What It's About
A graphic designer makes the Catholic church look cool again—hallelujah!
Words of Wisdom
We live in a very interesting time because literally anyone can take a design and put it on a shirt these days! The barrier to entry is remarkably low, and this model is a perfect option if you're looking to get your feet wet. That being said, if you want to be successful, you're going to need to find a way to stand out. Find a niche!
Joe has a competition for his design students to create t-shirt companies of their own. The winner receives a copy of Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days.
Notes from Chris
Episode 756Joe Kim spent much of his childhood creating. From decorating the family Christmas tree for hours to convincing his friends that the perfect playdate involved only a piece of paper and a pencil, he was always making things. This passion for art of all kinds followed him into his teen years. Once it came time for him to go to college, he decided to enroll into an art program. The youth pastor of his church took notice of his interest and asked if he would design a t-shirt for a camp that the youth ministry was planning on going to later that year. Somewhat reluctantly, Joe said yes, and began working on the design. For some inspiration, he decided to check out what other youth ministries had done for their shirts. And… much to his dismay, he discovered that many of them were simply bad. Like, wear-for-one-weekend, straight-to-the-pajama-drawer level bad. They were shirts that didn’t make you feel anything. Ones that you wouldn’t mind to get stains on or wear mowing the lawn. Joe was inspired—just not the way he originally thought he’d be. He was going to do something different. He would make a a Catholic-themed shirt that would be stylish, too. This first design led to many others under the umbrella of PAL Campaign, his new Catholic apparel company. He chose the name PAL after the acronym for “peace and love.” He created design after design but for three years, he made very little money. Then, in 2012 and 2013, he made about $500 each year. At that point, Joe had lost hope and decided to close PAL Campaign after working for five years. Joe says that sometimes, you have to wait until technology can catch up with your idea. The emergence of new resources took his business from making just $500 a year to over $3,800 in his first year of the relaunch. In 2017, he made over double that, at $9,201.70. Last year, his profits soared to $21,206.50. He walked by faith, not by sight, all the way to the bank. Joe couldn’t be more thrilled about the success of his Catholic apparel company. Not only does he get to combine many of his interests, he also has valuable experiences to use at his day job. Before the relaunch, Joe picked up a 6-week substitute teaching gig, which then turned into a full-time career as a graphic design teacher. He uses what he has learned to teach his students, and even has them create their own t-shirt companies as their final project. Although the first launch wasn’t what he had hoped, it may have been a blessing in disguise—he came back stronger than ever and now has experience with both success and failure to teach his students. What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world but not sell any t-shirts? We may never know, because Joe is selling them every day.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- PAL Campaign: Learn more about this holy roller and his design brand over on Joe's website!
- Shopify: Joe used Shopify to set up his site for PAL Campaign, and they're offering a 21-day trial and exclusive discount for all Side Hustle School listeners!
- Printful: The Shopify partner that Joe uses to fullfill and dropship all of his orders
- Unsplash, Placeit, Designspiration, & Dribbble: Some other platforms that Joe uses to find inspiration for his designs
- Shopify Employee Sells Enough Apparel to Buy a French Bulldog: She only needs to make $3,000. But when she turns to a side hustle to fill the French Bulldog shaped hole in her life, she ends up making six-figures
- Austinite Creates Radical Girl Clothing Line: After feeling burned out from a career at Nike, this merchandiser looks elsewhere for radical inspiration. She then moves her side hustle to Austin, Texas while relocating for a new job
- The Snuggle Is Real: Architect Moonlights by Selling Designer Onesies: An architect creates minimalist onesies and t-shirts for his own kids—then turns it into a profitable side hustle
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