Starting a Print on Demand (POD) Side Hustle (Part I)


In this series, I am going to walk you through everything I do to start a new side hustle as inspired by the many, many TikTok videos I have seen of other women bringing in additional money. I will share tools, lessons I learn, time invested, and the financial impact, for better or for worse. So excited!

This week we are starting a print-on-demand business (POD) as a family. The upheaval in my life and household has been just overwhelming over the last several months. On top of all that, I am facing a job loss this month. Therefore, starting a new side hustle is perfect! And better than that, this is one I can involve my kiddos in. I have several super creative, fashion-forward thinkers so getting them to contribute is a win-win.

What is a print-on-demand (POD) business

A print-on-demand business is an online business that allows you to create the designs and then partner with a vendor to fulfill them as they are ordered. This prevents you from having to keep any inventory or deal with the actual production or shipping of the products. You create the designs, work with your vendor to create mock-ups, list them in your store, and advertise. Then, in theory, let the money roll in. Let’s see if it works…

Where we started

The designs

Because of my 16-year-old freelance business as a digital marketing and business strategist, I already have a Canva Pro subscription so that is where we started. (Canva is a free tool, but the Pro license is a reasonable price to me and gives you lots of extras.) I charged each of the kids (my 20-year-old daughter, Beauty, and my 17-year-old son, Gymnast are contributing) with coming up with some “sellable” designs for t-shirts. And I’ve got a design in mind, but I’ve yet to work on it.

We each have our own target market in mind so I believe with a 3 pronged approach, we have a better chance of finding something that really works. Our goal is to have some final designs by the end of the week.

The partner

There are lots of options for a print-on-demand fulfillment partner and I’ve even heard that some POD business partner with multiple vendors to give their customers the most option and assure they don’t run into long wait times. But we are going to start with Printify. It’s the one I’ve heard the most about and we can get started for free. There is a premium version for right at $30 per month, but I want to test the waters first.

So I’ve set up a free account to play around with and check out how our “designs” look on mock-ups.


Our goal is to have the first round of designs ready in the next week. Then we will work on the mockups and setting up Printify properly. We might even order some samples?! And then it will be time to set up shop and look at ads. That will be my next post.


Because I already have Canva Pro ($119/annually) and we are starting with the free version of Printify, our initial investment for phase 1 of starting our print-on-demand business is $0. We are having to put some time into the designs, but it’s nominal and being done in our free time. This makes the start-up costs for this side hustle really attainable for anyone.

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