When I was little I used to tell people that I wanted to own a handmade greeting card shoppe. That’s right, s-h-o-p-p-e. And by little I mean through college.
I opened my online greeting card shoppe in October 2014. I sold postcards and calendars and handmade greeting cards in my online shop.
The Blog Connect Thank You Cards: Step One
There were a few things that I learned very quickly:
- Making handmade greeting cards is not a scale-able thing. A card always takes 10 minutes to make. There are very few ways to make it more efficient. Which means that you can only make 6 an hour. Which means that if you want to bring in even $30k a year you’re going to be charging about $20 per greeting card once you factor in how much time you need for shipping and marketing.
- I don’t like having a stock of handmade greeting cards laying around. I don’t like that I worry about the glue holding up for months at a time when they’re sitting in plastic in a hot drawer in my house. I don’t like that I put a lot of time and effort into cards that might not ever actually sell.
- This one’s a doozie. And moderately hard to admit on the internet. I don’t really like making generic greeting cards for somebody to give to someone else. For friends who need cards for specific situations where I can completely customize the card and make it feel like my own, great. But in general, if I don’t feel connected to the person who is going to get the greeting card, it’s not really my jam.
The Blog Connect Thank You Cards: Step Two
These three things don’t make for a very good business model. (Nor does constant travel for work, but that’s a different story.) There are a few positive things that I learned along the way:
- I do really like finding time in my day-to-day life to mass-produce greeting cards for friends.
- I like cards that say things that feel awkward to say out loud, for example “I think you’re cool” or “I really appreciate you”.
- I definitely have a style of card that I enjoy making. They’re usually rectangular (maybe with rounded corners) and have a pretty printed paper glued on top of a plain base with a message written on a popped up smaller sheet of paper.
- I learned that it’s not that hard to start a business. (It is however, hard to keep it going. You’ve got to be really passionate about it to see it work.)
- I learned that while I thought a handmade greeting card shoppe was my dream that it’s actually not, which now means I get to spend more time searching for the right thing.
With all of this information in mind, I’ve decided I will be closing down shoppe on July 5. If you’re interested in purchasing anything, use the card SHOPPE for 30% off of your order.
The Blog Connect Thank You Cards: Step Three
Don’t worry, I’m going to continue to make handmade cards for people in my life. I just bought $100 worth of stamps that I can’t wait to use.
And I’m super excited to figure out the next adventure. I’ve got a feeling it’s gonna be good.
PS. Don’t worry, the blog’s not going anywhere. That would just be silly.