For the past couple of months I have been learning the world of e-commerce. One of the disadvantages of working for other people is that salaries effectively place a cap on a designer’s income. In many ways this is good. Negotiations between designer and employer could become downright ugly if there was not an agreement on wages, bonuses, etc. But the cool thing about thinking outside the box as a creative person is that it also allows you to think differently on your income and the possibilities of earning in a different way. These thought forms became solidified by listening to a video podcast by The Futur featuring Dustin Lee (passive income genius).
As I became curious about the possibility of earning passive income as a designer, I consequently discovered drop shipping. Drop Shipping is a business model that lowers the risk of investment for the entrepreneur by only creating items as they are ordered. There are a gaggle of different services for drop shipping such as Ali Express, Oberlo, Printify, etc. The platform I have discovered and love is Printful. Essentially, I create the designs, upload them on to Printful, the program integrates with my Etsy store and creates the back-end to automate a whole sales process. It is highly impressive! I choose to focus on T-shirts in the drop shipping model. I love illustration and I love a good cozy tee. The print quality on Printful’s tees is also very impressive. I have several shirts that I have washed and dried and there is no fading and cracking in the print.
The photos above shows a little of the process in designing a tee. But there is so much more to developing a passive income than setting up the shop and publishing. For me, it is getting into the right mindset. My fear of being a designer in the e-commerce world is the competition. By nature I am not a competitive person. I learned this by competing. Back in the early 2000’s, I participated in Swing Dance competitions at a local and national level. I did it because I was flattered that people thought I was a good dancer but if i really was honest I hated it. I did not like the aggressive energy that was in circulation when I was successful or when someone else beat me. It caused me a lot of agony. So as I step into the competitive plane of design and e-commerce I have to explain that I don’t believe a competitive spirit is the right approach. I believe it is about creating and sticking to good design principles. Just like in dancing there is plenty of room for variety of styles and for uniqueness for everyone to thrive.
So if you are a designer, have a bunch of unique ideas and looking for a way to earn passive income then get on Printful!