Opening a shop and selling on Teepublic.

As I wrote in the last post I am going to give a try to all print on demand sites I can find and write a review here. So let’s talk about TeePublic, shall we?

TeePublic is one of the many print on demand sites where anyone can upload a design and have it printed on Items to sell and make a profit.

I’ve very recently opened a shop and I have to say I am satisfied with how easy it is to use and how my store looks.

Here’s in details.

Registration is as easy as drinking a glass of water. You just simply sign up as a seller, add a PayPal account and in a snap, you can open your store. There are zero customization options to the layout of your shop, but you can upload your banner and your profile picture. It looks simple, but it is somehow refreshing. Zero fuss. Straight to the point.

You then upload your first design. Once it’s ready you add a title, a description, and tags. Their algorithm helps you to find the best tags for your design with suggestions that appear in a scroll down section from where you can select the ones you think are the best. It’s a cool thing for someone who hates adding tags, like me, for example.

teepublic

You then go to the items section. Here, once you’ve checked the ones you want to sell, you select the default color of each one of them: customers will still be able to choose other colors, but the default one you choose sets how the first picture of the item selected it’s shown. You can set the best color for your design, and then, if a customer has horrible taste and chooses a terrible shade, it’s not your fault. And none of your business, I would add.

Once done this, you can edit the items you have decided to sell. The editor is very simple. You can enlarge and reposition the design, you can add a background color, but that’s it. They sell cute mugs, but they get printed on one side only because you can’t duplicate the design. Most other print on demands offer this option.

Once you have uploaded all the designs and selected the items you want to sell your TeePublic shop is ready!

cat cottage design teepublic

The payment process is as easy as everything else: every 15 of the month you get paid for all sales made in the previous month. You don’t need to reach a threshold amount before getting paid, you get what you have sold, which is a big thumb up.

Another big thumb up is that they offer the biggest profit per every item sold: prices are preset, you can’t decide how much you are going to earn, but I can say that the earnings are pretty good.

You can follow other artists and creators on TeePublic and you can share yours or other people’s shops and items on socials through the inbuilt buttons, but you can’t favorite anything on the site and I think it’s a cool thing, actually. Not seeing how many likes and shares one item has got is democratic and it doesn’t influence buyers in buying something only because it has had many likes. I’ve seen so many horrible things on Etsy getting sold and liked only because everyone else did, and it really makes no sense to me. This way buyers or other creators will search and eventually share only things they truly like and not just because they are popular or made by someone who has a large following and gets likes and organic promotion. I think that on TeePublic anyone with a good design gets a chance.

In short, thumbs up because:

Easy to set up

No threshold amount for payments

Good range of items to sell.

Clean and cool look.

Great profit.

Thumbs down because:

The editor offers very basic customizations options. Enough, but could be better.

In very very short…I think I like TeePublic very much. Let’s see what will I make from it.

You can find my TeePublic shop here!

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Create a passive income. Make money while sleeping.

Is Molly earning money while she sleeps?
No.

Tina Roth Eisenberg, aka Swiss Miss, once said that it is super important for artists and creators to have a passive income. Having a steady flow of cash coming in allows you to have the freedom and the mental space to create with passion, without fretting about the money. It is absolutely true.

When I decided to draw full time I opened an Etsy store to sell my prints. It lasted a short period of time because it didn’t feel like the right platform for me. So I’ve built my own independent store shortly after. Leaving Etsy was a good decision, but I can’t say the same thing about the idea of building my own independent store. I gave myself a deadline to launch it and I’ve met it (surprisingly) and for me that was it. I had totally underestimated the promotion aspect. With a low social media following and very little interest in building one, promoting the shop was hard. I’ve tried paid ads but they are expensive and mostly ineffective. So I had to focus on ‘organic’ traffic, studying Seo and spending hours and hours engaging in groups, commenting on posts or posting on my own accounts just to get my shop to be seen. It took all my time. It would have been okay if I was a social media manager. But I’m not. I draw.

Are Susanna and Tommaso earning money while they nap?
No.

I realized I need a passive income. I need time to draw, experiment, make mistakes, study new techniques and all that I have to do in order to keep on getting better and better. So I’ve put my little independent shop on vacation until further notice. I tend to follow my guts so for as much as I know, I could decide to re-open it to the public tomorrow morning. But for the time being, my plan is to keep it closed and spend my time uploading my drawings on all print on demand sites ever invented and see if I can get a passive income from those sites.

I wasn’t exactly born yesterday, I knew I needed the money and I knew that I wasn’t going to make enough from my store right away. But I have this funny tendency to self-sabotage. Getting money without working felt immoral to me. I have a problem with self-worth – which I’m working on – and I felt like I wasn’t good enough to have a passive income. Only really cool people, good people, intelligent people can have money without working. I don’t deserve it, basically.

But that’s Artemisia, my inner critic, talking and judging me all the time. I’m getting better and better at shutting her up, but I still have a lot of work to do with her. The thing is, nowadays pretty much anyone can get a passive income – even me!

I have no idea if this is going to work. I already have a store on Redbubble where I sold a few things with zero efforts, maybe I can multiply that result by using other platforms simultaneously. It doesn’t hurt to try.

So here’s my brand new shop on TEEPUBLIC.

Here’s to passive income! Freedom!

Are Tato and Molly…
No.

p.s.

This blog is going to get boring. Or very interesting, depending on your point of view. I plan to post reviews about print on demand sites, share my experience in using them. I know. There are thousands of those posts. I even wrote one already myself, on my old blog. Well, there will be one more. The more the better!!

