How to Maximize Your Investment in Spoonflower’s PRO Membership

MAR 6, 2021 updated May 17, 2021

You may have heard the buzz about Spoonflower PRO, but did you know that it can help you save money as a small business owner or prolific artist on Spoonflower? More money saved means more profits for you! Whether you’re an artist who frequently uploads designs or if you rely on quick turnaround times and love the idea of free shipping every day, then read more to find out how PRO benefits can serve your creative endeavors. 

Today, top-selling Spoonflower Marketplace artist Erin Kendal stops by the blog to share her insider advice on how artists can maximize their investment in this premium membership and take their design business to the next level.

Meet the Artist

Hey! I’m Erin Kendal and I’m a top seller here on Spoonflower. I love to paint, draw, and create earth-toned patterns in Adobe Illustrator®. I’m a serial entrepreneur and a big lover of soy lattes!

I launched my Surface Pattern Design (SPD) career on the Spoonflower Marketplace, where I’ve connected with talented boutique entrepreneurs, magazine editors, and cool brands looking to license. Two years ago I leveraged my Spoonflower PRO membership to launch my low-touch dropshipping ecommerce store, which helped me smash my goal of achieving a 6-figure income in a year from SPD! In 2021 I’m branching out into teaching, in the hopes of helping others on their SPD journey.

Shop the Collection

Erin’s Tips to Maximize Your Investment in Spoonflower’s PRO Membership 

Tip 1: Upload Your Designs onto the Spoonflower Marketplace ASAP

PRO members are treated to expedited order processing with guaranteed turnaround times. This means you can receive your proofs quickly, and your designs can be available to buyers, sooner. You’ll even know the exact date your order will be shipped, so you won’t need to eagerly check your order status daily to see if it’s updated to ‘Shipped’ status.

Tip 2: Proof Designs at a Discounted Price

Swatches and swatch samplers are available to PRO members at 50% off, so you can proof your designs as you finish them (while saving money) without waiting until you have enough designs to proof via a Fill-A-Yard® project. 

Additionally, tips one and two combined allow you to jump on trends as soon as you see them emerging, and help you to serve customers who request changes to designs (that essentially result in a new design).

Pro Tip: Check out Spoonflower’s Trend Reports for an insider’s look at the trends on the horizon. 

Tip 3: Leverage Your PRO Membership to Make Money

Yes, you read that right. The Spoonflower PRO membership can be a real money maker! 

The combined perks enable you to launch a viable ecommerce store via your own website or other ecommerce platform, by selling Spoonflower fabrics, wallpapers and luxury home decor items (with your designs on them), directly to customers.

I’ve had several ecommerce stores over the past decade, and for the last couple of years I’ve been leveraging the Spoonflower PRO membership — with it’s free Standard shipping worldwide — to operate a dropshipping business model. 

My PRO membership enables me to foster a positive online shopping experience for my customers because the expedited order processing and known dispatch dates help me to manage their expectations. It’s also handy to have access to the dedicated PRO help team for timely advice when I need it.

With my own ecommerce store, I’m minimizing competition and allowing my potential customers to focus solely on my designs to help them find the product that is perfect for their needs.

photo courtesy of @peapodandnate

photo courtesy of @miniandmaeofficial

Shop Erin’s Designs on Spoonflower

How to Utilize a PRO Membership and Spoonflower’s Print-on-Demand Model to Launch an Ecommerce Store

Spoonflower’s print-on-demand process allows you to build a sales catalog for your online store, as big or as small as you like, without needing any physical inventory. A professional looking ecommerce store is easy to set up yourself, using the product mockups available through Spoonflower. 

Shoppers will be able to see what your designs will look like on the items you’ve chosen to sell (for example, wallpaper, sheet sets, curtains, fabric… or more) and they’ll be able to place their order directly through your ecommerce store.

Here’s an overview of how it’s done:

  • Put together a collection of your designs and use the Spoonflower mockups to list your chosen products for sale on your own ecommerce website, Etsy, or other online marketplaces.
  • Consider your price point and be sure you take into account your tax obligations, and fees payable to the platform you’re selling through.
  • When you receive your first order through your online store, you will need to manually place the customer’s order through the Spoonflower site. Tip: Be sure to check the box that says ‘Remove prices from packing slip’ in the Gift Options section of the Delivery Options screen; then add a personal message to your customer and include the name of your online store so they remember who they shopped with.
  • Spoonflower will take care of the rest! They’ll print, make, package (with Spoonflower branding), and ship directly to the customer whose address has been entered into the ‘Ship to’ field.

