Email Interview #39: Draik

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Blog shops and websites can evolved into actual physical shops. In the previous interview, Sherine shared how she does that and how she managed her shop while taking good care of her family.

In this interview, another stay at home mom, Draik shared how she used the various free websites to set up her home business while taking care of her 4 year old boy.

>>>Start of interview>>>

1. Share with my readers who you are

Hi everybody, I am a stay at home mom with a 4 year old boy. I have discovered Cafepress in 2005 when I was still working full time. I had opened my first online shop, Keepsake Arts, with Cafepress when I discovered that I could sell my designs on t-shirts. I got addicted after I received my first cheque in my letterbox.

2. What business you are in and what is your website address?

I create designs to be printed on apparels and other products with t-shirt fulfillment companies. I have started out on Cafepress in 2005 and move on to Printfection, Zazzle and SpreadShirt later. I discovered Squidoo in 2006 which I think it is a good site to promote my products and affiliate products. I got addicted again when Squidoo started paying me every month.

3. How does having a website/ blog benefit your business?

Keepsake Arts website and blog bring all my shops together since different fulfillment companies do not like it when you link to a different shop. I will announce my new products and designs in my blog which my blog will then post the updated feed in my Facebook and Twitter. My blog, Facebook and Twitter reached out to different customers in different part of the world.

4. What motivates you to set up your own business?

Freedom is the greatest motivation. I can work as and when as I will like to and still get pay for it. During my pregnancy, I suffered from very bad morning sickness and have not turn on my laptop for almost 4 months. I still receive cheques in my letterbox. When my son was born, I had to take care of him and breastfeed him full time. I hardly had any time online but I am still getting paid.

5. What challenge you did face along the way and how did you overcome it?

One of the challenge that I faced was 99% of my customers were from US. I had to use American English on my shops and website. Some customers become skeptical when they realize that you are not from US. Brand names such as “Cafepress” and “Zazzle” from my fulfillment companies helped a lot in this case. Marketing becomes a challenge when I cannot promote my shops in local forums or send fliers in Singapore as these are not my target customers. It is also difficult to “fit in” in a US forum as I do not understand their politics, watch their TV shows or celebrate their holidays. I had to source for different ways and site to promote my shops. Squidoo is a good find, it pay me and provide me a friendly and helpful community.

6. How do you juggle your time between managing your business and spending time with your family?

A time table and lots of self discipline helps a lot. I work on my shops and get most housework done when my son goes to school. Night time and the weekends are for the family.

7. Any other final thing you would love to share with my subscribers?

Making money from t-shirt fulfillment companies is not easy. Your designs will be competing against millions of designs in their marketplace. The advantage of setting up an online shop with a t-shirt fulfillment company is that you do not have to worry about your stock, customer service, shipping or payment. Success will depend on your marketing skill and hard work.

>>>End of interview>>>

Related post:
5 Easy Innovative Ideas to Increase Profit for Your Online Business


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