Wednesday, December 29, 2010

6 months Zazzle business update

It's been 6 months since I started working with Zazzle and I figured I'd update how it's been going by showing off a graph:

As you can see things have picked up!! I'm sure it was because of the holidays, but hopefully I'll see more of this trend pick up in the next few months. I have to get back on track and start adding more products - easier said then done sometimes, right? It's been a busy holiday season full of some sad news and some great news. The normal.

I don't mind showing off the amount I've made - considering it's not a lot. I'm sure if I start making more profit I'll chose to show only how I'm varying each month, but $100 in 6 months isn't what I'd call spectacular. Right now it's enough to pay a single bill if I chose to.

I'm determined to get back on track and start adding around 15 pictures a week after the New Year hits. It'll be easier during that time - husband will be going back to work and kiddo will be back in school. Currently I've been spending a ton of time with both of them, so them getting back to their routine will allow me to get back to mine.

Expect me to be back on track in a few days!!

*Forgot to add: This was only for my store Alittlebitoffun, I forgot to look at Tshirtsforacause!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Featured designer - Exit178

Hello all, I hope your holidays are going well (to those who celebrate) and pray every one has a wonderful New Year. As you can tell I've been taking the time off to enjoy some quality family time, which has been enjoyable. However it's time to get back on track! I have a lot to get done - adding at least 100 photos here soon. Should keep me busy for a month!

I figured today I'd show off one of the designers I've known from Zazzle - Exit178. Personally I love their animal photos, since I am an animal nut. So I'll let you see some of their work I like best.

I hope you enjoy browsing their store!! They have some wonderful items over there, that it'd take me quite a while to show off all of them. Promise I'll be here full time (more or less) within the next week!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Photography and more

I've been keeping busy adding more of my personal photography to Zazzle daily. As you can imagine I'm suffering a little burnout, but I'm determined to put more photography up before this weekend is over. I'm amazed how many photos I have that I truly love. I still have hundreds to go through to organize and decide if I think they're worthy of being published. Here's some of my newest work added:

Deer hiding in bushes mousepad
Deer hiding in bushes by Alittlebitoffun
View a different mousemat on zazzle

I've noticed some people talking about using public domain photos, and I guess it really bothers me that some people on Zazzle are using photos that are not theirs, or at least paying the original photographer to use it. I guess there will always be people who are not honest or creative. I understand there's no license on them and some people don't care, but it is a big issue with me. Honestly that's the one thing designers on Zazzle need to be - creative and original. Speaking of creative and original, I got to say I found one on Exit178's that I loved when I was searching their site:

I was searching Zazzle this morning and came across a mouse pad that I have to say I love - who of us couldn't use a beach vacation?

Vacation- mousepad mousepad
Vacation- mousepad by ormsbyeditions
View a different mousemat on zazzle

I realize the last one wasn't part of photography, but I had to share it off. So the question is: when it comes to Zazzle, do you believe in being original and creative? Is that what you want to see in others products and what you'd like to buy?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My photography is coming to Zazzle

I've been looking through my photos, and I'm not even halfway done looking through them to see which ones I want to add to Zazzle. Unless I decide differently I have at least 300 photos that will be put up. For now my goal was to get five up, and I think I succeeded! Here's some of my newest pieces:

Honestly I must admit I get nervous wondering who will like my work. I spent a brief 5 months dealing with microstock sites and any one who has ever worked with them knows how strict they are. Every thing is criticized and judged down to the littlest issue of the picture. As you can imagine after a while you start becoming too critical of your work. Since leaving microstock I feel better about my pictures and no longer judge them as closely. They're great photos and I love showing them off!

Keep an eye out, have a great amount left to post!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas time...

Today I want to acknowledge some of the other artists I've come across lately and show off some of their awesome products for sale just in time for Christmas. Some of the artists I follow closely and some of them I found through Zazzle. I love them though! Christmas is one of my favorite times of year.

I've got to admit sometimes I wish I did wonderful work like a lot of these designers on Zazzle!! You can bet I'm proud to show off their work, though. Perhaps someday I'll set my focus on the Christmas photography shoot I'd like to do. My head is always spinning with ideas!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful for a lot...

If any one wonders, I'm not one of those people who goes shopping the day after Thanksgiving. I personally like steering clear of insanity, long lines, and even harder-to-find parking spots. That and the weather decided to bring us snow, which isn't typically common in this area so the drivers are a tad insane. They just don't know how to handle the snow. So Friday I'll be sitting at home, enjoying the warmth of my house. If my husband chooses to go out like he wants to, so be it.. but I'll be enjoying relaxation.