Throughout the process you’ll have the opportunity to provide your customer with personalised service and you’ll be able to set ship date expectations (because you’re a PRO Member).

It’s worth emphasizing that any artist can utilize this unofficial dropshipping method without signing up for PRO, however, the benefits of being a member will facilitate a more successful business plan for the reasons mentioned above!

Tip: While PRO members are guaranteed a 1-week turnaround for fabric and wallpaper orders, keep in mind that home decor orders require an additional 1-3 weeks production time to allow for custom sewing in Spoonflower’s Durham, North Carolina, USA facility.

Grow Your Career with an E-Commerce Business:
An In-Depth Course with Erin Kendal

Click play to watch the intro for free

If you happen to be one of the many incredible artists on Spoonflower (yeah — you are!!), and you’re ready to expand your own creative business with the Spoonflower PRO membership, then I want you to know you don’t have to figure it all out for yourself. I’ve already been there and done that!

In this class, I’ll be teaching you a business model that contributed to me — and my partner — being able to leave our full-time corporate careers. Additionally, I’ve drawn on my decade’s worth of e-commerce and customer service experience, so that you’ll walk away with a blueprint on how to set up and operate your own e-commerce business to ‘dropship’ your choice of Spoonflower fabric, wallpaper, and home decor products.

Click the teal button below to access this course at a discount offered only to Spoonflower community members!

Explore Spoonflower PRO Benefits

Access to PRO-exclusive fabrics

Recommended Posts

A illustration in a sketchbook shows next to the final surface pattern design

Announcing Our First Surface Design Symposium

14 comments

Etsy SEO Guide: 5 Tips to Increase Traffic

Zero-waste products from the small business Freon Collective

How To Manage Your Cashflow as a Creative

26 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • That all sounds very helpful! Thanks. I have an ecommerce site using the Wix platform. I’m just getting started, but am having trouble integrating the SF items now. When there used to also be a Roostery site, I could search my designs and group them by category, “Dining” “Bedding” etc, but that site is closed now and all of those links (which I had set up on my Wix site) now take customers to SF. BUT…now the issue is that when they click that link the begin to see my bedding or whatever, but then suddenly OTHER SELLERS with similar names to mine appear in the search!! It’s like I’m providing free hosting or promotion for those other sellers on my site. I need a better way to do it and to have the link (if I’m going to use a link) only lead customers to my items. I wonder if SF has a way of solving that very soon? Your work around it interesting but sounds very time/labor intensive in terms of setting all that up and then on the back end inputting all the orders manually myself. We definitely need a better way. If the search for my products could ONLY bring up my products, that would be extremely helpful.

    • Hi Lindsey!

      Thank you for your interest in my class 🙂

      I ran into a hiccup on Skillshare (they removed my class because it’s against their guidelines to teach dropshipping… oops… and also, WOW!)

      Right this very minute I am working on moving everything over to my own website. Hopefully I’ll have it back up again very soon. Some people were only a few lessons in and they’re very keen to finish it off! The feedback I was receiving was really encouraging.

      I’ll notify everyone via my instagram @erin__kendal and via the email list I set up for the course.

      Erin K

  • Hello Erin. I am wondering if I have gone to the wrong site on Etsy to see your success on dropshipping? Because it says there has only been 2 sales, and that can’t have earned you many money!?

    I have 1800 designs in my store and also have a range of wallpaper coming up in scandinavia, but i only make about 2oo usd pr month, so I really need to get my business up and running.

    Thank you – can’t wait for the upcoming class.

    Nina

    • Hi Nina! I understand your confusion 🙂 By the time I’d written this article I had already closed my original Etsy store for a couple of reasons (which I’ve touched on in a response to Fran, above). It was very successful, and I still operate a seperate e-commerce website under a different brand name.

      Congratulations on your wallpaper range — that sounds very exciting! A dropshipping business would certainly provide you with an opportunity to add to your existing income.

      Unfortunately, my class was live on Skillshare for less than a day before it was removed from the platform. As it turns out, classes that teach ‘dropshipping’ are against their guidelines (to my obvious surprise… I missed that rule!) so I am now working on moving everything over to my own website. Hopefully I’ll have it back up again very soon. Some people were only a few lessons in and they’re very keen to finish it off! The feedback I was receiving was really encouraging.

