Welcome to another Tuesday Tale! Today we chat with Jennifer from Pink Lily Press in Washington. As is the tale of many crafters, Jennifer first began selling her work as a way to make money to buy more crafting supplies. "A few friends that I was taking a jewelry making course with introduced me to Etsy, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make some money to buy more beads!" she laughs.

It didn't take long, however, for Jennifer to realise that jewelry is a challenging market to jump into on Etsy. "There are so many talented jewelry makers out there that it's difficult to stand out," she laments. Luckily, Jennifer had a back up set of skills: "I had been making greeting cards using scrapbook paper since college and I decided it would be fun to start selling cards."

After playing around with designing some of her own cards, Jennifer realised how few wedding invitation designers there were on Etsy. "As soon as I started designing wedding invitations, my business took off," she recalls. "I left my job in the mortgage industry in May of 2008 to focus on Pink Lily Press full time and have not looked back since!"

Through Pink Lily Press, Jennifer primarily designs and prints wedding invitations and personalized stationery. "I also make any paper items necessary for weddings such as favour tags, menus, programs, and other fun paper goodies like recipe cards and personal calling cards," she explains. Jennifer creates all of her designs by scanning in her own drawings and digitally enhancing them, or by manipulating her own photos.

"I love being creative," Jennifer grins. "I have always enjoyed drawing, doodling and learning new crafts, as well as things like cooking, baking, and decorating my home." She finds inspiration in the world around her, whether it's browsing through decorating magazines, going for a walk through the neighbourhood, or taking photos while on vacation. Add this inspiration to her love of computers and paper, and you have the perfect recipe for a stationery business.

Like many crafters and small business owners, Jennifer admits that she has a hard time sitting and doing nothing. "If I have the luxury of sitting on the couch to watch TV in the evening, I usually have a pencil and pad of paper on my lap!" she laughs. When she is taking time out, Jennifer adores spending time with her family ("the older we get, the more we enjoy spending time together!") and is passionate about her home. "Home has always been a very important place to me and making home feel like a warm and welcoming place is essential, as is entertaining family and friends."

Her business is also her passion, although Jennifer acknowledges that running a business by herself is incredibly challenging. "Not only am I responsible for the actual design/production aspect of the business, but also record keeping, tax filing, and all of the other nitty-gritty responsibilities that accompany running a business." She is still learning how best to balance all that is required of her, and thinks it will continue to be a learning process for as long as she runs Pink Lily Press.

That's not to say Jennifer doesn't adore every moment of her journey. "The best piece of advice I can give someone looking to start their own business is to do what you love," she smiles, "because in the end, that's what keeps you going on a daily basis when you're so busy that you don’t have time for anything else."

The key elements that Jennifer sees in running her business are time, a lot of trial and error, and being prepared to make mistakes and learn from them rather than letting them get her down. She also recommends a willingness to create custom items, as she has found that they have given her some of the best ideas for new products. Finally, she says, "Be prepared to evolve. As your business grows, you may discover that a different product is more likely to bring in more customers."

To continue following Jennifer's journey, you can find her at her blog, on Facebook and on Twitter. To check out her gorgeous goodies, head across to her Etsy shop, 1000 Markets shop, or her website.

Jennifer has generously offered a giveaway prize to readers of Pepperberry & Co.'s Tuesday Tales. The winner will receive a set of 10 Notecards of their choice, with the option to have them customised!

To enter, you must be a follower of Pepperberry & Co. and leave a comment letting Jennifer know what your ideal custom Pink Lily Press design would be.

If you blog, Facebook or Tweet about this giveaway, simply leave an extra comment for each to receive up to 3 extra entries. Good luck- I'm so jealous (as always!) that I can't enter!

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Comments (58)

On September 23, 2009 at 1:30 AM , Katie B. said...

Thanks for the great interview! I love Jennifer's work. I have to say the little pumpkins are my favorite, along with the birds. I'd love to see a custom notecard with a name or monogram added to the bird on the branch card.

 
On September 23, 2009 at 1:35 AM , Christy said...

what a lovely shop! my fave is the floating dandelions design!

thank you for this cute giveaway!

 
On September 23, 2009 at 2:28 AM , debbiekl said...

Great shop! Nice and simple. I really like the bird on a branch flat notecards. The Leafy Tree design would be nice on a notecard as well. Thanks!

 
On September 23, 2009 at 3:58 AM , Tickleworm said...

I love her shop! And I have been looking at shops to buy some personalized notecards for christmas gifts.... I love the chandelier note cards, just to name one, but birds on a branch, hungry hummingbirds...are just a few more.
:)
rachelherzog@bellsouth.net
www.tickleworm.com

 
On September 23, 2009 at 4:36 AM , Brooke said...

I love the little birds. A little owl (or robot, my other current obsession, but owls seem more up Pink Lily Press's alley!) would be magnificent.

 
On September 23, 2009 at 5:54 AM , Jacky said...

So many amazing choices! I really like the Cherry Blossoms, Bird on Branch, and Floating Dandelions designs!