Every year I am thankful for a lot. My friends, my family, security. I couldn't ask for more. I may never be making $1,000 a month with Zazzle (although that would be great), but I'm thankful to enjoy spending time making products there. Right now my husband has a secure job with the Navy and who wouldn't be thankful for that stability/security?

I know for some this time of year brings depression and heartache. I can only hope every one finds something to look forward to. I'm wishing every one who celebrates the holidays a wonderful time, full of love and laughter. I know I'm itching to start the holidays early - it's taken all my willpower not to put up the Christmas tree! However it is very much looking like a white Christmas already, and just in case it won't be you can imagine I took a lot of photos of the snow!

Warm wishes to all.

Edited to add: I do have to add an hour after I wrote this, I am now dealing with something I'm not thankful for. The snow has caused flickers and even though my other computer was on a surge protector, now when I turn the PC on it makes a clicking sound. Not exactly what I needed to deal with. It wouldn't load for a while, finally does... but every time I do anything on the computer it starts ticking for a few seconds and lags. Husband thinks I fried the hard drive and it's on it's last limb.

Friday, November 19, 2010


While this week has only brought two sales, I must admit I'm ready for the weekend and a fresh week. I'm not sure whether or not I should make this a weekend of rest, or be constructive. Sometimes I need a day or two away from Zazzle so I can catch up or just take a break. Perhaps I can convince my husband and son that we should go out and give us a chance to enjoy some Kitsap Peninsula beautiful locations. I love photography, so it's great to go out, explore, and take some awesome shots. I know there's been numerous times where I wished I had my camera glued to me at all times! I'm not sure if we will get out this weekend, it depends on how my husband's knee reacts. He had surgery a little less than 2 1/2 months ago, so his knee still is giving him hassle.

Here's what was this week's sellers:

Someone decided to buy a single baby footprint card from me. I do hope they enjoy it!! It's always great to see a sale, but I must admit it's nice to see them when they buy a baby footprint item.

This actually got a TBA (today's best award) from Zazzle a few days ago and was bought that same day! I thought it was exciting, considering I just barely designed and published it the night before. Honestly I think it's one of my favorite designs!

I wish everyone a great weekend, may you enjoy whatever it is you plan to do this weekend - whether it's work, chores, spending time with family, or getting out and visiting different locations!

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Products

Added some more products today!! These are the top ones:

I always love having fun with items, it's seriously a blast. It keeps me busy, entertained, creative, and fulfilled. It's not always easy, let me tell you! And someday soon I'm hoping it will pay off more. With 2 years until my husband becomes a civilian I would like to have a little more saved up for rainy days and emergencies. Let's face it, better to be prepared for the future, right?

Friday, November 12, 2010

This week's favorites

Team #Hope is a shirt intended for people using twitter who are supporting and sending encouragement to those struggling with trying to conceive, miscarriages and/or infertility.

I love boobs shirt
I love boobs by Tshirtsforacause
Browse zazzle for a different t-shirt.zazzle

This product was recently sold to a person named Allison in New York City, NY. I hope they absolutely love it! It's to support breast cancer awareness and I do donate 20% of my sales to Susan G. Komen's for the cure charity.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Been slacking off

The last two weeks I haven't had one sale and I'm not surprised. This last two weeks I've been caught up in a whirlwind of emotions and haven't been able to get around to doing much. I guess I needed and deserved a break, so I had my break away from designing and going on Zazzle. Have to assume that would mean sales would halt since I wasn't marketing my products nor adding anything to my site. Am I upset? Sure, who likes when they're not making a profit? Am I going to get back to normal? You bet! I just have to still play balance as I'm fighting for time between my son, my husband, being a housewife, and trying to start this as a business. So hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things here soon!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Planning on a new blog layout

I found a great place to get blog layouts, at Leelou Blogs. She does a few different things, but I think I found a perfect pre-made layout that would be nice for this blog to have. I will be excited once I buy it, since I'm quite annoyed at searching through dozen of other blog layouts and finding nothing that looks attractive. I think I'll buy it within a week. Obviously it's not on my highest priority list right now - I've been working hard to get all designs I made put up on Zazzle and organizing all the photography I'll be adding as well. But I guarantee it will be done soon!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thinking of spreading out...

