By Robert Stitt
Kim Springer may not be heralded as a hero to many, but she certainly should be. In her 40’s, the mother of three decided to quit her day job to stay home with her youngest child. Not wanting to sit idle (as if mothers ever just sit idle), she decided to try her hand at making some money from home.
According to Yahoo Finance, Springer started by building websites, creating online communities, and blogging. She also studied online marketing to help her understand how to run and operate an online business. In an unexpected turn of events her husband lost his job, leaving the family to rely on her growing income which, at that time, was not enough to sustain the family of five. The Springers soon had over $40,000 worth of debt on their credit cards.
Desperate for ideas, Springer tried her hand at a site called “Teespring” where she could design and sell her own T-shirts. Last year, she started to market her shirts to a group of Christian women and soon had over 100,000 fans, many of whom purchased shirts. It doesn’t take a math whiz to see that this was going to become a money making endeavor.
The money did not come instantly however. Springer says that during the first year she worked hard every day for little to no pay. She was up early every morning and jumped right on the computer. At first, her time was spent building her community. She would often work well into the night. While she started with just a few sales, she kept building upon what worked and learning from what did not.
Springer has sold tens of thousands of shirts since those bleak days in the beginning. While she believes anyone can do it with enough work, she offers this advice: “Start with what you know. Your interests, passions, hobbies, life — that’s going to shorten the learning curve. You also need a knowledge of the community you want to serve, to represent in tee shirts.”
She also wants everyone to know that you have to stick with it. If you want to make your business work, you have to work at it. “When I launched the first shirt it was January 2013, and not until March did I see any return on investment.”
Everybody needs a hero. Kim Springer, you are one of mine.