Of all the different communities that I belong to there is none that is more welcoming than the planning community. They are a group of women (and a few men!) who bring their creative talents together and use them to create unforgettable “organizational art” as I like to call it. It starts with a paper planner like Plum Paper, the Happy Planner, Panda Planner, or my drug of choice, the Erin Condren Life Planner, then comes the pens, the sticky notes, the stamps, the washi tape, the clips, the die cuts, and, of course, the stickers.

Stickers are fun for anyone who uses a paper planner and wants to get organized or make their planner pretty. Doing just a quick search for “planner stickers” on etsy.com results in 365,616 options as of today! The planner industry is enormous and is proliferating. I was lucky enough to have had the owner of one of my favorite sticker shops, Kimberly Grisham of PlannerPenny, willing to answer some of my questions to see what got her started and what sets her store apart from the literal thousands of competitors.

PlannerPenny (plannerpenny.com or etsy.com/shop/PlannerPenny) was named after Kimberly’s adorable French Bulldog who is featured in the logo and on the store’s Instagram account (instagram.com/plannerpenny ). Kimberly has been involved in the planner community since 2011 but has been running PlannerPenny since 2015. She started the shop shortly after she bought a Silhouette machine for cutting stickers. Kimberly always had an interest in graphic design (mostly designing websites) so “designing stickers appealed to me” she said. After Kimberly opened her shop the demand for her stickers grew, and so did her collection of Silhouette machines! Kimberly explains “By the time I had 6 Silhouettes, and I couldn’t seem to keep up with demand, I researched an easier way to make stickers and upgraded to a high-end graphics machine that would print and cut for me with better accuracy.”

Loyal customers keep coming back to PlannerPenny again and again for the unique stickers that she offers. PlannerPenny provides stickers in a vinyl format that is repositionable on the page, and there are only a handful of sticker shops that offers stickers in that kind of material. While you have to write appointments and to-dos with a permanent marker, like a fine-tip Sharpie, as regular pens will smear, the durability and richness of color and cute designs make it well worth it!

Advertising and promoting a sticker shop is a little different then a traditional business in that Kimberly has never had to pay to advertise or promote her business. This is one of the reasons that make the planner community so amazing. Kimberly solely promotes through the different social media platforms available including the many Facebook groups within the planner community. As Kimberly explained “I have been part of the planner community since 2011, and I have built up friendships with these groups which have helped me build a customer base. I also attend planner meet-ups and planner themed conferences, like Go Wild, once or twice a year.” These are also essential factors to what Kimberly attributes her success.

Advertising and promoting a sticker shop is a little different then a traditional business in that Kimberly has never had to pay to advertise or promote her business. This is one of the reasons that make the planner community so amazing. Kimberly solely promotes through the different social media platforms available including the many Facebook groups within the planner community. As Kimberly explained “I have been part of the planner community since 2011, and I have built up friendships with these groups which have helped me build a customer base. I also attend planner meet-ups and planner themed conferences, like Go Wild, once or twice a year.” These are also essential factors to what Kimberly attributes her success.

However, just like any business, Kimberly does have her struggles “I sometimes have feelings of inadequacy with my designs and start comparing myself to others. I am a perfectionist, so that doesn’t help! I may have to take a day off from designing and return to my work another day when I build up my confidence again. Supportive friends and family help, too!” Kimberly mused. Moreover, when asked If she could go back in time and give herself one piece of advice before she started her business, what would it be? Kimberly answered “I feel like everything that I’ve been through since starting this business has been for good. I naturally progressed and grew with a lot of the normal ups and downs in business. For anyone just starting a business, I really focus on the importance of building relationships (with customers and fellow shop owners) and outstanding customer service. As Erin Condren, herself says, “Complement, not compete!”

Also, just like a lot of working mothers, balancing work and family is something with which Kimberly struggles. “I have three young children (2 of which are in school). I work on my business between dropping off and picking up children on weekdays, and for most of the day on Saturdays. I try to reserve Sunday for family time. Being a work at home mom, I can adjust my schedule as needed for family time only.” Kimberly explains. Although being a full-time mom and a sticker entrepreneur isn’t the only thing this super-mom is balancing. Kimberly is also a full-time student working towards a teaching degree in special education while teaching English online to children in China. “I am always working on multiple unrelated projects at once! It keeps life interesting” Kimberly says with a smile.

Finally, of all the fantastic products that Kimberly offers through her store, it is the weekly kits she makes that she loves the most. She even admitted, “I often print my own weekly kits so I can easily and quickly plan out my week when I have a moment!”

Find PlannerPenny on her other social media accounts:

twitter.com/plannerpenny

facebook.com/groups/kgplanner

Use Code PENNY will give 15% off with no expiration at her web store or Etsy Store.

If you would like an Erin Condren Life Planner of your own click here for $10 off your first order: https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/jessicadiagostino1111

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