Interview with
Jennifer Weir, Imprinted Designs

Sometimes putting it out there and making the investment with your time, money and energy can be scary.
And there's a huge fear of failing. But as I've found... Continue reading

Who?

Jennifer Weir is an artist-entrepreneur who runs
Imprinted Designs, a beautiful decal shop.

Quick Stats

What's a typical day for you?

Well my day starts out by getting my family ready for the day. I get the kiddos ready for school, and drop them off, and then I head to the office. I am very fortunate to be able to live within a couple miles of both my home, and my children's schools. Once I get into the office, I start up my Keurig because who can have a productive work day without coffee? Certainly not me. While I am doing this, I start up my printer/cutter/computers and get ready to start the official work day. I tend to print orders, and respond to customer emails first. This enables me to make any notes for custom orders, USPS errors, or any changes that customers might have added later. By doing this, I can plan the rest of my day. It allows me to take note of what orders are going out, opportunities to build up stock of a particular popular product, and adjust for any particular changes.

Once I get into the office, I start up my Keurig because who can have a productive work day without coffee?
Certainly not me.
Jennifer Weir, Imprinted Designs

Around this time my employee usually gets in. After chatting briefly about the day's orders, we will go over what all needs to be done. We take time to talk about orders to ensure there aren't any mistakes. She and I will produce each item individually, and then we check for any errors/mistakes before packaging them up. If we have any extra time before the mail carrier arrives, we will build stock and organize our production room.

Once the mail carrier leaves with our packages, we will clean and power down any machines and then prepare for the next day. We will also assess our inventory and supply needs at the end of each day, and if there's anything that needs to be ordered, we will do it before we leave.

What's the best thing a customer has said to you?

I have had so many customers tell me amazing things about my work. How much inspiration it brings them to see one of our decals above their door, or on their wall. It's very inspiring. We've had over 12,000 sales on Etsy alone, and we still get crazy excited when we make a sale for a new item we created, or get a compliment from a customer. We've even had the opportunity to build actual friendships with some of our customers. It's an incredible experience.

How do you find inspiration?

A lot of my inspiration comes from customers or Pinterest. Sometimes I just think about things I would like, or that someone I know would like, something that would be very fitting for my personality or someone else's and it turns out, it's usually a great fit for a lot of people.

What are the hardest lessons you've learnt?

The hardest lesson I have learned by far, is not being afraid to take chances. Sometimes putting it out there.. and making the investment with your time, money, energy can be scary.. and there's a huge fear of failing and not making it. But, as I've found.. If you don't try, you will never succeed. Even as far as I've gotten with my business, I feel that I would have been even further already if I had just taken those chances when I should have, instead of being apprehensive about it.

We've had over 12,000 sales on Etsy alone, and we still get crazy excited when we make a sale for a new item we created, or get a compliment from a customer. Jennifer Weir, Imprinted Designs

Do you celebrate milestones?

Yes, we absolutely do! I feel like it keeps me motivated. Sometimes, you can get so caught up in the stress of owning your own business that you really forget to celebrate your successes, and it's something you truly NEED to do.

What online tools do you use to help your handmade business?

I really don't use many online tools, I mostly do a lot of research. I've found that streamlining our shipping was very important for maximizing our time and efficiency. I've also taught myself SEO, and that is probably the two most important online tools you could use for your business. Make it run efficiently.

What's the toughest thing about promoting your shop?

The toughest thing about promoting is trying to keep up with the competition. I believe in my market there are over 500 competitors just on Etsy alone. That gets overwhelming at times, trying to keep up and compete with everyone!

Why wall decals?

I went into Wall Decals, because I just had bought some for my home and I said, "These look simple enough to make." So I did research and got started. I was very surprised and how quickly it all took off, my original designs were not something that was hugely offered at the time in 2012, and became very popular, very quickly. It takes me about 10-20 minutes to make a product from start to finish, sometimes faster if I am making them in bulk.

If you were to start another shop, how will you get the word out?

SEO and Facebook! Those are often your best and most inexpensive methods.

Who do you look up to or think is a great artist?

I actually am in a group of Etsy sellers that are also doing the same thing I do. They are all Wall Decal manufacturers, and we have this group that we use to give each other advice, and motivate each other. That to me, is one of the greatest assets. Instead of tearing each other down, the majority of us band together and look out for each other.

What's on your plate right now?

Well, we're currently expanding into offering customized shirts, coffee mugs, and wall plate switches.

We are super excited about the next chapter for Imprinted Designs, but we are finding out this has challenges of its own, which is simply just finding time to start a new line!
Jennifer Weir, Imprinted Designs

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