My name is Kasey! I am a designer, marketer, computer geek but oddly still a farm girl to the core, a wife to a man who loves dirt biking and mom of two feisty toddler girls.
I am the owner of Pen + Posh Cut Files, an Etsy success story dream that came true when I replaced my income within 6 months and quickly rose to the top 1% of shops selling on Etsy.
I am an SVG Design Mentor, and passive income strategist for crafters and artists looking to make a living online but still have the flexibility to live the life they choose.
With a Bachelors of Science in Marketing, a Minor in CIT, 10 years of online marketing experience and 9 years of doing freelance design on the side, I have quite a bit of knowledge to share others so they can succeed at their online design business.
I was marketing businesses online before it was even a thing..
Back in the day, I knew that I wanted to go into online advertising as my day job, but the college I was attending - and also many colleges at the time - didn’t have online business or marketing degrees. This was before this was a thing...SO I choose the two degrees that would give me the best experience in this area: marketing and computers.
I spent the next 10 years after college helping small businesses grow a presence online and increase their sales. I been involved with marketing companies including Cabela’s, Chevron and Dannon on local and national levels. As well as have helped 40+ ecommerce businesses market online.
After working my day job in marketing for these 10 years, I had our first little girl and was overly joyed at being a mother. My husband and I decided it was best for our family if I stayed home with our children. I loved being a mother but I found that I still yearned to accomplish something, anything, outside of being "mommy". I couldn't understand why this was. I accomplished a lot each and every day around the house, with my newborn, I was still doing freelance design on the side even...but I still wanted to do more. To this day I still struggle with expressing the need I was feeling, the yearning I had in my soul and the motivation that was compelling me at that time in my life.
I wasn't unhappy in my new stay-at-home mom role, but I knew there was something more for me. Something I knew that was meant for me. Something that would make me happy.
I had always wanted to start a business of some kind. Over the years I had tried everything from edible arrangements, to refinishing furniture, to selling dirt bike graphics online with my husband, selling thrift store finds, canned vegetable seeds.....you get the picture. I had been on the search for a while and nothing had spoken to me. I would eventually come to dread doing the thing I started. I began to think I just wasn't easily satisfied, I wasn't even told this by someone close to me, and I believed it. I then told myself this is just how I am, this is just what I do. I like trying different things and then grow bored of them or fail altogether and move on to the next.
"I guess I'm just not cut out to be an entrepreneur.." I had settled on this negative thought...but for some reason, this didn't end my search.
I kept looking.
When I transitioned to stay-at-home mom status, this only made me search more....but also fail more. I now shutter at some of the silly ventures I tried. During this period I had also become an avid shopper on Etsy. (Have you seen the neat stuff on there??) During this period, I kept seeing search phrases for "svg".
"What the heck is an SVG?" I wondered.
My years working in marketing began to kick in. I had specialized in SEO (search engine optimization) at my agency job you see, so I knew very well that if I was seeing this phrase in the search bar over and over, then it could only mean one thing...
...a demand for SVG's.
...but again, what were SVG's?
Upon researching further, I found out that SVGs were cut files used to upload to cutting machines like Cricut and Silhouette. I had an old Cricut machine that still used the cartridges but this part was new to me. A few months earlier, my sister (knowing my design history and that I was on the search) had suggested that I design these same exact things! She had called them vectors, but SVG wasn't another name. I had brushed her comment aside (sorry Linds) because I hadn't believed they were worth my time.
What I discovered in my research surprised me.
There were in fact many searching and buying SVG cut files!
This could actually lead to something. I decided to give it a try.
After much time trying to figure out how to make an SVG file in my graphic design program - my minor in computers helping figure out this techy part - I sent it off to my sister for her to test on her cutting machine. I waited anxiously by my phone to hear the results until finally she called me back and told me it had worked!
This lit a fire under me. Over the next several days I worked on designing several product designs and preparing them to be listed on Etsy. I didn't put much thought at all into my Etsy shop, this was all an experiment to me. Who knew if this would even work?
When I had everything ready I listed them on Etsy and waited. I was convinced these very simple clipart style designs weren't going to sell.....but I was still anxious to see what would happen.
Much to my surprise, the first sale came in the very first day of launching!
I was ecstatic! Could it really be this lucrative? I was going to find out..
Over the next six months I was off to the races. I would work while my newborn slept, and after she went to bed since waking early with a newborn is impossible!
Within six months, or eight months if you include the two months were I did nothing but puke due to morning sickness with baby #2 on the way!)...
....but within six months of adding new products and hustling, I was able to replace my full time income and rise to the top 1% of shops selling on Etsy.
This was a dream come true, and I couldn't believe it was happening to me.
WHY I DO WHAT I DO
Several years have passed now and I am still designing and selling cut files on Etsy. The best part is that I can see myself doing this same thing for years to come! There is nothing I love more than popping in my airpods, turning on my favorite tunes and letting my creative mind loose on digital designs!
At first my family and friends would come to me asking how I was doing this and able to see so much success in a short period of time. Then eventually I started having complete strangers message me on Facebook and Instagram asking the same thing. They would ask:
...I now also teach others how to build passive income online through selling designs. In addition to this I also teach crafters and artists the ins and outs of the leading vector design software on the market today, Adobe Illustrator - which is the same program I have used to design my cut files from day one.
I believe everyone has creativity instilled in them at birth. Graphic design is a way to do what you naturally love and express your creativity while earning a passive income at the same time. Design once then sell your designs over and over again so you can focus on the more important things in life. It’s possible, I promise. Come on this journey with me and let's create together