My custom order would be...something for my wedding. (When I get married, that is.) I would ask for soft pale pinks and deep chocolates to make a sweet invitation for my special day. =)

 
On September 23, 2009 at 6:21 AM , Happybee said...

those cards are absolutely adorable!!!!
I didn't know this shop before, thanks for let us know about Jennifer!
My favourite cards are those with the birds and those with the branch of flowers, I would love to have customized one of them with a little monogramm

 
On September 23, 2009 at 6:49 AM , bubbachenille said...

Very nice interview, I must say I love the leaves/hearts invites..

 
On September 23, 2009 at 8:05 AM , carly k said...

Hi! I am new to your blog just today:) What luck I came on a giveaway day:)

I love the simple stuff... the little pears, just an initial, the little birds...

 
On September 23, 2009 at 8:50 AM , Shan said...

I love cherry blossoms! i am obsessed with them so would like a custom card with them on it.

good luck everyone :)

 
On September 23, 2009 at 9:38 AM , m.e (Cathie) said...

oh wow, I absolutely love the floating dandelion & papyrus designs best of all ♥

 
On September 23, 2009 at 10:26 AM , Mandy said...

Cooking is my passion so some cupcake themed stationery would be great! I'd also love Pink Floral Paisley personal stationery.

I've followed your blog and my email is onlinetutorhelp@gmail.com

 
On September 23, 2009 at 12:32 PM , One Flew Over said...

What a lovely interview. It is alwasy so nice to hear of people who follow their passion and end up making a living from their creative skills.

I really love the little birds x

 
On September 23, 2009 at 12:44 PM , malibu.bunny.xo said...

I follow Pepperberry & Co. :)
And hmm, tough decision! But I think I'd get the Stylin' Stilettos Flat Notecards personalized! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
malibu.bunny.xo@live.ca

 
On September 23, 2009 at 12:47 PM , ange_moore said...

Love, love, love those cards - and the one at the end is just for me (printed with an "A").

 
On September 23, 2009 at 12:48 PM , ange_moore said...

I've also blogged about this!

 
On September 23, 2009 at 12:59 PM , Suzanne said...

I love the fancy frame flat note cards the best. If I were to win, I would choose to have my nickname "kiddo" printed on them.

sgregg78 at yahoo dot com
kiddo47.etsy.com

 
On September 23, 2009 at 1:02 PM , Suzanne said...

I tweeted.

http://twitter.com/kiddo47/status/4306346397

sgregg78 at yahoo dot com
kiddo47.etsy.com

 
On September 23, 2009 at 1:10 PM , Kristalee said...

Oh all so pretty! I am loving the dandelions um and the Dahlia's too. I dont know which I like best though! Maybe the Dahlia's.

 
On September 23, 2009 at 1:23 PM , TopHat said...

I love the argyle one!

hrfarley at gmail dot com

 
On September 23, 2009 at 2:02 PM , VeganCraftastic said...

What a gorgeous shop! My ideal design would have some sort of fall motif, maybe leaves or pumpkins?

 
On September 23, 2009 at 2:03 PM , VeganCraftastic said...

Tweeted about this!

 
On September 23, 2009 at 3:46 PM , Your Cheeky Monkey said...

I am a follower :)

My ideal design would be the Poppies personalised notecards - it is a simple classic design that is just lovely. Thank you Sandra!

 
On September 23, 2009 at 7:17 PM , Aik said...

I love the Floating Dandelions Personalized Thank You Cards (Set of 10). Simple but pretty!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

 
On September 23, 2009 at 7:18 PM , Aik said...

I blogged.

http://aik-friendsnfamily.blogspot.com/2009/08/list-of-worldwide-giveaways.html

aikychien at yahoo dot com

 
On September 23, 2009 at 7:20 PM , Aik said...

I tweeted.
http://twitter.com/aikchien/status/4311829289

aikychien at yahoo dot com

 
On September 23, 2009 at 7:21 PM , Aik said...

I facebooked. (Aik Chien)

aikychien at yahoo dot com

 
On September 23, 2009 at 11:52 PM , Mer said...

I would love a monogram w/ 2 birds - very cute pieces! (blog follower - Mer) Thanks for the opportunity!!!


meredith(.)targarona(at)gmail(.)com

 
On September 24, 2009 at 3:37 AM , Anonymous said...

Hi Sandra! I'm a new follower of your blog. Thanks for the chance to win such beautiful notecards. My fave design is the GIANT SENTIMENTS-BIRTHDAY GREETINGS.
Zoe0825@verizon.net

 
On September 24, 2009 at 8:05 AM , Tammy James said...

Oh for me its humming birds! Definitely humming birds ... or maybe .... LOL. I tweeted too.

 
On September 24, 2009 at 8:35 AM , Sunshine She said...

What AMAZING talent! I love your work and will be sure to follow. Getting married in June so looking for some pretty invites..will add you to the top of my list! :)

 
On September 24, 2009 at 11:37 AM , Kat C. said...

