Home Business Log #001


I don’t know about you, but I love watching the trajectory of someone’s journey. It can be an actual journey or a metaphorical one…it doesn’t really matter, I just enjoy the progression of someone’s dream coming true. In this vein, I thought I’d share my home business journey.

Read More: How I created my own logo for my small business from home using Canva and made a stamp using it!

Angelicscalliwags business stamp

I’m aware that this might wholly back fire. I mean, my dream might not even get off the ground. Thing is, even if the business is a failure, it doesn’t make the journey any less valuable. I’ve been at this a little over the month. I have made so many mistakes. But I’ve learnt so much from each one.

I love learning. With this business I have begun at ground zero. I know nothing about running a business. You know what though? I sure am going to have fun learning how to run my fledgling home business!

Learn more about my first supplier

The Format of these Logs

I’m not sure how I want to format these posts, so they may change from month to month. I’m going to aim to write one each month. I will be including any transactions coming into the business and any going out of the business. Any mistakes or struggles which have occurred will be reflected upon and I will share what I have learnt from them. I will also endeavour to carry out a monthly stocktake, as well as sharing any plans for further development in the future.

Achievements This Month

Apart from finding my first supplier, which I can’t really take the credit for as a friend found them for me, I have created my own logo and a custom made business stamp using that logo. I have explored Kindle Direct Publishing, and published a set of Ocean themed notebooks and a set of Cottage Garden themed notebooks using my art for the front covers.

Sealife Notebooks

My First Business Mistake

Greeting Cards

I have (badly) ordered 250 greetings card with my art printed on them. This brought about my most expensive mistake to date. Although I paid extra to have the art checked, they did not pick up that the final printed cards cut off some of my design. I was so upset. However, friends and family, who had not seen the original design said the cards looked fine as they were. I still don’t love them because they are not exactly how I envisioned them, but I know what I did wrong and I shall not be doing that again (I didn’t take into consideration trim).

Angelicscalliwags Art Greetings Cards

Read More: In this post I describe the step by step process of how I designed the cards and take a peek at how they came out once printed

I also designed some card catch stickers. I did this on the recommendation of my first supplier. She said that people prefer a sticker to a cellophane envelope. I’m not convinced about these. They are meant to be tacky rather that sticky and should be easily removable. I find them quite hard to remove from the back of the card, although the front peels off really easily.

I think I’ll wait for customer feedback regarding these but may use glassine bags in the future, which are still environmentally friendly but won’t hurt the card in any way.

Sticker Sheets

I curated four different sticker sheets. This was a huge learning curve for me. The company I used were amazing! They kept sending back my sticker sheets until I had formatted them perfectly. They told me to print out the final pdf to check colour and outlines. I was blown away by the quality of the sticker sheets! And because the company I used were so professional at checking and double checking that everything was exactly as I intended it to be, they were perfect in every way.

Angelicscalliwags Art Sticker Sheets

Read More: How I designed and put together my sticker sheets


I tried my hand at designing my own packaging using vellum paper and my business stamp. This was a disaster! First, the printer would not print my design onto vellum. Apparently, only certain printers can do that and mine wasn’t one of them. Next, I tried using my own stamp and hand printing each sheet. These looked really nice but the ink just did not want to dry. In the end I used plain vellum to wrap my first order which looked surprisingly good!

Angelicscalliwags First Order

Eventually, I had 100 sheets of vellum printed for me using my logo and they turned out brilliantly!

Designing my own packaging

I also designed some small invoices. I really liked how these turned out, but to keep costs down I made them A6 size which made it a little harder to fill in. I may rethink these in time, but I have a few printed to use up first.

Angelicscalliwags invoice

As you can see, I’ve achieved quite a lot in my first month. I’ve also make a lot of costly mistakes. But, you live and learn and hopefully I won’t be making them again any time soon!

