34-Year-Old Man Makes Nearly $3,500 A Month In Passive Income On Etsy

In 2018, Jennifer Goncalves wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life. The Sacramento, California native had taken college courses in psychology and tried to be a teacher’s assistant, but neither was really stuck. After working as a desk specialist for Sacramento County for five years, “I kind of decided that I didn’t want to work for anybody,” she says. “I think I want to work for me.”

Goncalves started taking courses in various online activities to find the right path. There was a Pinterest virtual assistant course. There was a course on Facebook ads. Finally, in the summer of 2019, she took Julie Berninger and Cody Berman’s course on starting an Etsy shop selling printables, where buyers of digital materials download and print themselves.

“I was sort of responsible for creating flyers, marketing materials, catalogs, creative design materials for the training department” at Sacramento County, Goncalves explains. “And I guess that’s when I realized I could do the same thing on Etsy.”

She opened her Etsy shop, EdenwoodPaperie, that summer, selling wedding invitations, RSVPs and similar items as bundles for $25 each. By March 2020, the store was successful enough that Goncalves quit his job just before the pandemic hit, to focus on building it full-time.

Today, there are over 550 items in her store, with prices ranging from around $5 to around $42 each. Goncalves, 34, has made more than 11,300 sales and brings in nearly $3,500 a month in passive income.

She and her husband moved to Tennessee in 2021. Here’s her Etsy journey.

Her wedding invitation design inspired her product line

Shortly before Goncalves took the printables course in 2019, she and her husband ran away. “We couldn’t get our foot in the door anywhere in California for less than $5,000,” she says of finding a venue. “And then we had to pay for everything else.”

She designed the runaway ad after the two got married. So when she researched possible printables to create and sell, she knew making wedding invitations was both in her wheelhouse and something with a built-in clientele.

Gonçalves and her husband.

Courtesy of Jen Gonçalves

These days, Goncalves begins her creative process by researching graphics like floral designs, as well as unique fonts, on Etsy and Creative Market. Once she finds a design and font she likes, she reviews its license to make sure she can use it for print-on-demand products like hers. Fonts and graphics can cost between $20 and $25 each, but if she has to get permission to use them, those special licenses can increase the price by hundreds of dollars.

She then uses the Templett online software to create her articles.

When people buy his designs, they get a link to the article on Templett where they can fill in their own specific details and photos, download the article, and then print it themselves.

“My Valentine’s Day went crazy this year”

Goncalves’ offerings have evolved over the years.

“When I started I just wanted it to be simple because I didn’t want to risk a bad review,” she says. For example, she made invitations without elaborate backgrounds and didn’t offer the option for people to insert their photos.

Over the years, it has evolved both its creations and the products it offers. Beyond items like wedding invitations and save the dates, her store now offers baby shower invitations, diaper raffles, bridal shower invitations, and holiday items like Valentine’s Day coupons for breakfast in bed and overnight.

“My valentines have gone crazy this year,” she says. “I made over $1,000 in one day.”

“I don’t necessarily know where this journey will take me,” she says of her future plans for Etsy. At the very least, she says, “I know I’m having fun right now.”

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