How Woolblossom Began / a 2 Year Retrospective

How Woolblossom Began / a 2 Year Retrospective

How Woolblossom Began / a 2 Year Retrospective

August marks TWO whole years since I started Woolblossom. Well. Okay I guess not REALLY since it wasn't CALLED Woolblossom at the time- that came about 9 months later. But. Two years since I started my own shop!!

I thought with this benchmark coming up, it would be a good time to refresh my website and invest some $$$ into a theme I really enjoy, hence why everything looks different! I also thought it would be a really good idea to use this little blog feature that Shopify has to have an area for news and updates, so for the first post I thought I'd do a little retrospective on the last two years :)

The ~lore~ of Woolblossom began:

The year was 2020....
I was in the middle of my Sophomore year of college, starting the spring semester. At this point I had been working at the library on my college campus as one of the front desk people that you ask questions to and who checks out your books and all that.
Photo of the side of the library counter, not much visible but some books.
Well. Given that it was 2020, the pandemic happened. We got a tiny emergency pay for a bit, but then that ran out once the semester ended. I was SO lucky to qualify for unemployment for that bit of summer where they couldn't pay us and we couldn't work, but once the fall started it would run out and I needed a job since for 7.25$ an hour during peak COVID I was NOT going to work at a place on campus where I interacted with a ton of people.

So I quit. At the start of July, I started to apply to some other places since, you know, I needed money to survive. I applied EVERYWHERE I could, Walgreens, Walmart, Texas Roadhouse- literally everyplace I thought I could handle. And. Not a single one hired me LOL. I had at that point a year's worth of experience at the library, on top of a high GPA, and a few extra curriculars- yet for some reason I didn't even get an interview.

Well I NEEDED a job. I was living in an apartment, had bills and groceries I had to buy. So while I continued applying places that couldn't even take the time to send a rejection, I looked at the two stickers I'd at made up to that point.
Photo of two stickers, one being a redraw of the cover of Barbie Nutcracker and the other, bigger one, being a white woman with strawberry blonde hair pulled into a hat with strawberries growing on top.
You see, back in 2019 I had a sticker outsourced on a whim, literally for fun (that being the Nutcracker one on the right). I tried to sell it on like Twitter by saying "if you want one DM me!" and sold none. In August of 2020, I made this strawberry blonde piece that I REALLY loved, and I decided, again on a whim, to have it made into a sticker!

So I looked at these, and the jobs I was NOT getting, and decided you know what? I might as well put these on a shop site. So with exactly the two products you see up there, on August 18th of 2020, I did.
A screenshot of my original shop site with the two stickers listed
That's literally where it all began! I started on Big Cartel since you can have 5 listings for free (Ko-fi had not started their free shop option at the time). In that first month, I got 3 orders and made 18$.
In September I started to go to my local Walgreens to have photo prints made for super cheap and expanded my offerings a little bit! I also did a sticker sheet pre-order  which- quite a jump to make in month two. I did it though!
A digital mock up of my sticker sheet preorder, which featured halloween foods
(I also started my Patreon this month, but that's its whole own journey so I'll probably make another blog about THAT for its anniversary) In September of 2022 I got 25 orders and made 154$. This was literally mind blowing to me, especially when I only had about 1,200 followers on Instagram and like 800 on Twitter.
In October I got some paper-like sticker paper, and began to print and hand-cut some (now looking at it not very well made) stickers! This helped me offer A LOT more things!

I had 12 orders and made 93$. At this point, it wasn't enough to live off of by itself so I did continue to apply for jobs- again, getting no interviews.

Come November is where things really started to pick up for me! I offered more prints and home made stickers (now glossy!), and a couple of paintings.

Another digital shop update mock up, with christmas stickers and prints

When I created my first ever piece of Blue's Clues merch (2nd Blue piece EVER) and posted it on Twitter, it got 200 likes (a lot for me!). This was because I posted it when Blues Clues was trending on Twitter and way more people saw it, hence that boost in sales this month!

I made almost 426$ from 36 orders which was GENUINELY mind blowing. If I considered 12,000$ a year close to a sustainable yearly income (which I did at the time) which is 1,000$ a month this was half of that!! I was gaining confidence in my shop and near the end of the month I bought a silhouette to cut my stickers with.

At this point I'd bought a fold out table and set up a SMALL workspace in my apartment living room!

And then, somehow, December happened!

Screenshot of a tweet I made, featuring a digital piece of Blue that says "Blue says trans rights" with her holding a trans flag.

This month, things continued to skyrocket upwards. I got my Silhouette, and could now offer glossy, machine cut stickers rather than hand cutting them. I also had my first ever viral (to me) post- my Trans rights Blue, which got 20k likes which really boosted me. This was also the first time I started to really hone in on this specific style!

I started to offer way more stickers, now all machine cut, and also different sticker sheets I was making myself! In december I made 940$ from 69 orders, and I hit 1,000 Twitter followers! This was. ABSOLUTELY wild to me.

I also went home out of state for the break, so the last week and a half of December I had limited stock. At this point I had gotten a SINGLE interview this whole time for a campus art job and... was rejected. This was really hard on me, but I decided I would quit even trying to apply to jobs and would fully commit to my shop. Clearly getting a normal job just wasn't going to happen, and at nearly 1,000$ a month- this could get me somewhere.

At the start of 2021 I moved my shop over to here, Shopify! Big Cartel was a nice place to start but lacked the in-depth customization and features that I really wanted as I grew!

In April of 2021 is when I decided to rebrand! Stormbriel is what I'd always used for myself since like, age 14 but it was time for something personal and special for my brand!

It took a lot of time for me to figure out what I wanted to be because it's SUCH a big decision and I didn't want to rebrand again when my audience was even bigger. A lot of what I wanted was taken by 10+ year old inactive accounts, but then I had an idea. Laine means wool, and my birthname is a flower, so I decided what could be a more personal brand name than combining those? You can see the initial ideas above lol. In all of my polls Woolblossom did the worst, but, I was in love with it so that's what I chose!

Here was my first logo that I made in April!:

First woolblossom logo, a grey sheep with pink roses on it's wool, with a bigger flower in the whole background.

From this point on, things just continued to (not-so) slowly grow for a little over a year, to where I am now! I make more from this than I ever even dreamed imaginable, and it's all thanks to you guys!!!!

I get asked a lot of how you can start a shop yourself and grow to a point of it being your job and genuinely there is so, so much knowledge to be given that it's nearly impossible to explain it all. What worked in my favor is that I draw cute, nostalgic things which appeals to a very wide audience! So I could have tweets or tiktoks go viral and help me grow my audience. I draw a lot and so have more things to post and more products to put out there which also has helped me.

My advice if you want to do this kind of thing too, is to just start! It can be one sticker, on Etsy, sold from your bedroom. Once you take any kind of step, it puts you closer to whatever your end goals are!! I was not prepared when I did mine, but it worked out in the end :)

Anyways, thank you so much for these AMAZING past two years, and I can't wait for the next two!! :D

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