will tell you to niche down. But it doesn’t make sense when you’re brand new. Why would you limit yourself to one niche when you don’t know what sells? And yes we have Sales Samurai but I think if we find one niche that is best, we will make more items in that niche. Plus, do people really go to your shop on Etsy? I think they go to the home page and search, so they won’t have any idea that you’re not niched. Just my opinion going into this venture, who knows, I may be proven wrong, but we’ll see.

So, that’s about it. Wasn’t terribly hard, I just think it’s going to be a lot of work building up our store. The goal I’m putting on it is to have 100 listings by the end of the year. Stay tuned!!

Here are a few designs

Be Happy Crewneck SweatshirtI really like this Be Happy design. I know it’s not Christmas but we needed to add a few everyday items. I’m going to make it available on Bella + Canvas T-Shirts and on a mug.  Really cute! 

Merry Christmas Crewneck Sweatshirt with 3 Christmas TreesGotta have a Merry Christmas crewneck, right? Three pretty snow-covered trees and a big Merry Christmas! We will make this available on the Bella + Canvas Tee and a coffee mug!

OCD Obsessive Christmas DisorderEvery shop needs some funny tees! This is perfect for the one who always goes overboard for Christmas!  It will be available in a Gildan Crewneck and on a mug.

Reindeer Flying School MugJust had to show you a mug! Isn’t it cute? This design came directly from Creative Fabrica. They offer designs with POD licenses that allow you to use the design without changing it for as long as you’re a member. To be honest, we don’t want to do this too often, we like making designs our own by changing them up, but I don’t think it hurts to throw in a few without change. It really helps speed up creating new designs. 

 

I hope you follow along as our journey continues. I already have a ton of ideas for new posts, now it’s just finding the time to write them. I will be back with a post or video showing you just how easy setting up a product is. 

Until next time!

Reba

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