Lately I have been considering joining Cafe Press as well. They're another print on demand company, just like Zazzle. However Cafe Press you either buy a premium shop and spend $5 a month if you pay for 12 months. The breakdown of how they charge is:

$6.95 per month
$18.45 for 3 months
$34.95 for 6 months
$59.95 for 12 months

So obviously if I do join them I would go for the cheapest route. I told Aldon if I could get to $60 in a year on Zazzle then it pays for itself. Now it's obvious I'd hope to make more then $60, but it was just for the sole purpose that if I can use the money I earned with Zazzle for this then nothing has been lost. Obviously not the ideal situation.

Why would I want to join Cafe press as well? A chance for more sales!! Cafe Press and Zazzle offer different products. Cafe Press actually offer maternity and woman's plus sizes, Zazzle doesn't. I have a good amount of maternity related designs and I'd like to have them on a real maternity shirt, not one that was made from a male's size to get room. So that's my goal soon.

I think it might help sales, but we'll see. Obviously it's a lot of work to do it on both sites, but I have faith it won't be as bad since I've seen Cafe Press and putting things up there is relatively smooth. I'm excited to see if anything comes from it. I'll probably get it up and running within two weeks, maybe sooner.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why do it?

I'm sure the question people ask those that are stay at home mothers trying to be work at home mothers is the biggest question - why do you do it? My husband has been lucky and has been able to support us without me stepping out into the business field. I know I don't *need* to do it but I want to.

A little bit of background - my husband is in the Navy, which has been a trial in itself. For 6 years out of the 8 he's been in the Navy he was on a submarine 3 months on 3 months off. It was a challenge, as you can imagine. Now he's shore duty, finally, and we're doing okay. When he went to shore duty we lost $1k in pay a month, which was a big hit. If you think Navy get paid a lot, they really don't... some times we struggle to get by.

I'm not doing this to get rich. I'm not doing it to become a millionaire. I'm doing it because in 2 years my husband becomes a civilian. We will have money stored, but in case he cannot get a job right away or needs to go back for more schooling I would like to know a little money is coming in to support our family. He's done so much for us, I'd like to return the favor and know that we'll never worry about finances.

I know I was hoping to be make $100-$200 a month by the 6 month point, which is now in 2 1/2 months... I know now it's not realistic. I have 2 more years to get to a stable point. I know if I make it a goal to hit $600 a month in 2 years it's more realistic of a challenge. I know it's not enough to support our family, but it's a start. I need to get back to researching, instead of just adding designs up. I joined a helpful group of people who work on Zazzle and they've given good tips so far. I cannot wait to use them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

No one said it'd be easy

I'm finding it a challenge to balance working on Zazzle, spending time with my son, and time with my husband. It feels like there is not enough hours in the day to do everything! It's hard work balancing life.. and as much as I was hoping by this time I'd be making more Zazzle I'm not doing as well as I thought. Not a bad thing, means I'm just not doing it right. However it doesn't mean I'm not getting sales, I'm probably averaging $10 a month. This is my breakdown (remember I started June 27th) of my store Alittlebitoffun:

My other store Tshirtsforacause has had some sales as well recently!! I had some October Breast Cancer Awareness sales this past weeks:

So these past 3 1/2 months since starting Zazzle around June 27th I've had made $40, although I have to wait 30 days for some of the money to clear (in case there is a refund requested). Not as good as I was hoping to do by this point, but a lot better then I did in 5 months of micro-stock. Technically I would have made $1.25 cents off of micro-stock had I not canceled my accounts. C'mon, if I had to cash out at at least $50 I'd been doing micro-stock two or more years for that money to accumulate! I'm happy with my change, even if I am having balance issues.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Eagle in U.S.A. Flag shirt
Eagle in U.S.A. Flag by Alittlebitoffun
View more t-shirts designed online at

Just figured I'd update every one!! I've been keeping busy and this is one of my favorite new items, my eagle in the USA flag! Check that line out, there is shirts, magnets, buttons, cards and more!! I love designing items. I'm not good with the artistic part, so I rely on other people for that. I got the eagle from - they're awesome at what they do!!

I've sold a few items, not much... but was excited to see my biggest sale was 50 postcards!! Made about $8.50 off of it, which is awesome!! It was my baby footprint item:

I've sold a few little items. Someone bought my 8th note smiley face:

I'm thinking of making more of those! 16th note, etc. Never hurts if you sale one product to make something with similar characteristics because it might be something someone is looking for!

