8 min 37 sec

Photo Retoucher Strikes Gold with Etsy Shop

After getting furloughed, a working mom grows her foiled stationery business to five figures.
Art Etsy

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What It's About

A personalized stationary store with a touch of gold.

Words of Wisdom

“Make products that you would want to use and build upon them” Patrina says. That’s exactly what she did.

Fun Fact

Patrina’s products have been featured in online publications including USA Today, HGTV, Women’s Health, FatFitFun, and House Beautiful.

Notes from Chris

Episode 1515

Several years ago, while searching for personalized stationery, Patrina Harris looked online but didn’t find anything that fit her modern style. A DIYer at heart, she decided to try experimenting with different paper types and foil to learn the process. Through a process of trial and error, she ended up something she liked.

After sending her personalized notecards and letterhead to friends and family, they first asked where she’d bought it. Then, when they learned she’d made it, they asked her to make some for them. That interest gave her the push she needed to start Patrina’s Paperie, an Etsy shop selling personalized foil-press stationery, printers, and stickers, in the spring of 2016.

One of her goals starting out was keeping her spending low as possible. When she began experimenting with stationery for her own use, she realized that the quality was inconsistent without the right materials and machinery, and those can add up quickly.

She already had a desktop computer and design software, but she needed to purchase a laser printer, foiling machine, paper cutters, and cardstock, which cost between $30 and $400. The total bill was under $1,000—and since her shop was on Etsy, she had to pay listing fees but didn’t need a web designer or website hosting.

From that ultra-frugal startup plan (still less than $1,000 a few years in), her monthly revenue is now between $10,000 and $13,000. Patrina attributes the success to a few different factors including her modern style, the quality of the products, and stellar customer service. Many customers tell her she provides a great product for a low price. That responsive customer service encourages repeat purchases.

In the near future, she’s looking to launch her own website. She’s also working on adding business cards and wedding invitation packages and hopes to sell eventually through brick and mortar stores, too.

This photo retoucher is turning what she touches into gold … gold foil, that is.



Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"Make products that you would want to use and build upon them."
—Patrina Harris #SideHustleSchool

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