Beginning A $3K/Month Stoic Knowledge Impressed Arts Etsy Retailer Whereas


Whats up! Who’re you and what enterprise did you begin?

Hello, my identify is Jeff and I began Stoic Muse final 12 months as a artistic facet challenge. I’m at the moment promoting about 100-150 t-shirts monthly ($3K income) with round a 40% margin. I’m hoping to promote 500 in December!


What’s your backstory and the way did you provide you with the thought?

I spent 2019 residing in Bali Indonesia doing the “digital nomad” factor. I used to be constructing an Amazon FBA enterprise however was getting tremendous burned out. I needed to start out a artistic facet challenge that will permit me to be taught graphic design and promote on a brand new platform.

Etsy appeared like a breath of recent air coming from the soul-sucking Amazon Vendor Central (if ). Here’s a pic of me “digital nomading” in Bali:


Certainly one of my favourite issues to do in Bali was to experience my motorcycle round and hearken to audiobooks (loopy proper?). I listened to The Impediment is the Method by Ryan Vacation on repeat and was actually impressed by the underlying Stoic Philosophy themes. I assumed it will be cool to make some artwork impressed by Marcus Aurelius (who’s the OG Stoic Thinker), after which use a Print on Demand firm to meet the merch. I wasn’t completely positive what essentially the most worthwhile PoD merchandise had been, so I began out designing t-shirts, stickers, and posters.

Take us by way of the method of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

About 90% of the merchandise I’ve bought on Etsy are Print on Demand (principally graphic T-shirts and stickers). Designing “Print on Demand” merchandise is extraordinarily straightforward. There aren’t any upfront prices for prototyping or manufacturing. All the things hinges on making cool artwork and placing it in entrance of the correct viewers. Listed here are a number of of my first sticker designs:




Describe the method of launching the enterprise.

I opened an Etsy store means again in 2016 to promote a few of my woodworking artwork however by no means ended up following by way of with it. I modified the store identify to Stoic Muse and linked Printful (Print on Demand Achievement companion).

I needed to experiment with a number of different PoD platforms so I made a decision to submit all of my designs to Merch by Amazon, Redbubble, and a few others. Over time, it turned apparent that Etsy had the very best gross sales, so I slowly stopped posting on the opposite platforms.

Since launch, what has labored to draw and retain clients?

One factor that actually helps in constructing credibility and belief on Etsy is getting optimistic buyer opinions. There may be an choice within the Printful settings the place you may add a message to your receipts, which makes it tremendous straightforward to ask clients for a assessment. As of this writing, I’ve nearly 200 (5) star opinions on my Etsy store. Right here is the copy that I connect to every receipt;

Thanks a lot to your order! If there’s the rest I can do, or when you’ve got any points please don’t hesitate to succeed in out!
In case you may go away an Etsy assessment I might actually admire it!
Thanks a lot, -Jeff

One other tremendous great tool is known as Erank. It’s an website positioning instrument that takes the guesswork out of selecting key phrases and tagging in Etsy. It’s solely $10/month (I believe) and is nicely price it for my part.

My social media presence is full rubbish, sadly. I’ve by no means invested the time in studying tips on how to develop on any of the main platforms and don’t have any want to. If this little enterprise continues to develop, I’ll simply throw cash at somebody to deal with it for me. I fucking hate “content creation”. I hate the entire idea of creating countless disposable content material, however I additionally understand that my dangerous perspective is simply hurting me and my burgeoning model.

How are you doing in the present day and what does the long run appear like?

Nicely, this 12 months has been fucking loopy, to say the least, however so far as this little enterprise goes, issues are good. Gross sales are slowly rising, and a small variety of folks appear to dig the artwork that I’m making, which is a REALLY good feeling.

So far as the long run goes, I believe I’ll proceed to submit new designs each time inspiration strikes and hopefully proceed to develop gross sales.


Via beginning the enterprise, have you ever discovered something notably useful or advantageous?

I actually assume there’s a TON of alternative on Etsy. Plenty of eCommerce entrepreneurs look down on it because the “mom seller platform”, however personally I don’t give a shit. I’ve seen comparatively fast development on Etsy, and the shoppers are typically means nicer than the everyday Amazon buyer in my expertise.

Margins on t-shirt gross sales are skinny, and working Fb adverts profitably is sort of inconceivable. I solely spent a number of hundred {dollars} on FB adverts and broke even at finest.

When COVID-19 hit in March, my Print on Demand companion went down HARD for months. I used to be solely getting a few orders per day at that time, however the success instances for these orders went as much as over a month. I believe the most important lesson I discovered is to not put your entire PoD eggs in a single basket. I ended up distributing loads of my designs throughout a number of PoD platforms (Printify, Merch by Amazon, Threadless, and many others), to mitigate any future disasters that might take certainly one of them down.

What platform/instruments do you employ for your small business?

What have been essentially the most influential books, podcasts, or different assets?

Not too long ago I’ve been actually impressed by the content material that Daniel Inskeep places out on YouTube. In fact, I nonetheless love looking all of the superb content material on Starter Story too as a premium member!


Recommendation for different entrepreneurs who need to get began or are simply beginning?

Some random PoD enterprise takeaways:

  • Create a design with the medium in thoughts. In different phrases, a t-shirt design may not work as nicely on a espresso mug. I see loads of different PoD sellers simply slap the identical design on a dozen totally different merchandise and the result’s often dangerous.
  • In case you ask for opinions, folks will give them. I’ve acquired nearly 200 opinions as a result of I added a word with every order asking for an Etsy assessment.
  • eRank is a useful website positioning instrument to refill all of the tags.
  • There are tons of various PoD merchandise obtainable, however the t-shirts bought the very best.
  • Margins on t-shirt gross sales are skinny, and working Fb adverts profitably is sort of inconceivable. I solely spent a number of hundred {dollars} on FB adverts and broke even at finest.

Are you trying to rent for sure positions proper now?

No, however I might love to attach with different Etsy store house owners who want to develop!

The place can we go to be taught extra?

If in case you have any questions or feedback, drop a remark under!


Founding father of Stoic Muse

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