      Erin K

  • I’m not sure I understand this article, Erin. It sounds like your achieved great success by setting up your own shop and drop shipping from Spoonflower. However, your website clearly refers potential customers to your Spoonflower shop (which certainly sells a lot given that many of your designs are very well ranked and highly visible). Meanwhile, your own wall paper shop on Etsy looks like it’s just getting started, with only a few designs and one sale so far. Will this shop really take off so easily? Sure it is difficult to attain a good visibility on Spoonflower among so many designs, but visibility (or lack thereof) is an issue on Etsy too, and everywhere else on the internet.
    It’s interesting to know that Spoonflower is clearly happy for designers to use them drop shipping. But then, why not provide integration, which would avoid manually placing orders?

    • Hi Fran,

      Good observations, and thank you for posing these questions to me! I’m glad to have an opportunity to respond… because I think others have probably pondered the same things 🙂

      Basically, The Wallpaper Studio is in fact my second Etsy store — you\’ll see I only opened it in 2021. I also operate an e-commerce website (away from Etsy) under another brand name. I really only set up The Wallpaper Studio to create visuals for this article and my Skillshare class, to show people they can have their own online storefronts, away from Spoonflower. Other than that — this poor store has had NO time spent on it to generate business… yet! I\’ve been too busy writing my course 😉

      By the time this Spoonflower article was on the horizon, I’d already closed my original Etsy store (for several reasons). One reason being that Etsy introduced a marketing fee in 2020 that impacted those of us with successful stores. I was also in a position where I no longer needed the Etsy store to supplement my income anymore. The beauty of dropshipping is that it\’s easy to scale up — and even down. However, all that aside — I believe there are MANY great reasons why this dropshipping business model has such great potential (especially for those who may be struggling to be found on the Spoonflower marketplace), and also just as many reasons why Etsy can still be a viable option, especially when you’re starting out. will cover all of this, in depth, in my Skillshare class.

      Of course, no one can guarantee success — there are many factors that contribute to it — so I’ve spent a lot of time putting together a comprehensive class and I\’ve also spent time researching and collating additional tools and resources, which I think will put students in a good position.

      ~ Erin K 🙂

      • Fran Buyle

        Hi Erin, thank you for your answer, that makes sense. I’ve had my own e-shop for years, and have been pondering opening an Etsy shop too for almost as long. I think I’ll keep focusing on my shop for the time being.

    • Hi Fran,

      Thanks for your feedback. Integrated dropshipping is a service we hope to be able to offer to our community in the future. As our teams explore this possibility, we are happy that Erin is sharing her process and experience!

      Take care,
      Amy
      Spoonflower

      • Hi Amy, great news indeed. I’m now using Spoonflower’s drop shipping service with personalized products and sewing kits I sell in my e-shop. I used to receive the fabric then ship it to customers, I’m really happy to skip the handling and shipping work! Plus it saves time and shipping costs, and is better for the environment as fabrics travel less.
        It is a bit unfortunate that when my customers choose Fedex as a shipping option, I receive the tracking information (which is linked to my email) instead of them.
        I’m looking forward to further developments!

  • You got my attention at drop shipping! That’s a brilliant workaround – thank you for sharing it, though I do hope true drop shipping is on SF’s product roadmap (👋🏻 Spoonflower!). I’m looking forward to checking out your class, too.

    • Hi Penina, Legitimate dropshipping with Spoonflower is certainly an exciting prospect! While we wait in hope, this ‘workaround’ is still a very workable model with just a few limitations (I will share tips on how to manage those, in my class). It would be great to see you there! 🙂

      ~ Erin

  • Anna Courtney

    Thank you so much for this Erin!I’m looking forward to implementing this is in future. Such an informative post that definitely gets me excited for your Skillshare class!

    • Hi Anna! You are most welcome 😀 I’m looking forward to being able to dive deeper on Skillshare. See you in class 🙂

      ~ Erin

  • Thanks so much for the brilliant & inspiring information Erin! I’m looking forward to checking out your Skillshare class when it’s finished!

      • So glad you mentioned in one of your comments about the new fees Etsy has for making over I think it is 10,000 per year for mandatory advertising fees, I was excited until the reminder of this as I had forgot about that. I will have to factor that in if need be or look for another platform I guess. I do have an Etsy shop and it can be quite time consuming to converse with customers. Thanks soooooo much for your info as I was wondering how others were doing this, it has definitely brought to light all the perks of PRO membership that I didn’t know about even though I have been a PRO member now for a couple of years. Great article and I will wait till your class is up and running to check into that through instagram 🙂 Thanks Erin