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Moms in Small Business - Launch with Zero Cost

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Whether you're a stay at home mom, work at home mom, part time, full time, or any other combo of wife/parent/employee/etc, a side gig can sound like a great little addition and too much to take on all at the same time. One of the biggest barriers a lot of moms have in starting a new adventure is funding, but I just added on another stream of income at no personal cost. Check out how I launched my second small business-

My summer project has finally come to fruition: I opened my virtual mom boutique! Talk about feeling accomplished. I've had this idea for a while, just rattling around in my brain, and I spent the last several months cramming in an hour here and there, burning the midnight oil after my wild boy fell asleep, to bring it to life. I also thought it was time I get serious. When you approach a goal as a sure deal, you invest. When you invest, you work to make that investment worth it. Almost like a self fulfilling prophecy, you will it into truth. So I did just that by officially registering The Anti-Pinterest Parent, LLC with subsidiary companies Little Lantern Books and Missing Link Boutique. I am officially a business owner. *Insert excited, slightly terrified squeal here.* (This did have a cost, the state fees for filing the forms, but was my choice to go ahead and do so now.)

This is for the tired moms. The overtouched, overstimulated, overwhelmed moms that crave alone time but don't know what to do with themselves when they get it. The moms who go to bed already thinking about their morning cup of coffee. The moms that try their best but don't always feel like they measure up. The moms who are working as hard on themselves as they are at raising their children. The moms that drop cash on their kids but feel guilty for spending on themselves. The real moms without the filters. We see you, we hear you, we are you.

I thought for the longest time that this wouldn't be possible for me. I couldn't get the supplies and equipment needed. I couldn't find the time to create the things I saw in my mind. I couldn't do this, I couldn't figure out that. But what I've learned in this process is that with a dream, a little research, and a lot of grit - you can make almost anything happen. I didn't have the time or finances right now to invest in the things needed to materialize the custom designs I was creating, so I started looking into my options. Here is how I launched my online boutique:

  1. I made my designs. Using Canva and Vistacreate, I took the design ideas in my head and created them in digital form. Both of these sites have paid options, but I utilized only the free versions and was able to create many designs I'm quite proud of at no additional cost. Paid versions do open more options for design elements and editing tools.

  2. I looked into dropshipping. Dropshipping is utilizing a company for production and distribution purposes. This bit of research was probably the most time consuming, as there are a lot of different dropshipping companies right now. Some, such as Modalyst or Faire, partner with creators. As a business, one can browse the creators' shops for items they wish to sell in their own shops. Some items can include custom labels for the business's information to be applied. Selected items are linked to the business's account and shop website to be listed as a sale item. The orders through the business page are sent to the dropshipping company, which fulfills the order and distributes it to the buyer. For my business, I knew I wanted to be the primary creator of the designs and not sell someone else's, so I looked into print on demand dropshipping. Again, there are many different sites that offer this service. The three I looked into were SPOD, Printify, and Printful. SPOD has a monthly fee to utilize, so I marked that off my list as my goal was to launch with zero up front cost for myself. Printify looked very promising, but upon further research I discovered that they utilize 3rd party creators. While this does allow a larger catalogue of items that can be custom printed and some lower prices, it could be at the cost of quality, as Printify has no control over the quality of the creation process and only directly manages the incoming order and dissemination to the production company and the delivery of the completed order to the buyer. Printful won out for me. It links directly to Square (which I had already decided to use for my boutique since I was accustomed to it due to use with Little Lantern Books), they don't partner with any 3rd party companies for any part of the process, and they include special offers, tracking, walkthroughs, and other information things to help your business be more successful. I was able to take the custom designs I created and make templates of any item I wished - shirts, blankets, mugs, tumblers, wall decor, phone cases, you name it! These items, once created and added as a store item, are synced directly to my store site and appear online for purchase.

  3. You can't have a successful business without accepting orders and payments. As I said, I went with Square. It does have a processing fee, but if you sign up via this link you will get $1000 toward free processing. Otherwise, I was not required to upgrade my account or incur any additional costs to link my account to Printful or create the shopping site. It made it extremely easy to create the boutique site since any item linked to the Square boutique location was automatically present on the site. Building the site was extremely easy after that, with customizable sections and templates. It isn't extreme editing or changes and is a very simple website builder, but I didn't have the desire or need to do any in depth editing.

*Do you have questions about any of these programs, websites, etc? Have your own idea but don't know where to start? Let's chat!


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