Free Printable Thank You Card

Free Printable Thank You Note - Gracefulguessing.com

Disclaimer: This post does contain a few affiliate links; you can see my disclosure policy here.

Short work weeks always mess me up.

My blog posts normally are scheduled for Wednesdays so unfortunately I’m a day behind. But I have valid excuses, I promise! ūüėČ Not only are my kiddos back in school this week, but it’s been a very, very busy week for the shop, too. And I cannot thank my clients enough for that! I am truly humbled by your appreciation for my work and your kindness!

I felt it was important to say thank you and give a little something back. Because I simply wouldn’t be where I am without my amazing clients and audience.

Just a little bit about the card:

  • After trimming it measures 6.25″ Tall, 4.5″ Wide
  • Prints on a 8.5×11 sheet of paper/cardstock
  • Includes trim marks, and
  • Fits comfortably inside a 5″x7″ Envelope

So how can you make a printable card look it’s absolute best?:

  • Fold the card before trimming; it just makes the process faster
  • Print on a good, quality cardstock
    • I recommend this one or this one if you really need them to look super sharp and crisp
  • Use a bone folder to score and then fold the edge

Use it for your customers, friends, or family! I hope you enjoy it!

Click here to download!

PrintableThankYouPin

 

Free But First, Coffee Printable

ButFirstCoffeePrintable

My name is Rita.

(Hi, Rita!)

I’m hopelessly addicted to coffee. It’s been at least 30 minutes since my last cup. One day at a time, man. One day at a time. ūüėČ

I’ve found that many small business owners are hooked on the juice, actually. So I’ve made a little freebie to get you through those painful minutes (God forbid it’s ever HOURS!) when you don’t have coffee.

It would be super cute in a kitchen or even your office!

Either way, I hope you love it. So go ahead, get your But First Coffee printable. And then have another cup of coffee for me!

Enjoy!

My Logo Design Process

LogoDesignProcess

Before designing logos, I was very unaware of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating a logo for a business. I was actually shocked when I learned how much time and work it takes!

If you’re interested in working with me to design your logo or just want to peek behind the curtain of my shop, this post is for you!

1.) Meet the Customer

All of the custom design logo packages in my shop¬†have a questionnaire requirement. You might be thinking, “Wait a minute Rita. Aren’t you the one who is supposed to be coming up with the logo ideas here?”

Yes, as a designer it’s my job to make sure your logo looks its best and represents your brand. However, I have to pick your brain because it’s not my brand that the logo will represent. This is why the questionnaire is so important. It ensures that I get to know my client and create a logo that reflects what’s special about their brand.

2.) Jot Down/Sketch Initial Concept Thoughts

I start taking notes before I ever sit down to design in Adobe Illustrator. I jot down my thoughts based on my conversations with the client and their questionnaire responses. I make special notes on their brand name and target audience.

3.) Research the Business, any History/Industry, and its’ Competition

I always do research on the business first. This frequently includes:

  • Checking out their current Etsy Shop or website
  • Googling their business name and seeing what comes up
  • Checking out social media accounts
  • History/Industry Specifics.

Then, once I feel like I have a good feel for the brand, I look to their competitors. I ask myself, “What kind of logo design can I make that will give my client an edge?”

  • Look at businesses similar in size and age
  • Visit their shops or sites to look at product pictures

4.) Narrow Down Ideas

I start trimming down all of the ideas I’ve collected, and if there’s something the client is adamant about including, I figure out how I can work it in.

5.) Create a Mood Board

I gather pictures and color pallets for inspiration based on my final ideas. The pictures are usually something inspiring that helps set the mood for their business. Whatever I used as inspiration is included, and I track all of my work/concepts on it. As an example, this is a Brand/Mood Board for My Business:

Graceful Guessing Brand Board

6.) Start Designing

I start turning the ideas into Adobe Illustrator. It could take a while, or it could go quickly. It all depends on the project and how the ideas come together.

7.) Present the Idea to the Client

Once I’m happy and feel that the design is in a place that the client will be happy too, I present it. This is where I ask my client to give me honest feedback.

8.) Review and Refine

The client reviews the logo, and from there asks for revisions. I’ve had some where no revisions were requested; I’ve had some where they needed more. The point is that Revisions are welcome and necessary to creating a beautiful logo.

9.) Finalize

Once the client is happy, I finalize the logo and create the contents of their logo package.

10.) Check in with the client.

I like to give my clients a little time with their logo before I check in and see how it’s serving them. If they’re having issues, I want the channel of communication to remain open so I can help them resolve it.

