This is a follow up story for Jordyn Alison Designs. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published over 3 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hey, I’m Jordyn and the owner of Jordyn Alison Designs. I sell stationery items like high-quality waterproof vinyl stickers to spark joy, greeting cards to help build connections, and notepads to keep you on task. My best selling products are my Charity Collection, as all the stickers included donate a portion back to charity.
We’ve donated over $2,000 to various charities, and I can’t wait to see that number keep going up! My overall revenue has stayed pretty consistent compared to 2020.
Since then I’ve seen lots of growth in the B2B wholesale market, with a decrease in the retail B2C market – therefore leveling out a bit.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
Since we last talked in 2020 my business has changed a lot. I was working full-time on my business up until June 2020. My business makes a big portion from wholesale clients (retail brick and mortar stores) and when those stores were shutting down and completely stopping their purchases… I had to adapt. And with that came getting a second full-time job. It’s been a lot to juggle, since previously I had all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted – and now I have to be a lot more strategic with my time (not a strong suit of mine).
Fast forward to 2022, I’m still working two jobs and going through some major burnout. I so desperately wish I was sitting here writing that I have hired 10 employees and my business is just doing all these amazing things, but life happened.
But let’s switch to some of the positives! I’m now in over 150 brick and mortar retail stores! Lots of brick and mortar stores had to shift to online platforms. I then saw a shift in customers really wanting to support the retail shops they loved. Small businesses started seeing an increase, and because of that they were ordering more from businesses like mine.
Wholesale really took off in 2021 and is definitely my biggest source of income now, with very little marketing effort. My increase in wholesale sales is solely organic at the moment. Retailers have found me on Faire or Abound.
I plan on creating a better system for reaching out to new retailers this year. I am currently designing some physical catalogs and inserts, as well as drafting up some cold emails to send to retailers I’m interested in working with.
In the last year I’ve really been diving into learning SEO. I’ve taken the tactics and strategies and started implementing those into my site in 2022.
In two months, I’ve seen my Domain Authority increase by 2. All I did during those two months is update hundreds of meta titles and descriptions for my products. I haven’t seen too much of an increase in organic traffic, but as I’ve learned – SEO is a long game. I know that if I continue to work on this part of my business it will eventually pay off, because it’s not something many small businesses pay attention to.
I’m starting to work on getting PR leads to acquire backlinks to my website. Reaching out to reporters/news outlets is new to me and a little outside my comfort zone but it’s definitely important and I’m excited to see where that goes.
Work on what you enjoy, and delegate the tasks you don’t love to a friend/family member or an employee.
Tiktok is definitely the new marketing channel that I’m really loving these days. I like how you can be yourself more and you don’t have to fit into the perfect aesthetic that Instagram thrived on. I do not use Instagram daily like I had been 2 years ago.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
Oh gosh, I feel like the last 1-2 years have been huge learning curves. When we talked two years ago, my business was at a high. I was getting consistent daily orders, and when that all stopped, I didn’t have a backup plan.
As someone who is an over-planner, I never once thought about what if everything stopped? I didn’t have any plans, which I definitely wish I would have thought about it more.
My Charity collection is my top selling collection of products, and every time I sell a charity sticker I’m reminded of my why. This is my purpose, and this is what makes me feel good: making a difference in the world. I think I had to really slow down and stop, to be reminded of what it is that I truly love about my business.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
I really want to put a focus on my digital products again, since those allow for some solid passive income. My husband and I are buying a house (hopefully) soon and I’m definitely feeling the pressure of needing to have some more passive income to help sustain us while I have to pack up the shop.
In 5 years, I hope I have steady orders that allow me to pay myself a decent wage. I hope to have a couple employees by then who can help me with the day to day stuff that I find more difficult.
Some big dreams I have are getting products in Target, or other big stores like that! I would LOVE to make puzzles with my own designs, as the pandemic really reminded me how much I love working on puzzles!
The possibilities are endless with graphic design, which is exciting and overwhelming all at once. I think what excites me about the future is that I have no idea where it’s going to take me. I’m just along for the ride and as long as I’m enjoying what I’m doing then that’s all I can ask for!
Have you read any good books in the last year?
I don’t read a ton, but here is a couple I enjoyed:
- Measure What Matters: I never knew what OKRs were before this book. And honestly it taught me how to set goals. They have to be measurable – which sounds like common sense to some, but as an artist I’m kinda all over the place and never made good goals that actually helped me move forward.
The Culture Code: If you’re in any kind of management (or boss) position this is a must read. It provides real-life examples and has some really great lessons in there that help you be a better team player. It’s also a really quick and easy read!
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle: I had no idea there was a stress cycle. Or that chronic stress came from never finishing the cycle. It’s been incredibly insightful to learn more about burnout, how it’s caused and how to end it.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
I think after the last 2 years my biggest advice is to make sure you are doing what you love and have fun with it.
Work on what you enjoy, and delegate the tasks you don’t love to a friend/family member or an employee. My mom helps me with listing products – I don’t know why but sometimes uploading listings can take me all day when it only takes her 5 minutes. She doesn’t mind doing that, and it obviously saves me a TON of time.
You won’t love everything you have to do for your business, but when those tasks come up that someone else can do that’s when you should delegate.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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