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Running a Creative Business in a Pandemic

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

My name is Kendall Graham and I run the Instagram page @KendallGrahamBlings where I create customized items, mostly Starbucks cups. I have also customized a pair of shoes and a graduation cap for one of my friends. I also have an Etsy store, but most of my sales come from my social media platforms.

The process is super easy. I have a Cricut machine, so I use the Cricut software on my computer to create custom designs. I then use vinyl that I feed into the machine, and it cuts out the design that I have on my computer. I hand place each piece of vinyl onto the cup to create a new design. When I am done, I take photos of the cup, send it to the customer, and then upload them to my Instagram for my followers to see.

When I customized a pair of Air Forces for my friend Emma, I had to use an X-acto knife to contour the vinyl to the shoes so that it fit perfectly. These shoes took some trial and error. I wanted to make sure the vinyl wouldn’t come off, because the shoes were leather. Originally, I used the Kiwi Waterproofing spray. Later that week, my friend texted me and said that the humidity was making the vinyl pop off. I had to problem solve and later settled on using Modge Podge to seal the shoes. This ultimately made the vinyl stick, and now almost 2 months later, the vinyl is still there.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, I was bummed because most of my sales were from my friends at school. When they’d use their cups, people would ask where they were from and then they would also order one. When schools closed down, I had to rely on my social media to gain traction and orders. My orders were super slow, until I decided to do a giveaway.

The giveaway was very successful, and I gained so many followers and people that were interested in my cups. I gained so many orders, and I had people rushing to order when I restocked. Thankfully, I have such amazing friends who will promote my cups. Now, I complete orders whenever I am home and am able to. I usually have 10-15 orders to complete, which takes a few days to finish.

I am so thankful for all of my opportunities with my cups, and I am so excited for my brand to keep growing and continue to be successful.

Written By: Kendall Graham

Edited By: Crystal Lord

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