Corjl Seller Spotlight
September 16, 2021
"Once I became aware of Corjl, I joined right away!"
Today we have the pleasure of interviewing the owner of StarStreamDesign who shares her insight on how Corjl has helped her grow her business these last two years, her advice on staying persistent when starting a business and how much she loves spending time doing what she loves!
Q: How long have you had your business, StarStreamDesign? Did you begin on Etsy or another platform prior to joining Corjl?
A: I started Star Stream Design as a freelance graphic design business over 20 years ago. In 2009, I became a shop owner on some print-on-demand sites, concentrating on invitation and stationery design and started doing well. I started an Etsy shop when their platform opened to sellers offering customizable stationery designs. Things took off more when Etsy enabled the instant download function. Once I became aware of Corjl, I joined right away.
Q: What items does your shop specialize in? Do you find it is more fun to stick to a specific niche or to dabble in other creative areas as well?
A: Although I specialize in invitations and cards for special occasions, I don’t stick to any particular niche, for example, just wedding stationery. I love working on themed party invitations rather than generic birthday party or wedding invitations. My style is eclectic and with a background in painting and drawing, I love using my creativity and take the opportunity to convey a concept with illustrations and/or typography that helps to make a successful piece.
Q: Has using Corjl helped change the way your business operates? Did you used to customize items for your customers before using Corjl? Do you still customize orders and do you find it to be more time consuming?
A: Using the Corjl platform has given me back much of the time that I used to spend customizing invites for customers. I still customize items for customers when it’s a piece that is more complicated, or a design that requires visual effects for custom text or speciality illustrations. This, of course, takes considerable time, so I especially like designs where customers can use Corjl to make their own invitation with my original design.
Q: Have you had any customer’s comment on using Corjl for their purchased items?
A: I have had many customers comment how easy it was to edit their invitation. They’ve mentioned how hesitant they were at first to do it themselves, but the Corjl platform is so user friendly that they’ve had no problems. Being in this business for so long, I have seen a lot of things change and the thing that strikes me is how much more savvy the customers are these days. They want to have a hand in creating their own invitations and Corjl makes it simple. Any designer who is not using the Corjl platform is missing out.
Q: How did you decide to start your business?
A: Star Stream Design started as a freelance graphic design business. I designed brochures, corporate identity and logos, marketing materials, and even websites while holding down various full time jobs as a graphic designer and art director.
I left my last full time job while on maternity leave and became a stay at home mother for a few years. After my daughter started school, I returned to graphic design and came across Print on Demand. I opened a shop online and my sales increased enough to provide a steady income. So although my business is still graphic design, the focus has changed dramatically.
Q: What does a normal work day look like for you?
A: My normal work day starts early and I take about an hour right after breakfast when it’s quiet to respond to emails and orders. Once I’m updated, I’ll go for a run, do pilates, yoga, or weight training. The rest of the morning, I’m back at work, fulfilling manual orders, creating new designs, or promoting my work. A lunch break includes walking my dog (10 yr old Catahoula Leopard Dog/Pointer mix rescue), so I get a nice break, fresh air and time to think. I’ll often come up with my best ideas on these walks. I’m back to work for the afternoon, interspersed with household chores and errands. I’ll sometimes catch up again in the evening on any new orders or correspondence. I love being self employed because I can take time off when I need to and my boss never complains. 🙂
Q: Do you ever have times of uncertainty and how do you push forward when business may not be going as planned?
A: Like many others, the pandemic hit my business hard. Obviously people were not planning events, so being a shop whose business relies on customers purchasing invitations and paper products for special occasions, I saw cancellations and orders dried up. I knew others were in the same boat, so I concentrated on new designs and doing things other than designing stationery (I have a lot of projects and hobbies to keep me distracted). With things opening up now, people are planning, so it’s great to see an influx of orders for special occasions that were put on hold for so long.
Q: How do you personally define business success?
A: Success to me is not monetary. It’s a cliché, but to have satisfaction in what you do is success to me. I love designing and it doesn’t feel like work.
Q: Where do you hope to see your business in the years to come?
A: Frankly, I have been doing this so long that I can’t imagine doing anything else. Of course, I’d love to grow my business even more, but I will be doing this for as long as I can.
Q: Do you have any advice for other business owners that may be starting out on their journey?
A: Persistence is key. Try not to get discouraged too easily in the beginning. Keep on top of trends and represent them in an original way.