Planning Made Fun with Paper + Pen Made and SilverKaze
We caught up with Sylvia from Pen + Paper Made to find out more about how she began her creative journey, combining her love of organisation with her creative flair, and collaborating with SilverKaze Creations to offer fun yet functional planning stickers.
Could you please introduce yourself, and explain what you do?
My name is Sylvia and I am the Founder and Creator of Pen + Paper Made, which is a digital shop of fun and planning-related digital goods. This includes a range of items from planner printables and stickers to fun games for special occasions.
I am an events coordinator in my day job, and love all aspects of the event planning process, from figuring out all the little details in preparation for a big event, to making sure everything runs smoothly on the actual day so guests can truly enjoy themselves.
Could you please introduce your platform Pen + Paper Made to our community? What do you offer?
Pen + Paper Made was started as a creative outlet to share the very tools and ideas that have helped me be successful in my day job.
My main shop is an amalgamation of products that touch on my two favorite things: staying organized and having fun with easy, laid-back games.
How did the platform begin? What inspired you to create it?
I’m usually a technical person, but I do occasionally like to exercise my creative side. Pen + Paper Made is a way for me to put some of my ideas that I use myself out there to see if others find it helpful for them as well.
I started this online venture after I had my first son; becoming a parent makes you do crazy things (in a good way!).
What’s your creative process of coming up with designs?
I don’t have a methodical way of coming up with designs; I do it based on what I’m inspired by at the moment that I feel that my creative juices are running.
But whatever I am working on, I may do a few different versions of whatever idea I am going for in slight variations since it’s hard for me to decide on just one thing.
Then I put it out there and see what happens.
How would you describe the typical style of designs you offer?
Actually, I am relatively new to planner stickers so I can’t say for sure if I will have a typical style. But I am excited because I will be working with my friend, Lily of Silver Kaze Creations, who has a lot of artistic talent so I’m excited to see what comes of our venture into this uncharted territory.
It does look like we’ll start off with hints of chibi, anime-style illustrations in our initial offerings. But seeing as how my friend has dipped in all kinds of creative crafts like floral arrangements, paper crafts, ribbon lei making, who knows what other kinds of designs we’ll come out with?
Could you please describe your day-to-day life running your website?
I’ve only run my shop as a side hustle due to work and also life with two little ones, so I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as I would like to this venture.
I try to squeeze in work in batches. So if I’m in design mode, then I will try to come up with a number of designs in that one sitting. As a solopreneur, I wear all the hats, from designer to tech to marketer to everything else that it takes to run an online business. Because I operate in random pockets of time, it’s basically whatever I can get to when I have time, but to always make myself available if there are any customer questions or concerns.
Do you have any tips for somebody who wants to start designing and selling their designs?
The three most important things that I have learned:
- Do some research to get a head start, but don’t forget that you also need to get started for it to amount to anything. If you want to start selling designs, see what others are doing to get a sense of what you’ll be getting yourself into, what things/features that customers are wanting, etc. You will for sure get lost in the rabbithole in the beginning because there is so much to learn if you are brand new to this, but at some point, the best way to learn whatever it is you’re trying to is through your own trial and error.
- This will always be a work in progress. Things will never be perfect but it being out there is an accomplishment. Improve the things that need to be improved, but don’t choose to not put out anything at all until all your t’s are crossed or i’s are dotted because then it’ll just take you that much longer to achieve any level of success.
- Be in it for more than just to make money so you can serve your customers and yourself well. Is it okay to want some extra income? Absolutely. But the amount of effort it takes to be an entrepreneur, to stay motivated when things get hard or however painstakingly slow it takes to do something (especially in the beginning where there will be a learning curve), to serve your customers’ needs as well as keep yourself sane, you have to be in it for more than the extra income you can get.