And there you have it! Logos can be a lot of work, no doubt. But when you consider that it’s the face of your brand, it is absolutely worth taking the time to get it right.

5 Ways to Find Your Niche for Your Etsy Shop

5 Ways to Find Your Niche for Your Etsy Shop

Looking back from now¬†to March, my Etsy Journey looks so very much different than I thought it would. I honestly thought¬†I would just craft an eclectic range of product. I thought Etsy¬†would be just a simple handmade business. The fact is, in those¬†two months alone, the shape and scope of my Etsy Shop transformed before my very eyes. I couldn’t be prouder of where I’ve landed and where I’m ultimately going. I am increasingly¬†excited for the future of my business.

Let me back up. If you’ve been with me from the beginning or even read my About page, you already know I’m a craftaholic. I am always making and creating something. I love giving (and frequently do give) handmade gifts to my family. ¬†I actually make my husband¬†and kids¬†something handmade every Christmas. So with that kind of gumption, I thought for sure I could knock out a ton of handmade items in no time. The trouble is, I didn’t realize how long it took me to make my handmade items nor the time required¬†to photograph, write copy, and list¬†those items.¬†I needed a dedicated niche.

What’s a Niche?

More or less, you need a specialty when it comes to Etsy. You don’t want your shop to be all over the place, you need a specific craft to focus on and hone.

I didn’t take this valuable advice when I started. I thought I’d make a few different things and see what sold. I started with Switch Plate Covers, Hair Accessories, Loom Knit Mug Hugs, and a few pieces of digital art.¬†The problem was that I was so¬†all over the place that there was no way I could gain a solid customer base. When you’re the jack of all trades, you’re the master of none. And it was hurting me in terms of building an audience.

A few weeks in, I started to notice that my digital art was getting the most views. I originally made just a few pieces for fun, and wanted to learn Graphic Design as an eventual profession. Then I sold my very first printable card, and another, and three days solid, I made a sale¬†on three different digital cards. My niche¬†found me. My Niche didn’t just need to translate to my Etsy Shop, but it needed to translate to my business and blog as a whole, and my niche¬†will dictate my business plan¬†going forward.

Here’s What I Suggest to Find and Settle on a¬†Niche:

  1. Do Your Research. I would be amiss if I told you to find a market that isn’t “saturated” on Etsy because there are sooooo many talented sellers on Etsy these days. What I will say instead, is to do research and find what your niche market is missing. Find a way to put your unique spin on a product and create something that¬†no one else offers. For example, I found that my¬†ideas for cards weren’t out on Etsy. Go search “Go Forth and Kick Butt” on Etsy right now. My card is the only one like it out there. In fact, the printable card market is kind of limited (in my opinion) compared to bigger niches like printed cards and custom baby shower/birthday party invites.
  2. Create¬†What Feels Right to You. I started making digital prints in my Etsy Shop because I wanted to learn graphic design. My physical¬†products never felt as personal to me as my digital designs.¬†I stumbled into my niche by exploring something I wanted to learn and I would recommend that anyone do the same. Are you really happy and at peace when you’re making a particular item? It absolutely translates to your work and your customers will pick up on that.
  3. Keep an Eye on What Products are Getting Views/Hearts and Eventually Sales. I noticed my digital art and cards getting a lot of views and hearts, and eventually sales followed. You’ll know by views that you’re onto something. Just make sure you’re writing really good tags and descriptions so people can find your product. Jami at Handmade Journey offers amazing advice on this very subject.
  4. Don’t Be Afraid to Shift Gears.¬†I was heartbroken that my handmade items didn’t get views right away. I was really invested in my work and I wanted to be successful. The problem is I was really good at something else and my potential customers were letting me know that. If something isn’t working, it’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up. Chalk it up to a lesson learned and focus on what is working.¬†Then move boldly in that direction.
  5. Be Patient if Your Niche¬†isn’t¬†Clear to You Right Away.¬†My niche certainly wasn’t clear to me. While it took me two months, some successful Etsy Sellers admit that¬†it takes a year or more to find their niche.

Now that I’m comfortably settled into¬†a dedicated niche (and it was honestly¬†not what I anticipated it would be at all),¬†I’m slowly deactivating my physical goods as I release new digital products.¬†¬†I do have some plans to branch out in the coming months, but it will all revolve around my graphic designs.

It’s still so funny to me; if someone would have told me¬†two months ago that I’d be designing cards, prints, and invitations, I would never have believed it. But I am so, so happy and relieved to have stumbled into my niche.