Costs in the First Month

I decided not to take out the small business loan from the government. Gary agreed to support me financially and I have been allotted an amount each month of around £150 to build my business. Between us, we have decided to give it two years to become a self-supporting business. If by the time two years is up I am not making any money, we will cut our losses.

To start with, I used £200 I already had. So in this first month I had about £350 to put into my business. I decided that any money I made would be reinvested into the business with the goal of having more products to sell.

Here is a quick breakdown of the costs I have incurred so far:


  • Plain Vellum(100) £14.99
  • Glassine Envelopes for stickers A6 (50) £7.85
  • Large A5 packing boxes (50) £13.19
  • Postmaster A5 card envelopes (50) £9.13
  • Medium A6 packing boxes (10) £8.99
  • A6 card envelopes (100) £10.59
  • Printed Vellum (100) £20
  • Stamp £27.50

Total Packing Costs: £112.24


  • Greeting Cards in 4 designs (50 of each design) £133.63
  • Card Catch Stickers (250) £29.12
  • Sticker sheets in 4 designs (50 of each design) £122.00

Total Product Costs: £284.75

Total Costs to Date (not including any printing costs, subscription costs or postage fees) = £396.99

Sales in the First Month

Profits differ depending on how and when I sell the cards. If I sell direct to the customer, my profit for each card is £2.50. If I sell through Etsy, I have to pay postage and Etsy’s fees which decreases my profit to £1 per card. If I sell to the village shop, who buy them significantly cheaper, my profit for each card is 96p. If I sell my notebook on Amazon, I make £5 profit per book.

Below, I will share my profit figure after removing Etsy/Amazon fees and postage fees.

  • Sold 21 cards directly @ £3 each = £63
  • Sold 20 cards @ £1.50 each = £30
  • Sold 1 card through Etsy @ £1 profit = £1
  • Sold 1 Ocean themed Notebook on Amazon @ £8.50 = £5

Total Money Made = £99

Obviously, these rather crude calculations are not the whole story. I still have the stock I bought. Each month I shall do a quick stock take. This will hopefully keep me on top of ordering more when I need to and not running out at all. Before I start counting, I need to mention that I have given away sets of cards to friends and family. I figured my logo and website is on the back of each of them and if people like what they see they might visit and buy some of their own.

Stock Take


  • Plain Vellum 98/100
  • Glassine Envelopes for stickers 50/50
  • Large A5 packing boxes 50/50
  • Postmaster A5 card envelopes 50/50
  • Medium A6 packing boxes 9/10
  • A6 card envelopes 100/100
  • Printed Vellum 98/100
  • Stamp 1/1


  • Greeting Cards in 4 designs (50 of each design)

Giraffe = 48/50; Whale = 36/50; Butterfly = 35/50; Woodland = 33/50; Duck = 36/50

  • Card Catch Stickers = 188/250
  • Sticker sheets in 4 designs (I let each of my girls choose 1 sheet each)

Safari = 50/50; Ocean = 47/50; Woodland = 49/50; Meadow = 50/50

Assuming I sell most items on Etsy, my profits for the cards will be £1 per card and my profit on the stickers will be £1.30. I therefore have a potential value of £188 in cards and £254 in stickers.

Goals for Next Month

  • Create a set of duck notebooks
  • Buy five author copies of each notebook and begin selling them in my Etsy shop
  • Start saving up to change my website into a WooCommerce website so I can bypass Etsy
  • Add on product a week to my Etsy shop
  • Purchase 50 cards each with my turtle design, elephant design, mushroom cottage design and frog design

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a bit of the behind the scenes of a business. If there is anything else you’d like me to include in these posts, do let me know in the comments.


  1. I am really enjoying reading your updates each month; I too like seeing someone strive for their goals and making any sort of progress. I think you have a pretty solid business plan and such an adorable assortment of products. Do you/will you ship to the U.S?

    1. Thank you! Yes, I will be shipping to the US – I think it ships with Royal Mail International Standard – this is lower cost but untracked. x

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