June 29, 2015

Getting Started With Turning Pages Co

People are always saying that starting a business is hard, and keeping it up and running is even harder. If you would have listened to my thoughts two weeks ago, when someone told me this, they would have sounded something like, "What can be so hard about it? People do it all the time! Look at all of those cute Etsy sticker shops...I CAN DO IT!"

But after two weeks of struggling, and battling my way through, I've learned that there is nothing more truthful than that statement.

It takes a lot of time, patience, ambition, and money to get a business, even as small as my sticker shop, up and going. Before you can start up a store, you need to decide what you plan on selling. Once you've done that, you need to purchase any tools and materials needed to create the product. When that's done, you need to establish your store, getting the look you want, writing policies and other information you want your customers to know. You need to take pictures that will take the customers breath away, and decide on prices that will make them want to buy your amazing product. And finally you need to build a customer base, provide a great quality product and the best customer service possible.

Opening up an Etsy shop and throwing up a few cute stickers sounds pretty easy, but there is so much more that goes into.

Here's my story...

About to weeks ago I decided I was going to take the plunge. After working an eight hour shift in a little coffee shack, dealing with a handful of rude customers, and battling the heat (almost 95 degrees) which the owner of the shop isn't willing to provide a good AC system for their employees, I decided it was time to take things into my own hands.

If you think I quit my job, you're wrong. This barista job is what's putting me through school right now, and I'm not willing to give that up. I need the money to attend school, get my education and do better for myself and Joshua, in the future. But after working this job for almost a year (in August), and having a few tough days these last few weeks, I've learned that it isn't what I want. I need it now, but it isn't what I want.

Working this job, in these crappy circumstances is what's pushing me to do better, to improve and to finish off school. And ultimately, create and build my own Etsy shop.

The first thing I wanted to accomplish, before I did anything else, was to buy a cutting machine and learn how to properly work it. Of course, there are so many different things you can do with this machine, and I'll learn all of those possibilities sooner or later, but I wanted to know exactly what I needed to know to create and cut stickers.

I was lucky enough to find a cutting machine on clearance at my Michael's Craft Store for only $200 (they ran for $250 at my local Hobby Lobby). I bought some sticker paper as well as some ink to restock my printer. 

Who knew setting up this cutting machine would take almost two hours? The machine came completely built, but getting it connected to my computer and the program downloaded were the difficult tasks. 

A few things that went wrong from there include,

  • The cutter didn't cut through enough of the paper, to be able to peel the stickers off....even though I had it on the recommended setting for this specific paper.
  • The cutter wasn't lined up, so it needed to be calibrated a few times.
  • The sticker paper was extremely thick, almost the thickness of heavy duty cardstock.
  • My printer was printing croaked, causing the cuts not to be lined up.
  • My new sticker paper I bought kept getting stuck in my old printer, so I had to purchase an entirely new printer. (One that is wireless, thank goodness!)

A few things did go right though,

  • I was able to design the first 5 or 6 sticker sets that I'm releasing.
  • I was able to find some cute envelopes for cheap, as well as plastic baggies to send my stickers in.
  • I created To and From labels for the envelopes, and designed a small freebie sheet for the month of July, to send with each package.
  • I also decided to come up with a special offer for the first 48 hours Turning Pages Co is open, and I finally came up with an idea for that.

Finally getting the entire process of producing quality stickers down, it was about time that I start working on the shop itself.

I decided to name it Turning Pages Co, to go right along with my blog and other social media. I love the name, and it means a lot to me.

From there on, I had to take pictures of the stickers I want to sell, provide descriptions, write policies, decide on prices, and be identified so people can use credit cards and Etsy gift cards in my shop. 

There is still a lot for me to do before July 1st, which is in two days, but I'm extremely excited to finally get started. I can't wait to share my sticker designs with the world. 

So thank you guys so much for stopping by and giving this really long blog post a read. Also for being so patient with my late blog posts this week; I've had to throw a baby shower, attend a wedding, and get things going for Turning Pages Co.

If you're interested in taking advantage of the first 48 hour special for my shop, stay tuned here or follow me on Instagram @turningpageslisa!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, thank you for sharing your "Getting started story". I'm also considering starting up an Etsy sticker store, as I'm currently a expat wife in Korea(my husband works here). My only problem is I can't seem to find good quality sticker paper. If you don't mind me asking, where du you get yours from?

    Hilde Konstanse


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