Today is one of those rare NYC days where the weather is warm and sunny, but neither the heat nor the humidity has become oppressive yet. Of course, I am stuck in my office but I have opened every window in sight and made 4 trips to the deli across the street despite needing nothing. This is the kind of weather that just smacks of possibility. I feel the sun shine down upon my face and a warm breeze brush past me and just imagine the world opening up before me. I envision myself driving some distant highway with the windows down and an epic driving playlist blaring.
Then of course I come back to reality and remember that I have a husband, a child, and a full-time job; not to mention volunteering and assorted domestic responsibilities.
Guess that solo road trip will stay a dream for right now.
There are other possibilities to share with you, though, as I have been keeping this one under the hood for far too long.
I have found a way to combine my love for art & design with my love for writing & stationery with my love for making money. It’s the best type of menage.
I opened an Etsy shop selling letter writing stationery that I have painstakingly designed and redesigned until perfected, and I am beyond excited about it.
You see, I have always wanted to have my own entrepreneurial pursuit. I am one of those people who is always coming up with an idea and wondering how and if I can turn it into a business. Working for yourself is the goddamn American Dream. Recently, as I found my niche in the world of snail mail, it hit me like a brick to the face. I love digital design, especially when it comes to stationery items. I have been designing invitations for people for years, and I always create my own writing sheets and greeting cards. There had to be a way to monetize that passion, and I was determined to find it. That’s when I remembered Etsy and it’s love for all creative niches.
I spent two months designing, researching, branding, and troubleshooting. I drove my poor husband crazy asking for opinions on everything from clip art placement, to background opacity, to paper quality. I kept a keen ear out for pen pals chattering about things they loved and hated about existing brands, and of course took my own opinions into account. I knew I wanted my paper to be fountain pen friendly and A5 in size. I wanted designs that ran the gamut from whimsical & fun to traditional to fit the many pen pal personalities I plan to serve. I wanted to have a unifying brand that made people think of my shop whenever they saw it. I wanted designs and themes that would be transferable to envelopes, greeting cards, labels, and postcards. I wanted to leave myself the option for expansion into territories outside of letter writing or possibly into subscription services.
I had a plan and nothing was going to deter me this time. I would take time every single day, no matter how stressed or exhausted I was, and work toward my goal. I had set my target relaunch date at June 1st, and because I am both a fast lane lifer and an impatient pain in the ass I ended up clicking that OPEN button on Mother’s Day. The early opening was, in part, a display of confidence after my husband gifted me with a brand new printer as a show of incredible support.
Honestly, I don’t think I could possibly be anymore excited; I literally feel like a rockstar. I currently have 25 different designs listed, but at least that many in production as well.
Here are some samples of what I’ve got so far!