I suppose it is only appropriate to introduce myself and tell my story about my business venture into graphic design. So let's start from the beginning...
Back in 2014, my first child's 1st birthday was quickly approaching and I was introduced to etsy shortly before that. Ohh etsy is the demon that I now love. The one that when I first found it couldn't stop buying stuff. I was obsessed!! All of these different options, custom options, especially for the first time mom. I had the fever - buying, buying and more buying for my little man. This is when I came across the 1st birthday chalkboard style signs. I had to get one!
I of course am one of those "skimmers" when it comes to ordering something online and reading. So I bought the item and then come to find out it was a digital file only that I had to have printed. I thought it was an actual board that came to me. But I didn't say that to the shop owner, as it was my own fault that I didn't actually read what I was buying so I wasn't going to complain about that, since it was clearly noted on the description (see bottom rant on this subject). But what I wasn't pleased about were the following things: it took at least 2 weeks to get it, NONE of my requests were done and there was really nothing personable about the transaction. This was when my AHA! moment came. Why am I paying for something I can do myself?
My little Monkey's 1st birthday board that started it all...
So I started playing around with designs and developed my skill quickly! I've always grown up around computers and came to somewhat master them at a young age. You see I lived in the middle of nowhere growing up as a child, there were easily under 100 people in each graduating class. My backyard was a cornfield as well. By the way that is like the best place to play hide and seek ever ;) So when I wasn't playing sports or playing outside, the computer was where I was. So throughout the years I worked on doing sites and the like. In addition to that I have two psychology degrees that I am still paying for and not using. Odd I am all of this money in debt from a great school, with degrees that I'm not even using. Don't worry there won't be any psychoanalyzing during your transaction.
With my history of computers I was able to catch on quick to designing! Not to mention so many of my items I sell/sold were always top sellers because they were layouts I made for myself or my own little man. So I personally knew what others were looking for. On top of that I do NOT take 2 weeks to deliver a product, I make sure you get what you want and don't ignore requests. But of course some custom requests do incur an extra fee. On top of that it isn't a thank you for your money, here is your file, now get lost transaction (like mine was). I like to get to know many customers and some we even chit chat about parenthood. Especially those that get my 12 month milestone signs. Every month they contact me for their new monthly sign and we exchange quick messages on how our little ones or doing and just how fast they are growing! Which leads to us following each other on instagram and staying in touch. I love being able to share experiences and watch the littles ones grow up that I make signs for. It brings a different level to my business, the type that puts a smile on my face!
Now I must admit I am not and will not be the typical business blog owner. If you go through a blog of someone who owns a business. You won't see complaints rarely, it will always be about sales, products, happy life is perfect blogs and so are all of my customers. Here I'll keep it real, 100%. Don't get me wrong I am 100% about customer satisfaction and being there to help my customers, the reviews speak for that fact: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CustomPrintablesNY/reviews
But not and then I may rant about my day and some customers. This is a blog. Blogs are about reality. Not about how I wish reality is/was...well that could be party of it too. The reality is almost all my customers are amazing and I grow connections with many. But the reality also is that now and then I get those that are screaming at me through the computer screen. If you have ever worked in retail or with customers in person, you know you can get those types of people now and then. Imagine running into them online, where they have no restrictions on how they act or in what they say awwwww!! The most common issue is what I mentioned before, that these are digital files only.
You see I know in this day and age people are what I call "skimmers" they kind of just skim through the description and item they are looking at and then buy it. I do this all of the time. I can't even tell you how many times I bought something on Amazon and it was delivered and I was like WTH???? Because it was 12311231 times smaller than I thought. But then I went and read the description and there it was clear as day, that this item is only x amount of inches small. So I don't leave a bad review or complain, because in the end that was my fault not the sellers. Just like when people swear at me up and down all the way to China on how disappointed they are because they thought they were getting something mailed to them. This is why I put on the very top of the description of each item in etsy, the top of your receipt in all capital letters, shop policies, shop announcement, shipping info that "these are digital files only and nothing is shipped."
Now here is what I mean when I say I'll be keeping it real...sometimes common sense comes into play, you'd think right? When someone purchases a $7 Pool rules sign, at 20x30 inches and then writes an entire page rant to me saying they thought they were getting a huge wood sign at that price. Do we really think $7 would cover a 20x30 piece of wood sign would even cover 1/5 of the shipping costs? Let alone a custom sign that size made? Probably not.
So you see this blog will also be using for my rantings about these issues and the every day Mommy life. The most amazing part of my job in addition to meeting all of the amazing people out there, is being able to document my childs life and journey through their introduction to this world. If I didn't do this, I couldn't say I would have all of these signs and memories to look back on. I wouldn't remember that on his second birthday he loved making animal noises and was obsessed with his "gaga" aka the vacuum. Or when the date he first went to a school and stopped staying at home every day he loved talking with his hands. Ohhh gosh now that I read that it makes me tear up, because I remember when my little italian boy would just mumble gibberish but having his hands flying around in the air. I'll try to look for a video of this to post in my next post. But these are lovely to have just to look back and remember these special moments and what they liked at that point in time. As when I send final files I also make sure to resize the file to an 8x10 size for everyone so you can also have a scrapbook/keepsake.
He was also my little model on some new signs for pregnancy. Only this time it was an actual pregnancy announcement for us and we welcomed our little girl Gia into the world in June. She is the sweetest, happiest baby ever! Our little man was so good and I would have put money on it that she was going to be awful, especially since the pregnancy was awful. But she is even better than he was and never cries unless she is hungry. I couldn't have asked for a better, sweeter little girl. Now lets just hope she stays that way!
So this is me and my family. We aren't perfect. I let my son have chocolate ice cream. I don't worry about gluten or gluten free. I let him be a kid, within reason.
As yes sweets are very limited, I pureed his own baby food. But now I am starting to realize, that worrying about little everything that the "social media" world tells you to worry about...isn't that important. Of course we had all of this bad stuff when we were younger and our parents were younger and we are fine. So having some "bad stuff" now and then isn't going to kill him or seriously delay his growing ability. It's that we listen, we care, we play with them and when we are with them we act like we want to be with them. That it's not a burden to sit down and play choo choo trains before or after dinner. The house can wait to be cleaned until tomorrow, because he wants to cuddle, because in the end he doesn't care if the house is clean at this point in time; but that his Mommy is paying attention to him.
I am the one that is here to help you design something special for your day or your little ones day. Whether it be a 1st birthday board, 8th birthday board, sweet 16 birthday board, dirty 30, or 90th birthday. We do it all. Invitations, pregnancy announcements, holiday invites, 1st day of school signs, business signs, weddings. For the most party if you can print it we can make it for you! Thank you for visiting my site and giving me a chance to help you create those memories!
Now let me give you a big FYI. When I post these blogs, unless it's a rare day and I have a ton of time...I won't be reading over them for grammatical errors, so if you see one just ignore it ;) Welcome to the real life a Mommy business owner, not the facade one ;)