A very strange summer. But I’m lucky anyway.

I wait for summer all year long. It’s my absolute favorite season. I like the long days and the hot weather, I like to keep all the windows open and to walk barefoot in the garden. I like that when I sleep I can feel the breeze coming in from the window, I like to wear light clothes and sandals.

Most of all I like to swim in the open air. I haven’t been to the sea for many years., but living next to the biggest and most beautiful lake in Italy made the thing acceptable. Swimming in Lake Garda is almost as satisfying as swimming in the sea, even if snorkeling isn’t as good. But the water is fresh, the view around is stunning and the beaches are great.

Too bad that this year, for one reason or another, I haven’t gone to the lake once yet, and haven’t gone swimming as well, not even at the local pool (which is in a marvelous park with thermal waters).

Which makes this summer to feel wasted.

And yes, it’s just started, officially. And I’m lucky enough to live in Italy, where summer is longer, even if I am in the north. We can usually swim at the lake until late September, and go to the beach until mid-October. Then the lake’s water becomes too cold, as it comes straight down from a mountain’s river and it’s always very cold, which I like.

Yesterday, after many days of really hot temperature, we finally had a cloudy day. I say ‘finally’ because it didn’t feel like a wasted summer day, because I’d have stayed home anyway.

Every evening, after dinner, I take the dogs out for a walk. The temperature cools off and there is always a light, fresh breeze coming from the mountains. I go to say hi to the cows, who are roaming free for the summer season and feel immensely lucky to live here. Because if I were still living in Milan, I could not go swimming in the open air in any case, period. And in the evening I would walk the dogs on the still hot asphalt of a crowded street, breathing cars’ engines emissions.

And when I remember this, and I remember how the quality of my life has improved since I came here, I can take the no-swimming/no-lake part very easily.

Stretch, adjust, but don’t give up.

So, life really gets in the way, sometimes. I had to manage some s**t that was thrown at me in the last few days, and it’s something that happens every time I make plans, I’ve noticed. I decide to make a change, to do a certain thing, and I’m derailed by major events. Major events that are never fully about me, but for which it seems like I am the only person in the whole galaxy who can take responsibility for and do something, otherwise, I’ll be damned and addressed as baaaad forever and ever.

I think it’s a test courtesy sponsored by Life. I want to do something, I decide to make changes and life goes like ‘okaaay, let’s see how much you really want this’. Because it’s always like this and I believe that my being tested is the only answer and reason. When I was younger I thought I was simply unlucky, or cursed. But growing up I realized we’re here to learn, and nothing is against us. It only looks like it is. If we could be smart enough to stop being egocentric drama queens we could see that there is always a lesson coming with… s**t. Because, lesson or not, let’s call things by their names, shall we. So, every time life gets in the way (and by ‘life’ I mean my dysfunctional family and all that comes with it ) and I have to give up momentarily what I was doing, it’s hard to bounce back and start again. I have to be extra resilient and it’s not always easy. But since there is little to gain if I don’t and a lot to get if I do…

I just do it. Not easily. But I do it.

Resiliency is like a muscle, I have learned. Like hamstrings. The more you bend the more they stretch. Same thing. If you take it with a sportive attitude it becomes like training. It’s a little fucked up to be training I really like, but I can see how much I’m getting stronger, anyway.

All this to say I have just resiliently bounced back for the millionth time.

Wake up. Possibly at dawn.

Lake Garda | Cat Cottage Design

As I mentioned here, I am reading this book. Lately, I’m a very slow reader because when I have finished drawing or designing at the computer, I feel the need to rest my eyes. So I’m not even at half of this book but it’s okay. Priorities. Anyway, it’s good but nothing new until now. I don’t blame the author though, it’s just that I have read so many self-help/personal development books that finding something that feels new it’s impossible.

Being this book all about how much early mornings are important, I have reminded of how much I liked to wake up at the crack of dawn. Something I don’t do anymore.

I’ve always been an early bird, in normal circumstances getting up in the morning has never been difficult for me. Actually getting up at 6.00 was easier than getting up at ten for me. I occasionally sleep late and, although sometimes a heavy dose of sleep is needed, when I do sleep late most of the time I wake up feeling even more tired and…depressed.

As I said I think many times (do I sound like a broken record?), I’ve been suffering from anxiety and depression ever since I was a child. I dragged my depression into my teen years and then into adulthood. I remember how I felt better when, for some reason, I had to get up very early. I didn’t think I could or should have got up that early every day because it felt strange. No one I knew was an early bird, everyone seemed to love to sleep late, and I was feeling already an outsider enough the way I was. I didn’t want to look like a complete freak who loved to get up at 5 am.

But I loved it and I still do. And it makes me feel sooooooo good.

Watching the light exploding in the sky, feels like a miracle. And then the air feels fresh, there is this surreal silence…it’s magical. Peaceful. Energizing.

Lake garda | Cat Cottage Designs

I’ve been thinking about how habits make us who we are, and how I have let go many of my good habits during the last few years. I hadn’t realized how many until yesterday, and I went to bed angry. I couldn’t sleep well and at 4.30 a.m. I woke up. I heard my neighbor working in the fields already, and I thought that it was already a new day, and I was still asleep. I waited until 5 a.m. and then I got up.

I went downstairs, I fed the cats, made myself a coffee and then I went out in the garden. In my underwear.

The sky was striped with pink clouds, the sun was peeking up from the horizon as the birds began to sing.

I have felt like anything is really possible in this life because it is limitlessly magical.

I will get up at 5 a.m. tomorrow morning.