Hey Besties! If you have ever thought about owning a small business and need a starting point or even just curious about my favorite essentials, keep reading! this blog post is definitely for you! If you aren't and are just curious and nosy (like me) then you’ll want to keep reading, too. :)
Like any other business owner, when I first started, there was a variety of different products I tried. Whether it was sticker paper or a packaging envelope, I experimented with a few before I found what I wanted and needed for the entire operation. Come to think of it, the amount of sticker paper I went through before I found "the one" is sickening.
Here are my top 10 essentials for running my sticker business.
iPad - I wouldn’t have Kind and Brave without my iPad! This is what I use to create all of my Instagram doodles. The majority of my products are hand drawn by me, right on the iPad. If you’re looking to purchase an iPad I recommend purchasing the Pro or Air models. Both are great quality. If you’re also looking to draw on it, you NEED the Apple Pencil.
Procreate - The app where all my Instagram doodles and stickers are created! It is literally the best $10 I have ever spent. There is so much the app can do such as sketching, drawing, painting and even animation. This app is where the Apple Pencil shines because of the pressure sensitivity feature.
Cricut Maker - To date, I cut and print all of my stickers in house... literally right in my own home! This is the best option for me because I can make them whenever and can keep a small inventory on hand if there is a design that isn't selling. My use for the Cricut as gone above just for waterproof stickers, I use it for packaging stickers, custom vinyl/decal projects and random crafts at home!
Sticker Paper - Finding sticker paper that worked the best with my printer was SO time consuming! I must have tried over 10 different brands of paper. I finally settled for the brand, Avia, that I found on Amazon and haven’t looked back since. It’s a chef’s kiss, imo.
Laminating Paper - Even though some sticker paper brands label themselves as waterproof, I use laminating sheets to seal the deal. It adds an additional protection layer to make it last a lot longer. I use the Avery brand found also on Amazon.
Canva - If you haven't used Canva for your small business or even in your professional career for creating content, you are missing out! Canva is SO easy to use and allows me to stay on brand while creating Instagram posts, Etsy listings, and more. It’s really the GOAT. I love it as much as I love Procreate.
Rollo Thermal Printer (for shipping labels and such)- okay, hear me out. This isn’t a necessity but it literally saves a heck of a lot of time and money. When I first started printing labels for Etsy orders I was wasting so much extra sticker paper. I would print a 4x6 label on standard paper-size sticker paper and cut it out to fit the envelope or package. SUCH A WASTE. I invested in the Rollo printer and am obsessed. I also use smaller size labels to print packaging stickers for a return address and even a cute note. The best thing about the thermal printer is that it requires ZERO ink.
Packaging Supplies - I finally found the perfect combination in what I want my products to be in when a customer receives it. I want them to feel excited to open their envelope! Here are the things I pack my stickers in when mailed
All customers receive a postcard style thank you note. It contains a cute motivational reminder that they can hang on their fridge or in their office. This is where I include a handwritten message and all of my social media handles are on there, too.
The thank you note and stickers are placed in a cellophane bag before being placed in the envelope. I have no idea what USPS is capable of now a days so the bag adds another protective layer. The last thing I want is the envelope to go through a blizzard or a tsunami and end up in the customer’s hands damaged.
Everything is then placed in a Kraft envelope and sealed. I then add a custom return address and please do not bend label because well, branding!
Lightroom - One of my least favorite things about running a business is product photography. I know it is SO important but I am also SO bad at it. I use my iPhone for all of my product photos. I personally think it does the job… as it should since of the cost of these things. Anyway, I found that the Lightroom app is perfect when it comes to editing photos. I know nothing about editing photos so I did download presets from another small business on Etsy. I have been so happy with her presets that I haven’t shopped around for others. I use the Lightroom app for product listings and Instagram content.
Macbook - So, I don’t NEED this but it has been a HUGE help with my business so I am definitely considering it an essential. I’ve never owned a laptop that had zero issues haha. But for real, the fact that everything links together between my MacBook, iPad and iPhone makes my business be organized. Yes, I know you can access the cloud online but this is next level. I can even use my iPad as a second monitor with the newest update #gamechanger.
… and that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed learning about the different apps, products and software I use for my small business. It has been quite a journey researching to find what works for my biz. It will be fun to do this in another 2-3 years!
Thanks for being here.
Be Kind and Be Brave,