About 25+years ago, I started making and selling handmade cards. This was a few years before the desktop computer became a household fixture, and the crafting of the cards was low tech. Lots of cutting, pasting, and color coping at the local Kinko's was involved.
The process was labor-intensive, yet, I did have some success and eventually sold cards around the country.
When the PC and printer came into my life, things changed rapidly and my output was expedited many fold. But my career took a detour here and instead of continuing to make and sell cards, I worked as a stationery and gift-wrap buyer for a shop in La Jolla. At the same time I worked in the field of architecture as a sort of marketing assistant (for lack of a better description, I did a bit of everything, except the actual architecture part).
I loved this period, but then life once again swerved and I ended up in Chicago.
I arrived without a job, but quickly found a position with Paper Source. I worked in their headquarters putting together display examples, paper kits, prepping stationery items - another job that was different everyday.
Much as I liked Paper Source, I really wanted to work for myself again. After a brief job with an architectural metals company, I designed a new line of cards, signed with gift and stationery reps across the country, and this time had my cards in many shop throughout the U.S.
I also attended the National Stationery Show in New York, as a vendor. A very expensive (if you don't live in NYC) experience, but one that provided recurring orders in the future.
Fast forward to 2011.
I started an Etsy shop. I began selling personalized wine labels for weddings. Then added cards, bookplates, stationery, prints and place cards.
I've had my Etsy shop for 7 years now.
Selling on Etsy would make for an interesting article on its own, but lets just say, it's been a blessing, but also very up and down. Still, I've had great success on Etsy, and it launched my online design career.
And btw, I'm still on Etsy - you can find me at www.NancyNikko.com
(as opposed to this site address www.NancyNikkoDesign.com)