The rest of the sales have been my mother. So nothing too big so far, not quite making my goal! In 2 months I've made around $14. Still more then I made from micro-stock! I have 4 months to go until I am where I want to be - my six month goal for making $200 month will be then. I have been putting designs up daily, but need to get more in gear seeing as I have 60 designs waiting to be uploaded. It's hard to get everything done when you're a SAHM and balancing time between family and work, that's for sure! Hopefully it pays off because my husband had knee surgery and we're not sure if he'll recuperate from it, and if he cannot go back to his job in 6 months the Navy might discharge him. Most likely won't happen but I want to be prepared.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Things like this...

I've been keeping busy designing, not really focusing on marketing or selling. Which is probably why I've only sold three items. I do have people clicking on my links, as I can tell by my linkover history. Not many but a good 10-40 clicking on my site a day. I just wish it would amount to more sales! Hopefully soon I'll be able to change all that. For now.. I design, and this is my latest interest:

Christmas present label label
Christmas present label by Alittlebitoffun
Create your own labels on zazzle

They decided to add labels to thinks we can create. Well, address labels really but instead easily changed into gift labels!! Perfect. It has me excited since I love changing out things every so often. Making shirts is fun, but I've also done some skateboards and now labels. Hopefully more to come!

Monday, August 9, 2010

An update

I've been trying to figure out how to balance my family life, designing, and learning more about photography and Zazzle all into one. Have I been successful? Hardly... it's a work in progress. But I'm finally off of vacation and back to working on it! Is it sad to say "finally" in the same sentence as "vacation"? Scary! However, I had all these ideas swirling in my head and couldn't put them to use.

I love designing items! Let me tell you, it is a blast to design and create items! As for marketing and selling them, I stink. You know I mentioned last month I made $2.06 profit and didn't even advertise? I finally figured out how to find out who bought my product and it told it was my mother! Hah. She had some explaining to do. Unfortunately Zazzle's women sizes run really small and didn't fit her... it barely fit me so she decided to give my item to me as a shirt to wear when I exercise. So I'm addressing this issue with Zazzle, because it's a potential to lose sales by having sizes that are not accurate and/or lack bigger sizes. Why should we be denied clothes due to sizes? Who knows if this will change, but thankfully if every one wants a shirt that fits - venture into the males section!! They have their sizes up to 6x and are lose fitting. Much nicer decisions that way, so if you're like me and considering a shirt go for the men's!

Do I have any favorite designs I've made? Honestly, everyday it changes - but here's the one I like a ton that I just made yesterday:

I found the perfect, commercial-use allowed font sign language and it turned out wonderfully spelling out "I love you". I hope some day someone likes it just as much as me! I made it so there's multiple choices of things it can be used on - shirts included, of course! Honestly though, I don't know how to be seen when there's already 32.5 billion designs out there on Zazzle! Talk about a big amount of competition!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The adventures of becoming a WAHM

Let me start by saying I first tried my hand in microstock the beginning of the year and I failed... miserably. I decided there was no satisfaction in selling one of my photos to someone that could use it for their own use and I only made a $0.25 profit from it. I came to this realization when I saw someone's microstock photo on a mouse pad in Office Depot. She may have made $20 at max for a mouse pad being sold for $8 each one. Terrible! So I've been pulling out all my photos and deleting my microstock accounts. I only have about 2 accounts left that cannot be cancelled for another 3-6 months (terms of use/contracts can be a bi*ch sometimes when you assume they're all the same, can't they?) So I still want to try and make a few hundred dollars every month eventually... so what did I decide? To try my hand in Zazzle designing t-shirts, mousepads, and other items using some of my photography, commercial use (and approved) clipart I bought from WONDERFUL people, and sayings.

So where do I stand? I started this endeavor around June 27th, probably have 30 designs (and 500 products) up currently. My sales? Well, I haven't advertised or anything so the $2.06 profit I made 8 hours after I put an item up was quite a shock. A work in progress, but I've made more this past month then I have in 5 months of microstock so I'm proud.

What's my beginner's goal? To aim for a $200/month profit in 6 months. Can I succeed? I sure do hope so. As long as I am determined, add new items, and figure out how to market myself I should be able to get close!

So any other work at home mother's out there? Or even other's with a home business? If so, what do you do and how do you market yourself?
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