I sell hand painted leggings for kiddos of all sizes. A common misconception about my shop is that I use stamps or stencils. Nope! Every pair of leggings is painted with a paint brush, by hand by me, which makes each & every pair unique.
I started my shop just about a year ago when I noticed a bunch of leggings on clearance at Target. Being that I was already immersed in the world of online shopping, via Etsy and Instagram, I thought to myself, "Someone really should buy all of these leggings & do something with them, then sell them online." It took me a couple of different trips to Target to finally develop the idea that *I* should be that 'someone.' So, I cleaned out every pair of leggings I could find at the Targets in my city over the next 48 hours. Go big or go home! I started out by pre-painting every pair that I bought with a dozen different designs that I created. I listed those first 70 pairs of leggings on Etsy on June 23rd, 2013 and I made my first sale the same day! [That is so cool!}
Other than my leggings business, I work full-time for the federal government at the Department of Veteran's Affairs. I'm also a single mom to a beautiful 2.5-year-old little lady named Addison. She is my muse & my motivation! I started this business right before I separated from her father, so it has not only provided me with additional income, but also a needed distraction during a tough time in my life. Being a long-time Etsy shopper, I never imagined I'd actually become an Etsy seller too! I'm happy with the Etsy platform and I have no plans to move or expand my shop at the moment.
Between my day job, my daughter, and my busy personal life, I can usually only carve out a few hours every couple of days to work on leggings, so I have turned down several opportunities for growth because I am very happy with remaining small. The best part about running this business is the joy I still feel seeing my creations on other people's children. It's such a great feeling! My favorite design is definitely my diamond leggings, which I sent to Miss Lemon. I originally created the diamond design for one of my favorite online shop owners, Lauren from Feather & Filly. The design has been a big hit & it's my favorite one to paint.
Speaking of favorites, I have so many other fantastic shops that I've found through Instagram that are not only my favorite shops, but also my friends! Some that come to mind are Anna from Mina Loves Bows, Ali from Little Bow and Arrow, Naile from Handmade by N, Mo from Shop Mini Chuck, Ruth from Shop Mini Whimsy, Kim from Wise Birds Co, Nikki from Southern Adoornments, Shari from Un Petit Meow, and Autumn from Ava and MJ. I love to shop handmade and these are some seriously talented ladies.
My advice for anyone else looking to start an online business is to just 'be yourself.' Create your own ideas and your uniqueness will stand out amongst the crowded online shopping world. Take pride in the work that you do & take your time so that you know you've done your best. Also, be patient and have grace. Not all customers will be happy. Expect this & handle complaints maturely. The customer is always right, even when you know they're not! I also learned a lot about how to run my online business by watching & emulating what my successful counterparts are doing. Be consistent, be cheerful, and take clear photos. But don't forget... be yourself!