STEP TWO : WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
We’ve made it to step two! Phew. At this point in the start up process I (with my mom and sister) had an idea and general concept about what I wanted to sell. The next step was figuring out what that looked like in terms of design. As I mentioned in my step one post, I already had a few designs from past projects that I could edit and use as stationery.
My first sets were personalized stationery like the “Ella” and ladybug sets. I also had a few designs for greeting cards like the butterfly set and a hand painted watercolor I had created for a friend. Most of these designs came from watercolor illustrations I had painted for books my mom and I had created for my sister’s children. You can read them here and here! Blurb.com printed the books beautifully and now they hang out with my adorable nephews. Those books were my first attempts at watercolor painting and ended up being the jumping off point for this business. Not too bad I thought!
The designs I created from these illustrations seemed like a good initial batch of products and, in addition, I created a few new designs to add to the mix. I expanded on the “Ella” design and created a “thank you” and “hello” set to balance out the number of watercolor versus calligraphy designs. I took a few calligraphy classes (see which ones here) in the beginning of this whole endeavor with the intention of offering calligraphy envelope addressing. Maybe I’ll get there one day, but it helped me expand my product line during this initial process.
At this point I was also thinking about how to sell the stationery (a topic I’ll expand on in a later post) and was doing research into Etsy stores. Etsy encourages their sellers to open their shops as soon as possible and to remember that “done is better than perfect.” I trusted their advice and moved through this stage, step two, relatively quickly.
Now I had some designs. Great! They were all on my computer though so I had to figure out how to turn my photoshop files into actual stationery. O hey, step three… coming up next!