We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexis Rawlins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexis, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Determination and stubbornness. When you’re creating a new brand and product line, it’s easy to not be seen by algorithms, search results, etc., and it’s easy to get discouraged if you don’t see results at first. As soon as I had a few items up in my brand new store, my focus was on how to get seen. I edited and changed out keywords, tried out advertising, tried social media, until anything at all started to work. You learn something each time something works or doesn’t work, and most entrepreneurs have probably been discouraged more than a few times. Not giving up on it was probably the best thing I did for my business.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I wanted to create greeting cards that were both silly and sweet. In the grocery store there are plenty of very sappy cards and lots of rude cards, but I felt like there were never many cards that were lighthearted and fun, like what I’d want to give to people. So that has been a guiding idea for me. Working on my business has mostly been a slow process of creating new work and seeing how it does, and then learning from that experience. One of my most difficult decisions was probably when I quit my day job. I was at a point where it was getting increasingly difficult to do both and I was so overworked, but my card shop wasn’t earning quite enough yet. I agonized about the decision, but because I couldn’t keep doing both, I took the leap and focused on my business. It was difficult at first to make it work, but I think the extra focus and attention on my business was what helped it grow. I also learned the hard way that being an artist/entrepreneur is a lot more work than just drawing pictures! We do everything ourselves from sourcing supplies, managing costs and inventory, accounting & taxes, shipping, figuring out marketing and SEO, creating a website, to running an LLC. It’s a lot to learn and a lot of hats to wear. Not only that, but running the business takes so much time it can be hard to find time to draw sometimes! But since that’s obviously my favorite part of my job (that and the glowing reviews we get!) I do put a lot of effort into making time to draw and I think that’s really important. My work is all about the things we love – animals, food, bright colors, and puns to name a few! We’re all about making happy, silly cards and gifts for people in the hopes of bringing a smile to someone’s face 🙂
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite spots in San Diego is Balboa Park and visiting all the museums and the botanical garden. It’s so pretty! I also love Old Town, and all the shopping and Mexican food spots there.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shoutout to both my husband and to my parents! My business wouldn’t exist without my husband, because it was his idea. I illustrated a card for him for a holiday and when he saw it he said, you have to start a store with more of these, so I did! Now we both work full time on the shop. I had no idea it could become my full time job, and I don’t think it would have occurred to me to be an entrepreneur, but he encouraged me to create it. I also want to thank my parents, for always encouraging me and believing in me.