Hi, i followed!

i think im gonna go for the Orange Branch Flat Notecards (Set of 10), but with my dad's name on them. he's an environmentalist, and i think he'll love these

katch05 at gmail dot com

 
On September 24, 2009 at 12:33 PM , minishoes1 said...

I love the Humming birds notecards. So pretty! I am a notecard addict. I am always sending notecards to people. Thanks! jacquecurl1@gmail.com

 
On September 24, 2009 at 3:58 PM , Soy Pea said...

I'm a follower

soypea@gmail.com

 
On September 24, 2009 at 3:59 PM , Soy Pea said...

I love the 'bird on a branch' notecards. too cute.

soypea@gmail.com

 
On September 24, 2009 at 4:01 PM , Soy Pea said...

I blogged here:

http://soypea.blogspot.com/2009/09/giveaways-leaving-for-bit.html

soypea@gmail.com

 
On September 24, 2009 at 4:02 PM , Soy Pea said...

I tweeted:

http://twitter.com/soypea/status/4335999231

soypea@gmail.com

 
On September 24, 2009 at 4:47 PM , Designs By Mikel said...

Your an inspiration. I really love your work.

 
On September 24, 2009 at 10:13 PM , Heather said...

I would love to have a damask type background with an 'H' monogram! Her designs are beautiful and fun!

Thanks for the opportunity!

-Heather
www.crafteegyrl.wordpress.com
www.crafteegyrl.etsy.com

 
On September 25, 2009 at 4:59 AM , Michele P. said...

I loved the interview... thanks! I found several designs that were nice but my favorite is the floating pink dandelions here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31202486

micaela6955 at msn dot com

 
On September 25, 2009 at 7:03 AM , Dolores said...

Fresh. That was the word that popped into my head after I read the interview and saw all those great cards. I would love an initial card done in the old style. The old books where the first letter of the paragraph has an elaborate first letter. That would be my perfect custom card.

 
On September 25, 2009 at 11:35 AM , Darcy said...

The Bird on a Branch - I love birds! And I love the Argyle, too!

 
On September 25, 2009 at 11:37 AM , Tanya said...

My fave design is the Pink Floral Paisley

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24282765

tanyaw85@shaw.ca

 
On September 25, 2009 at 8:24 PM , Tracy said...

Such beautiful stationery and cards! :o) Off to see her links...

 
On September 26, 2009 at 2:51 AM , Salad for Breakfast said...

i'm a follower.

agh! why are her cards to pretty?? i can't make up my mind! one of my faves is this one

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31149865

 
On September 26, 2009 at 7:28 AM , Tylerpants said...

I'd love to see personalized stationery for kids. My son often gets gifts so I like to send a "thank you" note with his name & a cute design on them.

tylerpants(at)gmail.com

 
On September 26, 2009 at 1:44 PM , trixpixel said...

I follow. =) I see that she has cats, butterflies and birds... but I'd like to see some other animals like dogs and owls. trixpixel[at]gmail.com

 
On September 26, 2009 at 4:29 PM , Deb - Two Cheeky Monkeys said...

I re-Tweeted for you Sandra.

 
On September 26, 2009 at 4:31 PM , Deb - Two Cheeky Monkeys said...

I follow your blog too!
I love the chandelier notecards, just something irresistable about chandeliers! Love the damask pattern too. Would love to see more vintage-style or inspired notecards.

 
On September 27, 2009 at 1:55 AM , Jessica said...

I LOVE the Polka Dot Chrysanthemums Flat Notecards!
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24282810

 
On September 27, 2009 at 3:30 AM , pippirose said...

I absolutely love the Floating Dandelions Personalized Folded Notecards. There's just something about the dandelion...they're wistful!
:o)
I'm now a follower of yours via Blogger.
pippirose59 at gmail dot com

 
On September 27, 2009 at 10:49 AM , Kara said...

I'm a follower and I LOVE the Mr. and Mrs. Personalized Notecards!!!!

kara.rotella@gmail.com

 
On September 27, 2009 at 10:52 AM , Kara said...

i posted this giveaway on facebook!!

 
On September 27, 2009 at 10:53 AM , Kara said...

Tweeted the giveaway too! http://twitter.com/k9kreations/status/4406112677

 
On September 27, 2009 at 2:28 PM , Nelsby said...

Such a tough decision! I just love the following designs:
** Bird on a Branch Flat Notecards
** Fancy Frame Personalized Flat Notecards
** Hungry Hummingbirds Notecards
Also, I am following your blog (username Nelsby).
Thanks!
Aimee
sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

 
On September 27, 2009 at 2:33 PM , Nelsby said...

Tweet: http://twitter.com/Nelsby/status/4410089292
Thanks!
Aimee
sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

 
On September 27, 2009 at 2:38 PM , Nelsby said...

I shared this post on Facebook (username: Aimee Waerhouse).
Thanks!
Aimee
sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

 
On September 28, 2009 at 11:31 PM , Nicole-Lynn said...

Such a great giveaway! I am now a follower of your blog! If I won, I would want some custom Thank You cards, or just a simple monogram on the front...


seasidesmitten@aol.com