Hi! I’m Cara from The Wedding Guest Book Co. I’m new-ish to Etsy having started my business 1 year ago. My dream has always been to work from home so that I have the freedom to do what I want when I want to. And now, I’m ever so grateful to say that I’m now doing this!
I make wedding guest books… as my business name suggests. I never thought that this is what I’d be doing but after making one for a friend and then having plenty of enquiries from family and friends as to if they too could have one I decided to use what I had learnt through Stuart’s courses and put it all into practice and see if setting up an Etsy store was worth the effort. I used all of my keyword research skills that I’d gained and found out that wedding books were a hit and had the confidence going in that it was going to work so I went for it!
After 2-3 months I’d hit my 12 month goal. This was fantastic, but because of this I still haven’t started setting up my prints makes profit store. Saying that, it is on the ‘to do’ list.
The biggest challenge that I’ve had was keeping up when orders picked up fast. I knew that I’d need some systems in place but thought that I’d wait until I got bigger before I created and implemented them. But sales picked up as I went into the Australian wedding season a few months after opening my store and I couldn’t find the time to do this as the orders were my focus. As soon as I got through that wave of sales the first thing I did was put together systems. They’re now developed but they’re all in my head at the moment which isn’t smart as if for any reason I need someone to step in they wouldn’t know what to do and my business would suffer. My job over the Christmas break is to document my systems. To create a live document that I can review and improve regularly and share with my first employee that will be starting with me in 2017. If I had have put more focus into my systems back in the beginning I would have found my feet a lot easier when entering into my first big wedding season for the year.
When I opened my store I had a ‘day job’ working 4 days a week. 6 months later I was able to leave. I say that I work from home full time, but now that I’ve got systems set up ‘full time’ actually means that I choose when I want to work and how many hours I put in. It’s still a lot of hours and a lot of hard work (made easy because I love it) but it is oh so rewarding. With careful planning I can take off any day that I choose.
For me it was educating myself before I jumped in so that I was confident in myself and the decisions I was making.
From sharing my story I want you to know that it is possible to live your dream and I hope that it inspires you to live your dream, too!
Many thanks Stuart for the opportunity to share my story.
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