Home Topics Entrepreneurship How a teenage entrepreneur started a $ 10,000 online stationery business that...

How a teenage entrepreneur started a $ 10,000 online stationery business that continued to grow during the lockdown

Sydney is working on her designs

Sydney Day Weikart

In December 2018, Sydney Day Weikart, a high school student from Alexandria, Virginia, picked up $ 200 and a passion for handwriting and started a greeting cards business. She used $ 100 to buy supplies to make the cards and spent the other $ 100 on supplies and costs for a table at a children’s fair that featured children’s shops, crafts, and arts. She started Sydney Day Design when she was 13, using YouTube videos to learn about shipping, taxes, and product creation costs. She also took online courses on Skillshare to improve her design skills with advice from professionals. She learned to use color and space effectively and began creating art with her iPad and Apple Pencil.

When she started selling her cards, she struggled building her website and improving her ranking on Google searches. She made an effort to expand her sales and Instagram followers outside of her friends and family.

Her first milestone was in 2019 when she met Trailblazer.FM’s podcast host Stephen A. Hart at a children’s fair. He asked them to create 100 custom thank you cards for his podcast guests. It took her over two hours to hand-design each card. Now she designs everything digitally with her iPad and Procreate, a professional software for artists that offers access to a variety of digital brushes for painting, drawing and sketching. She started designing her own Procreate digital brushes in January and is now selling them to other artists. So far, she has made $ 300 from sales.

The pandemic gave her more time to work on Sydney Day design. She woke up at 7 a.m. to work on her business in front of the online school. In between classes, she learned how to use various Instagram marketing features such as stories, posts, roles, and hashtags. One of her roles focused on the reconciliation of school, sport and business and featured Weikart, who dubbed a line from the reality TV show The Real Housewives of Atlanta: “People get exhausted trying to figure me out – and me just leave them. “It got 800,000 views and more than 60,000 likes.

She also built her followers by regularly posting stories and roles. Without buying followers, she reached her second milestone in the summer of 2020, increasing her Instagram follow-up from 1,000 to 10,000, a goal that unlocks additional features on the platform, such as: B. the ability to embed links in stories. It recently exceeded 20,000 followers.

It has made more than 1,000 sales with TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest since its launch in 2018, resulting in sales of more than $ 10,000. It started with colorful greeting cards and notepads and now has additional stationery items such as notebooks, sticky notes and stickers. She usually ships five to 25 orders a week. Holidays and Startup Weeks are especially busy as they typically don’t have popular designs, including the Electric Polka Notepad, the Smiley To Do Notepad, and the Grind Time Notebook. Black Friday 2020 grossed over $ 2,000 in profit and over 150 sales for its tween / teen customer base.

Weikart is still a full-time student and works on the School Track Team (which resumed competition in December 2020), which requires time management. “I always make sure I write down a to-do list every morning,” she says. “One of the most rewarding things is to sit down every morning and use the products I have developed to organize my day, like my Rainbow Daily Planner and Smiley To Do notepad.”

She spends a lot of time on weekends packing and shipping new orders. In order to keep delivery times fast and the environmental impact low, it was important to her that products and packaging were sourced and manufactured in the USA. Although it didn’t start out like this, it has worked to become an eco-friendly brand. Sydney Day Design uses biodegradable bags and most of its products are paper based and therefore recyclable. All plastic packaging is reused or made on a plant basis.

In August 2020, Weikart started her “Small Business Saturday” podcast introducing other young entrepreneurs like Lexi Bragg from the Happie Camper Shop, who talked to Weikart about the emotional burden of seeking approval, about their experiences starting theirs Company report to social media. “If I don’t get the average number of likes I get on a picture and I get lower, that’s really disappointing and makes me lose myself,” Bragg said on a recent show. Weikart was sympathetic: “People will say … don’t worry about the numbers … but as a business owner, that’s exactly what you need to focus on.”

Weikart recently launched digital courses on their website priced from $ 8 to $ 20. The topics range from the marketing of your company to the growth of individual social media platforms.

At 13, Weikart was looking for a hobby. At almost 16, she turned this hobby into a part-time business. “I would love to see Sydney Day Design continue to grow and create a community,” she says. “I also can’t wait to work with retail partners one day. The goal is the big, big dream. “

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