Taylor Hicks from North Carolina runs vinyl decals shop TDH Design with the help of her boyfriend Nick.
Tell us your story
My name is Taylor Hicks and I run the Etsy shop TDHDesign. I'm from North Carolina and love crafting. I attend East Carolina University in Greenville, NC and am majoring in Interior Design with a minor in business.
I started my Etsy shop in early December after purchasing a die-cut machine on Black Friday, not really expecting much to happen with it. I was selling decals with that I had hand-lettered. In the beginning the edges of the decals were rough because I had no clue how to digitalize my work, I was really just winging it. I got my first online sale from a stranger on Tuesday, December 6th. Since that day, I have had over 500 sales and have over 100 5-star-averaging reviews on Etsy. I have perfected digitalizing my lettering, I truly believe that the success of my shop is because of my unique hand-lettered designs. It sets me apart from other shops.
I run my shop with the help of my boyfriend Nick. We met in high school through mutual friends and started dating in 2013. We love working together. I design the decals, cut them, write the shipping information, and write the hand-written notes while he helps weed the decals and ship them out. I love having someone to help carry the burdens of running an Etsy shop, as well as someone to celebrate with.
I mainly sell vinyl decals, but I also sell drink ware. Each package I mail out comes with a hand-written note written personally by me, a business card with information on how to apply the decal and social media links, and they come in packages with the customer's name hand-lettered. I take time with shipping because I want each customer to feel like they are receiving a gift.
Here are the links to our social media, website, and Etsy! shoptdhdesign.com tdhdesign.etsy.com @TDHDesign on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest
When did you turn your craft into a business?
I started my Etsy shop in November of 2016.
How did you come up with a name for your store?
My initials are TDH and I design each piece on my shop myself, so I put the two together and called it TDHDesign!
How did you start selling on Etsy?
I taught myself how to do calligraphy in early 2016. It started out as just a fun hobby I found on Pinterest. I would make hand-lettered pieces for fun and as gifts for friends and family, so I figured I would try selling on Etsy. My prints and canvases weren't selling. The print/calligraphy market is huge and I had no clue on how to make my stuff stand out, so I figured I would try decals. I ended up buying a die-cut machine on Black Friday and figured I would try to sell stuff on Etsy with it. I took my hand-lettered pieces and digitalized them, then cut them and turned them into decals. Slowly, sales started coming in. Now I have over 500 sales and over 100 5-star reviews.
Do you talk to your customers?
Yes! I love talking to customers and hearing about how they use my products. I have Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and I have a blog on my website! I write blogs about how I got my business to where it is today to help customers who maybe want to do the same thing. I also post customer photos of them using their decals on my social media pages!
What’s your most favorite product?
I love the custom quote decals. This listing allows customers to use their own quotes to create decals. I hand-letter each quote then turn it into a decal, so each one is completely unique!
What are your future goals?
I would love to expand my shop and offer shirts and other clothing with my designs on them, and maybe open up a store front after I graduate from college.
What’s your process from an idea to a finished product?
When I have an idea, I start making sketches of what the design might look like. It's a lot of trial and error, but I recreate the design sketches until I get something I'm happy with. Once I have the layout, I write the quote in a brush-lettering style and digitalize the lettering. After digitalizing the lettering, I cut the decal with my die-cutting machine.
Where and when do you find yourself most creatively inspired?
I find myself most inspired when I am reading my Bible and spending time with God. That's when I come up with the best ideas.