Cases and Cards | Starting my own Creative Business

Today I thought I’d sit down and write about August. This is part of my little ‘Starting my own creative business’ series where I talk about the achievements and struggles that I face in the quest to start my own business.
First off I thought I’d just cover what my ‘business’ is. So, I’ve been a Graphic Design student for two years, about to start a third year at college in October. I’ve always loved the idea of owning an online shop (since about 4 years ago) but I was never totally sure what I wanted to sell. It started with the idea of buying jewellery in bulk and selling it but if I’m honest I don’t tend to wear much jewellery so that idea didn’t materialise. Then, I started playing around with wire and making cute little rings and things and loved the idea of selling things that I make myself. Again, this didn’t really materialise either.

It wasn’t until I’d gained a lot of experience with Design software and researching places to have art work printed that it hit me! I can create prints, phone case and more and have them printed professionally to sell online. That way I’m creating the original work but I don’t have to do the printing, I can just advertise it and post it as and when required. As I covered in my last two business posts, my plan came unstuck when I couldn’t find somewhere to print the cases to the standard that I wanted (I’m quite picky, especially when it comes to things that I want to sell). This delayed the process massively but I decided to go ahead and print the phone cases myself. I splashed out on the correct equipment and was ready to begin. Until I was faced with yet another bump in the road. NOWHERE had iPhone 6 cases, everywhere was sold out and I was gutted, it’s the phone everyone in my family has and I had to wait several weeks for them to come back into stock. At the start of August I contacted the company and finally they had the cases available. I breathed a sigh of relief and ordered 100 cases to be sure I’d have enough stock to keep me going.

In the middle of last month I added some of my hand drawn cards to my Etsy shop and this have been going down really well. I just think they’re a little more special than your average shop brought card and they’ve been lovingly handmade by me, what more could you want?!

So, that’s the story up to now. I now have everything I need to print iPhone 5/5s/5c/6/6s cases at home and thankfully I’ve been feeling really inspired recently so I’ve already been able to design quite a few phone cases. My main mantra I suppose, is to create cases that I would want on my phone. Why would I want to try and sell cases that I wouldn’t personally use myself? So, below are my current phone cases that are available to buy from my etsy shop (click the SHOP tab across the top of my blog).
When I look at these images I feel so proud and happy that I stuck it out to get to this point. I genuinely love every case that I’ve designed and the fact that I have created the case from start to finish just makes it even more special to me. I’ve also got my cute hand drawn card range that I’m always adding to and makes a nice break from all the digital work that I’ve been doing for the phone cases.
I’m so happy with the photos for my shop, I’m trying to keep them all consistent and simple. That’s everything caught up on my blog now. I thought it would be a good idea to set myself some gaols for my shop for the next month below.
1. I really want to sell prints and postcards on my shop too so I need to buy the correct printing paper and a guillotine to do this. After my fail the other month I’ve ended up with a second printer so I’m going to utilise it and print my posters and postcards from it.
2. By the end of the month I’d like to have at least 30 products listed on my shop, the more items, the more exposure which will hopefully mean more sales.
I’m really enjoying dedicating time to my shop so hopefully it shows in my work. Thank you if you’ve followed @shanicolesdesigns on instagram or twitter, viewed my shop or given one of my photos a like. I really appreciate the positive feedback I’ve received so far.


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