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Exploring Life & Business with Angely Marrero of Angie’s Item Paradise

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angely Marrero.

Hi Angely, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’ve always had a passion for the arts. Whether it’s crafts, drawing, photography, I’ve always had a love for creating things.

2020 was pretty tough on a lot of people. My job at the time ended up letting everyone go around March 13th, when the country and the world was just beginning to shut down. I was jobless for a few months until I applied for a new job. While I was jobless, I got into watching a lot of TikTok videos. I think many can agree they did too during the Pandemic. I began to see a lot of small business videos where people would record themselves packaging orders or showing the products they make and sell. It was a few months of watching these kinds of videos and doing research on the materials they used and things of a sort when I got the idea to buy some facemasks and sell them. My intentions at first were to just buy a bunch of patterned, tie-dyed, and plain face masks and make some extra money selling those. I had then gotten the idea to buy vinyl letters and printable designs from the craft store to make the facemasks with the designs on them. I made a few using the designs I purchased, but I was not feeling satisfied with them. In late August, I then started researching die-cut machines I had seen on TikTok in order to cut vinyl and make different designs. I shortly made my first big purchase with the help of my boyfriend. Fast forward to now, I make all kinds of designs and items with the help of my machine. I started out with only using vinyl with the facemasks, and I have ventured out to making custom t-shirts, cups, tote bags, decals, sashes, and so much more! I started out selling to just friends and family, then selling on Facebook Marketplace, and now I am selling on Etsy and various platforms!

I never would have imagined how much I would be growing and be able to create a platform for myself. I always have people and old friends from high school tell me how inspiring I have been for them and how much they look up to me for creating things and doing what I do. It gives me the motivation to continue what I am doing.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road is always different for everyone. You have to learn and understand that mistakes will happen, certain things can go wrong, and you have to learn from those bumps on the road so you can do better for the next time. The number one thing with being a small business owner is that we work with customers. Whether it’s face to face or online, that should be enough to tell you we don’t have it easy at times. Another type of struggle has been growing my business and making sales. For some, they may easily go viral on social media and blow up and make over 100 sales in the course of a month, and for the rest of us, we have to slowly pave our way to get those views and sales. For me at least, it’s worth it because you’re enjoying every second of your business journey, and you’re enjoying every second of growing your business. I’m in no rush to become a “big” business. I prefer to keep my business small and still manage to make enough sales that I can handle on my own.

Being a small business owner comes with a lot of work. We are the face of our business, we are the creators, designers, photographers, marketers, and all in between. For me, it hasn’t been a smooth road, but it hasn’t been anything I couldn’t handle. We all get stressed at some point, and we have all felt burnt out at some point. That’s when you take a mental break and then get back on your feet and keep working. One of the biggest struggles of managing and growing a business, is for the most part, teaching yourself everything you need to know to keep growing. Many small business owners like me don’t have the funds to pay for a social media manager and things of a sort, so we always have to keep a list of things we need to do, products we need to post, photos we need to post, items we need to create, designs we need to create, and so on. It gets overwhelming when there’s so much posting and so much social media involved, but it’s all part of the job.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Angie’s Item Paradise?
I specialize in making handmade custom creations as well as designing my own with the help of my die-cut machine. I tend to work primarily with vinyl, but I’ve done many things without it. Things I currently customize are facemasks, shirts, sashes, cups, glasses, engravings, stickers, decals, tumblers, home decor, and so many more items! I primarily tend to make custom items for people that need them for weddings, birthdays, special events, Disney/ Universal trips, and a lot more.

I don’t just make custom items for families and personal events, but I do make custom items for businesses! I can make custom face masks and shirts for small businesses with their logo, as well as vinyl car decal or store decals they may need!

For holidays, I do come out with special things that others may order to customize. The biggest holiday I do things for is Christmas. I make a lot of different items, including ornaments. My top seller for Christmas is my dog bone ornament that I customize with the customer’s dog name.

What I am most proud of is how far I have come since creating a platform of my own. I have returning customers that only come to me when needing something custom. I always have people message me and say “can you make me this?”. It makes me so happy when people want me to make something I haven’t created yet because it pushes me to new limits and it shows me that I can create anything I set my mind too. I love it when customers give me the creative freedom to make their order how I personally envision it. Customers always trust me when it comes to creating things for them and they have always come out loving the things I make.

I am located in Lake Worth, Florida and if you live near, I do offer pickups for orders. If you have any questions about my customizations and products, you may email me or reach out on social media. If you’re coming from this article and are interested in ordering, let me know the code “VoyageAIP10” for 10% off your order!

What are your plans for the future?
Currently, I plan to venture out and do a bunch of craft pop-ups and markets in different cities to get my brand out and travel! I think it’s exciting to be able to showcase your items and be able to have people browse what you make and sell things on the spot. I just did my first market pop-up in September at Fort Lauderdale Artwalk in MASS District. If you want to come and see me, I will be there November 27th!

I’m also planning a lot of different designs and products that I want to incorporate in my shop. I don’t want to just focus on customizations, I want to be able to put my creativity to the test and sell things that I personally designed and created.

Something I look forward too is getting a bigger office/ business space. I currently work in a 10 foot by 6 foot area and it’s not the most comfortable space to work in. Every week I have packages adding up in my space which equals less space for me to work in. My plans are for sure to possibly get a storage unit or transform my bedroom into the other half of my office space. That will for sure give me the capacity to make even more things!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Joshua Oviedo

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