How PinkPopRoxx got started

Introduce your Etsy shop and tell us your story. How did you begin and decide on what to sell on Etsy, and how do you create your products?

My name is Catie Lee, and I am the owner of Pink Pop Roxx Design Studio. We offer both printed and digital invitations for weddings, baby showers, birthdays, and more. What sets us apart from other invitation shops on Etsy is that we offer in-house, commercial printing and do not outsource! We also offer custom, personalized designs to match any event.

Since I was a little girl, I have always had a passion for art and design, so my mother was understandably shocked when I went into the I.T. field instead of pursuing my artistic talents.  After 17 years of working in the corporate world as a Network Administrator and Instructor, my son was born with some health issues and I was met with a difficult, life-changing decision to leave my stable career and provide round-the-clock care for him.  It was a no-brainer, but it was difficult and scary, nonetheless.  During that time of extreme uncertainty in my life, I found solace in drawing and crafting.  I found myself feeling passionate and fulfilled while creating.  It felt right. 

I first began my Etsy journey by selling framed wedding pictures and ornaments just for fun.  I really didn’t think they would sell.  To my surprise, they did, and I received rave reviews on them.  Those first reviews were what inspired me to get serious and more strategic about building this as an actual business opposed to a hobby.  I decided to write my very first business plan to put it into perspective.  I knew there was a huge, unfair markup on wedding items so I made it my mission to sell them at a more reasonable cost.  I began by adding a few wedding invitation suites to my shop. I enjoyed designing them so much that I began to focus solely on building an invitation shop and phased out all of my other items.  They started out as digital files that the customers could print themselves.  Eventually, I filled my shop with hundreds of designs for all different types of events and in about 3 years, I was in the top 1% of Etsy sellers and was making more than I was in my I.T. career.  Eventually, I took a leap of faith and invested approximately $17,000 in commercial machinery, office equipment and supplies to offer print packages with envelopes and spent hundreds of hours learning the ins and outs of the printing world.  

Favorite items

What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?

Most of my designs are hand-drawn and digitally mastered. I absolutely love creating Christmas and Halloween invitations the most. I am a rather eclectic individual, so I really enjoy bringing my quirky, off-beat design ideas into collaboration with other amazing, talented artists. One of my favorites is this hand-drawn classic horror Halloween invitation that earned a bestseller badge in just a few short weeks. 

Halloween Invitation Bloody Template

I also have a super girly side that loves all things sparkly, so my Sparkle Collection Line is the ideal blend of sparkle and modern-day elegance.You can add a photo to make it more personal or keep it simple without one. We make these for any event!

Rose Gold Bridal Shower Invitation

Last, but not least, my Sunflower Wedding Invitation suite has been a fantastic seller for years now.  They are rustic and classic and give the perfect hint to guests of what the wedding feel will be like to come!  These are perfect for all sunflower lovers whether they are having a barn wedding or an outdoor wedding with an added touch of nature! 

Sunflower Wedding Invitation with RSVP

Getting sales on Etsy

How long did it take for you to earn your first sale and how do you currently attract customers to your Etsy shop?

The algorithm for Etsy when I first started was not very friendly to new sellers, so it took me a few weeks for my SEO to propagate in the search, so about 3 weeks later, I received my first sale. I will never forget the feeling I received late that night while I was in bed when my phone made a weird "CHI-CHING" sound, and I remember thinking, "What was that?" To my surprise, it was my very first Etsy sale! I was ecstatic! Other orders came shortly after and never stopped! Every Etsy seller can probably relate when I say I craved hearing that sound again; it was such an amazing feeling and still is to this day! It was so motivating!

Unlike a lot of successful sellers on Etsy, I have never used social media as a tool to my advantage yet. I think a lot of business owners think they cannot succeed without becoming some type of master social media content creator, but I am proof that you can run a business without it. Although I do run ads for sales events and holidays, I primarily focus on utilizing proper search engine optimization strategies to generate traffic as organically as possible within the Etsy search engine and outside search engines alike.

I have always believed in the traditional, fundamental business practices that create long-term sustainability by generating repeat buyers. I do my best to create positive customer experiences that keep my customers coming back year after year, and in turn, they often send their friends and family back to me. I spend countless hours researching my industry and pride myself on always being on top of the current, hottest party trends and themes.

Managing PinkPopRoxx

How do you manage your shop? Are you running solo or do you have any team members? What tools or services do you use to run your shop and how do you handle fulfillment?

I currently manage my shop on my own, with some assistance from family and friends with order packaging as needed.Luckily, my boyfriend is an amazing artist as well and handles all my video ads and some graphic design elements. I have a personal accountant who handles all my finances. I have an amazing support system!

I use a combination of software and tools that work well for me. Some of my favorites are:
For designing: Photoshop
For digital drawing: Procreate
For text editing: Corjl
For expense tracking: Quickbooks.
For sketching designs and scribbling when frustrated: A notebook and a pencil 

The future of PinkPopRoxx 

What goals do you have for your shop in the future?

Longevity and sustainability are extremely vital to my business model—that is, to generate a stable flow of organic traffic for consistent growth. Now that I have achieved this goal, I can finally allow myself time to focus on other things, such as creating and building new social media channel content to drive traffic while consistently designing and releasing new invitation themes.

I am not very good with social media, and as much as I dread it, I do know there is power in utilizing it as a tool, and I definitely see value in exploring this avenue for growth. My overall plan is to improve my quality scores, build up my conversion rate, and increase my ad spend to scale.

Advice for new sellers

What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?

My best advice is to be patient. Always be honest, timely, and professional. Learn SEO like your business depends on it and master your customer service skills to earn those positive reviews that will essentially create goodwill and trust in your brand.
Use all 13 tags, every time!
Have a niche for oversaturated markets.
Last, but not least, don’t beat yourself up over the mistakes you will inevitably make along your journey. I have made so many mistakes along the way, some very costly, but I truly believe it was those very mistakes that have perfected my business thus far. A great business owner is constantly evolving through experience.