Tips for Starting Your Own Print Shop on Etsy

Editing print designs in Adobe Illustrator

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: diving in is not my thing. So, forcing myself to take a leap of faith and start a print shop was no easy task. But, now I have a real, live shop and it had a great first month!

I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received, and I’m so grateful to everyone who has liked, commented, shared, and purchased prints these past few weeks. My first month of business has flown by, and it’s been a huge learning experience! Here are a few good things about diving in:

Pros to Diving In:
  • I’ve been able to gauge which items are popular early on, which makes it easier to adapt and minimize losses.
  • I learned a LOT about things like Facebook Ads, Buyable Pins, and countless other means of marketing that I had no idea existed. I’ve been able to try a few different tactics to see what’s worked, and I can adapt my marketing strategy based on this knowledge.
  • Jumping in forced me to deal with questions and problems quickly and efficiently. One example: Just before I shipped my first order, I decided to create an insert encouraging customers to share their prints on social media with the hashtag #wanderingwalls. Of course, I had this idea at the very last minute. So I woke up an hour early and designed, drew artwork, digitized, and printed the insert to slip in the package before leaving for work. I didn’t have time to overthink it, so I didn’t. Sometimes it’s good to stretch yourself a little.
Carving the Moroccan Tile Print
Carving the Moroccan Tile Print


Things I’ve Learned:

If you’re thinking of starting a shop, here’s a little free advice:

  • Set up a separate bank account for your business transactions.
  • Set up a separate email address to use only for your business. Make all accounts using this address, because it’s a pain to change everything over after you’ve started.
  • Have all of your business-related social media accounts ready when you launch. You only get to launch once, and you have a limited amount of time to shamelessly promote yourself before it gets annoying. If you have your social media accounts ready, people will be more likely to follow you/share your stuff during the launch period than any other time…and it’s the one time you can get away with asking.
  • Think through your packaging. Packaging is a great opportunity to do two things: One is to reinforce your brand. You want your package to look professional and well-designed. The second is to include your website on your package somewhere. You want to make it easy for people to find you again…especially if someone receives your item as a gift.


Do you have any advice on starting a business? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Published by Alex Hughes

I am a graphic designer from Dallas who loves printmaking, travel, illustration, soccer, and psychology.

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