Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Heart of Handmade // Sarah of Printy CA

Two days until Halloween, whoo hoo! Things are getting REAL around here! I'm working on last minute costume adjustments (why do they only seem to come in too-small and XXXXL?), working on some things for the boys' classrooms, and this house is full of excited kids!

Also happening on Halloween? I'll be sharing allll of the details of Jake's party with you! Consider it your treat ;)

In the mean time, I'm back with another Etsy friend I made in the process of putting Jake's party together. She is yet another Potterhead (Potter fans are the BEST!), and has a really cool story to tell involving her singing career! Check it out:

Hi! My name is Sarah Johnson, and I design and run the shop at In my spare time, I'm a musician on Youtube, writing all kinds of songs and performing at open mics. I love to design, create and invent new products and ideas and I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I am so incredibly tickled to own and operate this small online business. :) 

My shop began years before it opened. My niece (then eight years young) asked for a Harry Potter themed birthday party. We decided to make it one of the most epic Harry Potter parties we could imagine. We had actors play Professor Trelawny, Professor McGonagall and Voldemort. We created everything from Marauder's map invites, wooden wands, a sorting hat, Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans boxes, and even chocolate frog boxes. It was the chocolate frog boxes which later became the seed for my business. 

After the party, I put the template up online and forgot about it. Some years later I checked back to find many messages with a “thank you for posting this” from people who couldn't find it anywhere else, and requests for matching wizard cards and other candy boxes. I began creating more templates and found Etsy a little over two years ago as the perfect platform to get the templates out to people who wanted them. Now my shop features DIY themed party items which you can print infinitely from home (dependant only on how many pulped trees you own, of course). 

What I love most about my shop is that I have so much more freedom now. Simply put, I get to focus on creativity, inventing, family relationships, making music and pursuing my passions! And I just love making parties EPIC and unforgettable. Oh, and I absolutely LOVE getting feedback from customers, it's the high point for me. 
If you were to ask what my biggest achievements were so far, I'd have to say the milestone for me was my first month making $1000 - it was a BIG deal for me. It was the first month I really felt “Hey, this might actually WORK!” I had thought previous to that month that I was just experiencing a glitch in the system and that my business was actually just a passing phase that would shortly end, but after seeing the number reach over one thousand dollars, it occurred to me that this might actually be REAL, and that I wasn't in fact, dreaming. 
To be honest, my shop actually made enough money this month for me to pay for some professional recording equipment to record my songs, and this means I am one step closer to my dream of being a touring singer-songwriter! :) 

Going forward, I have three goals in my shop: to create over 100 fabulous products for my customers, to hire a virtual assistant to help with all the extra work loads, and to earn enough income to sustain my music career.
If you are just starting out, there are a three major things to keep in mind.

#1. ALWAYS, always be testing and improving. You will be more fulfilled and you'll find more success that way.

#2. Take great photos. You have precisely one second to stand out from other listings. Do something unique, and make people look.

#3. Set time aside to work on business, and just business. You'll get more done if you make and keep an appointment with yourself.

Such great ideas! I love her third tip, as I was just mulling over time and schedules and to do lists yesterday! I think I need to follow these myself ;)

If you've got a themed party on the horizon, visit Sarah's shop and see if she has anything that will give it that extra something! I used a few of her signs at Jake's party, and everyone noticed them! Find Sarah here:

And while you're at it, use coupon code DAINTYREVELATIONS for 15% off your order of $5.50 (Canadian) or more. (That's $4.91 USD!)

Thanks for your story and your great advice, Sarah!

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