I decided in 2013 that selling on TPT was something I could do. I took a few things I had created and added them to my store.
I then walked away until 2014. I then decided to add 2 more things bring my total to 10 items. I then walked away again for a while. I did no marketing, didn't have covers, but thought it was fun to add to and maybe get enough money to do something fun every once in a while.
In 2015 I found out I was pregnant with our miracle baby after fertility treatments I added a few more things hoping I could stay home. At this point, I knew people made real money on TPT and so I added covers and a few more products. Then our son came early and was in the NICU. I walked away again while I was on leave and then finishing up my school year.
In 2016, I left teaching to stay home with him. It was really hard leaving teaching and I still miss the actual classroom. I was in love with being home with my son and working on my store but didn't really have a purpose. I tried a little bit of everything. I made special request stuff for teachers I knew but then it wouldn't sell much in my store.
In 2017, we added my daughter to our family. I had added a product in 2016 that had actually done well at the end of the year. I decided that I would use that to create similar products, which started my niche. I started joining Facebook groups and reading what I could during the middle of the night feedings. The more I read the more I saw that I could grow.
In 2018 I saw Heather Jo talking about Focused Success and this group in a Facebook group. I started to really look up to her since she was doing this with young kids. She was so kind, helpful, and uplifting so I check out the course. I then waited another few months before deciding that it was worth the money to try. I was creating products to add to my line and after I had a month with enough for the course before purchasing. This was hard to do, my husband at the time was working 3 jobs for me to stay home. It was important to both of us but our money was so tight that even the amount for the course was hard.
The next month I worked on the course and changing resources and adding to my store. I would work every second I could, mostly with my baby tucked in on my lap. Feeding her and then letting her nap on one side while working on the other during my oldest nap time or after his bedtime. That month I was up 5x from the year before.
I decided that I wanted to add pictures to my covers based on the course. The problem was, I was horrible. I worked really hard to teach myself how to take decent pictures and purchased my ring light. While my store was growing I really wanted to allow my husband to stop working so much so I needed to find a way to make money that wasn't going to see the dips of TPT. I did pictures for a few different sellers for free getting their feedback and adjusting to working with others. I was planning on continuing to practice and then maybe in a few months start doing images for others. I was recommended to someone looking for a photographer and this started my VA business. I added several more clients while still working hard on my own store.
I created a few mockups that summer while we were at the beach. I'm not sure why I decided to take my ring light and background board, but I ended up having a lot of fun trying to create some. I continued to add some mockups here and there.
In 2020, I was doing well with both of my largest lines, and then when the pandemic hit, I was hit really hard the first month. It was the first time ever I was below. I ended up working really hard on digital mockups since everyone was going digital and they saved my store. I was able to keep growing mostly selling mock-ups while my education products struggled.
In 2021, I saw growth I never expected. I ended the year being $73 short of doubling 2020. I am continuing to add to my store and doing VA work.
My kids are in kindergarten and preschool so I have 4 hours 4 days a week to work without distractions. My husband is down to 1.5 jobs, we can afford for him to quit his part-time firefighting job and allow him to work his city firefighting job but he really loves firefighting and wants to continue to do both.
I work with the best group of clients for photography. I really love doing it and have hired my best friend who I taught with and is now a stay-at-home mom to help me with prep work. This year I made about the same in my store and with photography.
I often get asked, "what do people really need to take great photos". The truth is, you can start with very little. Every photographer is going to find what works best for them, but here are the basics you need to get started.
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