Guest Blog By Jes of JesMarried
I’m Jes from JesMarried, an artist from Columbus, Ohio. I’m a wedding illustrator that focuses on drawings that take a bride from the moment she says yes to being just married. That’s where the name comes from: JesMarried, just married. I use markers, pen and graphic design to create wedding invitations, signage and gifts for bride before and after a wedding.
I started JesMarried in December 2015, when I was in the process of asking my bridesmaids to be in my wedding party. I created a bridal party drawing that showcased each girl standing next to the bride (me!) facing backward. It showed off each girl’s hair color, dress color and style. The drawing was a huge hit with them, so I opened an Etsy shop soon after with that exact drawing and the words ‘Custom Bridal Party Drawing’ in the listing’s title. Around 3,000 orders later, I have my own website, and I am still operating that the same Etsy shop, but with 100s of different listings available now.
One of my most popular products is by far my mother of the bride drawing. This is where I reference photos from dress shopping trips, website images, and hanger shots to create artwork of a bride and a mother of the bride BEFORE a wedding day, so that it is able to be gifted the day of. Some other example products include, but are not limited to, save the dates and invitations, signature cocktail signs (with or without your pup), cupcake flavor signs, remembrance drawings, and venue illustrations.
My business has grown at a rapid pace for someone who also works at a corporate full-time graphic design job. Below are a few tips and tricks I can offer those who may be in a full-time job while managing a side hustle business.
Be OK with the hustle
When building a business, you have to be okay with the long hours you are about to encounter. I work a 9-5 and then come home and work a 5-9, every single weekday. When the weekends come, I’m working, on average, 10-hour days. This is not me saying the more you work, the more money you’ll make. I’m a strong believer in work smarter not harder, but in the early stages of building a business you have to be willing to put in the hours needed.
Create a vision board and goals
This is something I did not start until the 3rd year into my side hustle, when I decided to take it more seriously as a business. You have to know what you want. Chunk your goals to make them feel more manageable. When it comes to large scary goals, separate those into goals and stretch goals. For instance, if your goal is to make $100,000 in revenue a year, make a stretch goal that is $150,000. Writing this down is not the key to success but if you revisit every month, it keeps you focused and will put you into the right mindset to achieve these goals. For 2020, I took this to the next level and created a collage of images to represent each goal. I have already seen so much growth in 2020!
Absorb ALL the free content
No joke. Listen to a wide range of podcasts, join small business Facebook groups, sign up for all the freebie education you can get your hands on, pay attention to competition but don’t let it drag you down and obviously don’t copy, read and listen to books on business and mindset, and learn from your own work experiences. If you have the funds, investing in education from others in the industry who you look up to can be gold.
Have multiple streams of revenue I started my business with just an Etsy shop. When I made the decision to build a Shopify shop, I directed all of my social media traffic directly to my own site and left my Etsy to just the organic Etsy customers. I am currently working on finding more avenues of revenue and more ways to create passive income.
My business has been the definition of slow growth. I have been in business for a little over four years now. I am proud to say I have built a successful side hustle business by being patient and not being afraid to charge what I need to charge when I need to charge it. By that I mean, have pride in your work and value yourself but know it’s okay to start off by charging less than your end goal pricing. You need example work to sell work, just like you spend money to make money.
I would love to connect. Whether you are a bride or vendor looking to become friendors, please feel free to reach out! You can reach me on Instagram and Facebook @JesMarried or at jesmarried.com