Chalkfulloflove the Early Years:
Warning: This is incredibly embarrassing to reminisce about, but because I love y’all you are getting full access to the nitty gritty.
It was the end of 2013, I had just moved to a new city and I did not have a job. I wasn’t concerned yet, I was going to spend the holidays sipping cocoa with my family and would get back to reality after Christmas.
Do you remember the trends back in 2013? Can you believe that was 4 years ago? Me either. I was super into chalkboards and I remember going onto Pinterest and copying people’s designs onto my chalkboards at home.
I posted a photo of one of my newly copied chalkboards to my personal Instagram with all 112 followers and someone said “This is so good, you should sell these!!.” and I was like ohhhh… okay girl. I will.
I took my really sound business idea to my sister – “Hey, I am going to make chalkboards and then decorate them with sayings and sell them.” She was encouraging enough. We spitballed some names for the biz and half joking landed on Chalk full of love, a little word play! You get it?
I set up my Etsy shop in December 2013 and never listed anything until January. Because, hellooo – hot cocoa and Christmas. Priorities.
Once I created my inventory including some copyright infringing chalkboard designs (major whoops.) I listed them on Etsy and I waited for the cash to start flowing in.
And then I kept waiting.
And I waited some more. Hello? Anybody? Are chalkboards still cool?
Here’s where I started getting savvy. Hey Sarah, I think those designs are probably not cool to sell. Pulled all the copies off. (Yay, good job girl.) And thought to myself who buys chalkboards? Who is my target audience? What problem am I solving with these?
What I came up with was my niche market – brides. Brides spend a lot on their weddings. The rustic decor + chalkboards were super hot that year. So I re-strategized and created more chalkboards (by this time I think I had spent $200ish and borrowed some of that from my Mother.)
3 months from my opening date – I got the beloved cha-ching sound on my phone. I made my first sale. And then another and another. People loved my new guestbook wood slice. (which to this day I am still asked to make. It has close to 30K pins on Pinterest and has been ripped off many a time.)
Now I had to actually make these three chalkboards and ship them out. I remember taking my mom to FedEx and filling out so much paperwork and paying an obscene amount of money to send a small chalkboard out. But, I did it! And I told myself I would streamline everything soon.
Want to hear how I started streamlining and marketing? Join the CFL Biz Community to get tips, tricks and more!