Studio 404 Paper Shop Launch

Print Shop

I could just leave this image here and run away but I figured I would share some words! Yesterday, I hit the publish button on my paper shop and with only eight products thus far, I’m terrified but glad it’s done.  It’s been a long process just to launch and I’ve learned a few  things along the way. I thought I would get together and write some things that I’ve learned about launching an online shop.

Talk To People In The Game

I knew long beforehand that I needed to talk to a few people who own online shops whether on Etsy, Square, or on their own domain. I’ve never sold anything online. I’ve never created physical products. I’ve only done marketing for people who have. After meeting two amazing Etsy shop owners and having quite a few blog friends who have launched Etsy shops in the past year, I felt pretty confident in knowing what to do versus what not to do.

No Comparisons Necessary

When you live in the same city as Anna Bond and Ashley Brooke (who I had the pleasure of meeting last weekend!), you sort of want to shy away from paper products in general. In fact, you just want to take all of your paper, throw it in a non-existent Floridian fireplace, and never come outside. At the end of the day, your journey is your own. Everyone has their own journey and when you hear “Why don’t you sell prints or cards?” more than once a week, I’ve taken it as a sign that someone is interested. I love lots of paper companies. I’ll still continue to share them here and buy their products.

Facing Reality

I know you probably shouldn’t think this but I know that having a paper shop could fail. There are plenty of things I have to learn from this experience. I’m open to this project being a learning experience, especially after watching the These Are Things WMC talk. I still have big dreams and I still want amazing things to happen! I took a step forward and put myself out there. Life may have some hard lessons out there for me and I’m ok with that!

Support Independent Artists

This isn’t really a lesson I’ve recently learned but I should always be said. After getting into design nine years ago, I learned the importance of supporting independent artists. I’ve educated a few people on helping the people like you or me even who sit up at 3 am taking photos of cards. There’s just a lot of hard work that goes into creating products and I always want those people who are amazing to feel supported. Being said, here’s a fun list of my favorite Etsy shop owners!

A Design Geek – Fun, minimalist geeky posters for the nerd in your life

Ampersand Shop – All things ampersand and bold type

An April Idea – Whimsical paper goods

Cocorrina – Beautiful, unique concrete jewelry

HejJuni – Hand-illustrated fun cards

Jelly Design Studio – Creative  pre-made Blogger & WordPress themes

laLa Grace Paper – Hand-illustrated eco-friendly cards

Knot & Bow – Shipping and crafting supplies

Milk & Crown – Minimalist, feminine handmade jewelry

Of Trees & Hues – Beautiful photography prints

Pencil Shavings Studio – Preppy stationery and goods

Pink + Lola – Minimalist pre-made Blogger & WordPress themes

The Wheatfield – Katie Daisy. I don’t need to say more.

What are some of your favorite Etsy shops? Do you have an Etsy shop? Let me know!

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Angelica Yarde
My name is Angel Yarde. I am a designer, front-end developer, and speaker. I am the editor and designer of Studio 404 whic was founded in December 2006. In January 2014, I launched Studio 404 Paper, a paper shop which includes type-focused greeting cards, note cards, and prints. I currently reside in Celebration, Florida where I co-own a branding strategy studio, Sevenality, with my husband.
Articles: 676


  1. Congratulations Angel, what an amazing step! I love supporting independent artists. I just feel so much better about what I purchase and how I’m spending my money. I use Etsy for lots of purchases from our dining-room table to underwear (overshare) and tons of other things in between. I even bought my bouquet for my wedding (paper flowers through Etsy and got so many questions about it).

  2. I love your shop! I’m a new reader and I’m finding so many great reads here, and I look forward to reading more from you!
    I started an Etsy shop last summer for my custom announcements and invitations, but I found that people were approaching me more on the side than through my shop, so that didn’t work out for me personally. I think Etsy is the perfect venue for things like prints and cards, though. Best of luck to you!!

    • That’s awesome that you managed to take your shop and turn into an income stream for your custom work. That’s definitely a win in my book! Thank you so much for stopping by Emma. I hope you come back often!

  3. angel!!!!!!!! firstly: congratulations my dear, what a huge step i’m SO excited for you!!! secondly: your shop is amazing! i love everything, it all looks so great. i think i may need to snag that ‘make beautiful things’ print for my apartment!!!

  4. Oh, Yahoo!!!! Happy your shop is open! I’m absolutely wishing you the best of luck in this new business adventure! 🙂
    And thanks for including Pink + Lola with all these fantastic shops. That was too awesome and kind of you. Thanks!

  5. Congrats on your shop! I’ve never had the patience to browse Etsy, but I’m definitely bookmarking your site & a few of the others you listed above. I wish much success to your business! #YouBetterWerk

    • *Snaps in Z formation* You’re awesome! I don’t have as much time to browse Etsy as I once did but when I do, I have to really dig deep to find things I like. I wish they had a better search feature. :/ No complaints!

  6. Congrats in this new adventure, Angel!! I think when you put your heart in something, amazing things happen. I wish you the best, the shop is looking good!! I love happy thoughts 🙂

  7. Yay! Congratulations!! I was definitely nervous when I hit publish on my shop too! And, I’m still nervous, but excited and hopeful! I wish us both lots of luck and success with our new adventures! xx

  8. First of all, congratulations!! Your shop is beautiful, and kudos to you for just going for it. This post had a ton of really great resources and inspiration for anyone looking to start their own shop – wish I had seen this last year!

    • Thank you so much Kyla! I think more product creators and shop owners are being transparent about what they go through. It’s fantastic for the industry.

  9. Congrats a million times, Angel! I am so happy for your and so proud to see you following your dreams 🙂 Always inspiring and encouraging for other creatives! I hope your new shop is super successful! Let me know if you ever want to be featured on Milk & Crown. Would LOVE to have you.

    • Thank you Kristyn! You’re so sweet! I got your e-mail and I will definitely be shooting you some notes today or this weekend. 😀 YAY for shop owners.

  10. This is fantastic! Congrats on your launch! Im in the market for some really cute thank you cards so hopefully I can find some within the links you posted or you’ve got some in the works so I can support you! I love paper goods 🙂

    • Oh man, I’m having the hardest time coming up with a good thank you card line. I have a few drafts and hopefully I can get some posted this week. Hope you are well <3

  11. Yay! So glad you opened shop. Its hard to make bold moves but if its in your heart, its there for a reason! Thanks for the awesome links to the WMC and the roundup of etsy shops. Love the selection. Really enjoy your blog – its always packed full of great info. 🙂

  12. Hi Angel! I just found your blog and have been enjoying the heck outta poking around this lovely space. You’re adorable and have such a great style! I have a little Etsy shop that I’ve put out there, but not really advertised much at all. I guess I’m hesitant that its just small potatoes compared to whats out there. I love your products! You’re inspiring meto make ‘make beautiful things’ today, so I wanted to stop and say THANK YOU! Here’s the link to my shop if you’d fancy a gander ::

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