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How a 26-Year-Old Makes a Full-Time Income on Etsy

Building financial freedom with print-on-demand

Hey. Today we’re diving into a cool story about a 26 year-old that makes a full-time income on Etsy.

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How This 26-Year-Old Makes A Full-Time Income with Print-on-Demand

This week, we’re diving into Kate Robb’s story. She’s one of my good friends and one of the most creative entrepreneurs I know, so I couldn’t be more excited to share her story with you.

What she’s done over the years to create a profitable business she loves is incredible, and there’s a lot to learn from her journey.

Tell us a little bit about your story. What did your work background look like before you started your print-on-demand shop?

I graduated in December 2019 with a BA in history — so nothing even mildly related to print-on-demand. I joined Teach for America in Memphis, TN and my salary was around $40k/year.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, I moved home to Pennsylvania, but had to take a pay cut. I moved down to $24k/year and worked with children that had been expelled as a “refocus specialist.”

By November 2020, I was burning out working in education, so I decided to look for a new job. I ended up landing a job as a project coordinator in the nonprofit space, making $34k/year. It proved to be an exhausting role though, so I changed careers again in January 2022 and accepted a new role in tech recruiting making $60k/year. I stayed in that career until January 2023 when I got laid off.


In 2019, I took my first “real” job teaching high school history in Memphis, TN. It took less than six months for me to feel burnt out and... See more

When did you discover print-on-demand, and what was your initial reaction?

Someone had actually mentioned POD to me a few years prior, but I didn’t take any action on it. Once I was settled into my tech role though, it felt like a better time to give it a go. I had much better work-life balance in this role than in my previous ones, so I had free time to experiment with POD and see what I could do with it.

When did you launch your first shop and how did it go?

I started designing products for my first Etsy shop in the summer of 2022. I started with a POD apparel and candle shop. Less than a year later, it surpassed the $100k gross revenue mark, which was a super cool milestone to hit.


My two favorite ways to make money on Etsy both involve low start up costs, no inventory, and elements of passiveness. That’s a win win wi... See more

How has your business grown since?

Well, I got laid off from my tech recruiting role in January 2023, which forced me to really think about what I wanted out of work. I panicked for a moment, then decided I’d try to go full-time with Etsy, and I haven’t looked back since.

I launched a shop selling strictly digital products in July, and it’s made about $7k so far, which is all fairly passive income. So at this point, I’m making a full-time income with my shops, and I’ve also started sharing everything I’ve learned on social media.

What’s next for you?

On social media, it's been super cool to connect with so many people that want to learn more about POD and selling digital products. I decided to form my newest LLC, focused on helping others start on Etsy. I’m excited to launch coaching and course offerings that can help people do what I’ve done over the past few years.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone wanting to launch an Etsy store to sell POD items or digital products, what advice would you give them?

Just start, even if you don’t feel ready to start. And don’t be afraid to get messy in the beginning phases. Even if a listing isn’t your best work, post it. Consistency is key to identifying what actually sells, so don’t be afraid if your designs are ugly in the beginning. You’ll grow over time and get better.


my thoughts mid lift 🤝 Etsy Whether you’re trying to develop a new habit like weightlifting or starting an Etsy shop, consistency is key! ... See more

If you’re interested in learning more about print-on-demand and digital downloads, check out Kate on social media and let her know we sent you.

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See ya Friday,