Hello and welcome! I'm Kelly Barth, the owner of KMBPrints, a successful print-on-demand Etsy store that started right from the comfort of my home. I'm also an e-commerce coach and specialize in helping busy parents earn a flexible income online. Today, I want to share my journey and guide you on how you can kickstart your very own T-shirt side hustle without any upfront investment.
In this article, I'll walk you through how to launch an apparel business with no up font cost, no inventory, and no website in just a few hours a week.
1. Create your unique designs
The first step is to tap into your creative side. You don't need a fancy art degree or expensive software. There are plenty of user-friendly design tools out there—think Canva or GIMP—that are free or have budget-friendly versions. Let your imagination run wild and create unique designs that resonate with your style and potential customers. Think about your target customer, and come up with a few designs that you think will appeal to them.
2. Select a Print on Demand partner
Now, the magic happens with print-on-demand providers like Printful, Gelato, and Printed Mint. These platforms allow you to upload your designs and apply them to various apparel items like T-shirts, hoodies, and more. The best part? You don't have to worry about creating the products or filling the orders. They handle it all, so you can earn extra income while you go about the rest of your day.
I prefer Printful for adult apparel, Printed Mint for scented candles and house wares, and Gelato for paper goods and stationery. I suggest you choose one provider that fits your selected niche and work with them exclusively until you get more confident and start making consistent sales.
3. List your products on Etsy
Why Etsy? Well, it's like having a bustling marketplace right at your doorstep. Etsy provides a built-in audience of millions looking for unique, handmade, or customized items. Plus, it's super user-friendly. Setting up your shop is a breeze, especially with the seamless integration most print-on-demand providers offer. Your products will be showcased to potential buyers effortlessly. I do recommend setting up your own website once you find which designs sell the best, and narrow down your perfect customer, but Etsy is a great place to test new ideas and gain confidence with Print on Demand.
Click here to get started on Etsy with 40 free listings.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed about starting and managing your Etsy store? Don't worry—I've got a game-changer for you. My mentor, Jessa Bellman, has an incredible Etsy Superstar course that covers everything from store setup to marketing strategies. It's a treasure trove of knowledge. I was already an experienced Etsy seller by the time I found Jessa, but I learned so much from her course that I was able to double to profit in my Etsy store within a month of taking her course. She specializes in digital products (another great source of passive income!) but you can easily apply the lessons in this course to Print On Demand as well. If you want to learn more about Etsy Supersart, or enroll in the course now, just click here.
4. Start earning passive income
With your designs ready, products on-demand, and Etsy store set up, it's time to start selling and watch the passive income roll in. With enough listings, you can sell products on Etsy with no outside marketing. If you want to get further faster, you can share your creations on social media, engage with your audience, and let the world see the incredible work you've put into your designs.
Being a stay-at-home parent doesn't mean you can't be a successful entrepreneur. With a bit of creativity, the right tools, and the guidance of experienced mentors, you can turn your passion for design into a thriving T-shirt business. I started with zero upfront investment, and now KMBPrints is proof that it's not just a dream—it's a reality waiting for you to embrace.
So, moms, let's get those creative juices flowing, set up your Etsy store, and start turning your nap or school time into a profitable adventure. Your journey to entrepreneurial success begins now! 🌟