795
9 min 23 sec

Hand Lettering Artist Upgrades Cheesy Photo Booth Props

An illustrator gives boring wedding photo booth props a much-needed upgrade, creating an alternative to greeting cards at the same time.
Arts & Crafts Events Low Startup Potential Product

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What It's About

Hand lettering artist breaks the props out of the photo booth.

Business Model
Arts & Crafts
Skills Required
Design & Hand Lettering
Complexity
Low
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

The old saying goes, “great minds think alike,” so it’s always good to do a little research before you name your product or service. As Doris said, “I always buy a domain name first! If the domain name is free, most likely the name is available for your business too!"

And this is really great advice—check to see if the domain you want is available! Domains are really not that expensive to purchase, and even if you’re not ready for a website just yet, at least you’ll know that you have it when you are.

Fun Fact

The benefit of being a designer is that Doris can do a lot of customized work for larger companies and events. If a bride and groom want their names on their Posecards™, she can make that happen. Her Posecards™ have even been spotted at New York Fashion Week and NBA All-Stars games! Talk about a photo-op.

Notes from Chris

Episode 795

Approximately four years ago, Doris Wai was helping her sister plan for her big day. Somewhere in between reviewing swatches and floral arrangements, they transitioned into discussing the props for the photo booth. But as they pored through what was available on the market, Doris realized that the props left a little something to be desired. They were flimsy at best, and the designs themselves bordered on tacky—which was far too much for her creative soul to bear.

As a full-time hand lettering artist in Toronto, Ontario, Doris was determined to do better. She grabbed a pencil and some Kraft card paper and got to work. She kept the top hats, mustaches, and bow ties but put a more modern spin on them. A couple pops of color and some glued on sticks later, and she had a set of props that were picture perfect. And in their final state, they were completely different from anything she’d ever seen.

Those upgraded props were a big hit at the wedding, and Doris discovered that they could be useful in other ways too. She’s always been a “card person,” and no matter the occasion, she firmly believed that no present would be complete without the perfect card. Following her sister’s wedding, traditional cards started to take a backseat.

Instead of picking up a card, Doris started making these props instead. She could still write her sentiments and well-wishes on the back and use them to decorate the present she was giving them. And furthermore, since they were fun, themed props, they could also turn around and use them for selfies to commemorate the occasion. Who needs a photo booth when everyone is walking around with a camera phone?

Since most of her hand lettering work was custom-made and commission-based, she was essentially trading her time for money. While she could still do custom orders for her “prop cards,” she realized that she could create a tried and true lineup of products that she could design once and then create en mass to sell. This could be her retirement plan! Or at least a side hustle.

But first, she needed a good name… When a domain search for PoseCards.ca came up as available, she knew she had found the one.

Fast forward to today, Doris now has 200 designs and has sold over 5,000 Posecards™ in total, earning $30,000. Her camera-ready creations have even been spotted at New York Fashion Week and NBA All-Stars games! Talk about a photo-op.



MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Posecards™: Don't be emptyhanded the next time you need to strike a pose—head on over to Doris' website to check out her full lineup
  • Squarespace: The website building platform that Doris used to create her website

SEE ALSO:

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
"I always buy a domain name first! If the domain name is free, more likely than not, the name is available for your business too. I feel like it's an easy way to figure out if your product or name is unique."
—Doris Wai #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau