How Yellow Paper House 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?

Yellow Paper House started in 2014 as a mother-daughter team with a love of all things paper. With Donna’s entrepreneurial spirit and Kristin’s art background, the shop fell right into place.  We hand make journals, spiral  planners, planner paper and a variety of travelers notebook inserts.

Kristin was going to get married in about a year, and hoped to make a few hundred dollars a month to help pay for the wedding. We started on our dining room table with a few packs of paper, a stapler and an Xacto knife.

It is now our full-time job, and we occupy about 750 square feet in our basement, have bookshelves full of paper, and machines to do the stapling, folding and cutting.

Favorite items

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

Our favorite, best selling item is our Junque Journal.  It’s a spiral bound journal with a fun mix of more than 24 different colors of paper, as well as mix media, black, kraft and watercolor papers.  Each colorful  page is printed with an assortment of patterns including lines, dots, grid,  as well as crazy patterns such as hexagons, triangles and calligraphy lines.

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?  

We were extremely fortunate that sales came immediately. Since we were members of planner groups on Facebook, this allowed us to advertise our products.  We opened our Etsy shop on June 30, 2014, and made our first sale on July 1.

Currently, we use Instagram as well to showcase our products.  Etsy’s off site advertising also brings us new customers.

Managing Yellow Paper House

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?

We sell on Etsy and Shopify. We also use Mailchimp to send marketing emails to our customers. We use Pirateship to purchase shipping labels, and mostly ship by USPS for delivery.

Donna runs the day to day management of YPH. Kristin is responsible for product design, using primarily Adobe Creative Cloud products. Crystal helps Donna and Kristin with production. In his off hours from his regular job, Larry orders supplies and acts as the bookkeeper. Wilson, the Shop Dog, mostly just sleeps, when he’s not picking through the paper scraps.

The future of Yellow Paper House

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

Our goals are to continually add new products to our shop. We also want to continue upgrading our equipment to make production more efficient.

Advice for new sellers

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

Try to find Facebook groups that align with what you are selling to find potential customers. Learn to take great photos of your products for product listings.

Find a niche. 

Don’t expect to become a top seller selling something everyone else does. We were very fortunate to be an early seller in our category.