How I started my printables business – Part 1

How I started my Etsy Printables Business. I started from scratch and took Michelle Rohr's Passive Income with Printables course. Learn where I started and what I did.


In short: I took Michelle Rohr’s Passive Income with Printables course.

Before, I was in a bad place mentally with little cash, tricky clients and no confidence.

I leapt, took the course, implemented and learned A LOT. To say my life has changed would not even begin to cover it.

I went from no store, zero sales to over 1200 sales! And I thank my past self for deciding to give it a go every day. 🙏

Do I recommend it to you? Depends… on where you’re at and what you’d want to get from the experience and investment. What kind of work you enjoy, how much love you’re willing to pour into it…

As they say, it’s not a magic pill. 🤔💊✨

But here’s proof that it can work if you’ve got that gut feeling and you’re ready to try. 

Read on to learn what I did and and how I did it… 🙂

Where I started

🗓️ March 2016:

My sister and I went for a chilly, Saturday morning run. 🍃🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️ We’d process all sorts of things on our runs, from work to relationships and of course, money. A sort of therapy.

She was worried back then, because she only had a few hundred pounds left in her bills account.

Shame washed over me – you could count the £’s to my name on two hands. 🖐️🖐️ Later that day, I totalled all my accounts: £9.84.

I made a list in a Google doc to turn my energy around this topic: 10 things I could do with £9.84. You can read it here, if you like.

It worked, I felt better and resolved to never be in that position again.

It was time to CHANGE and FAST!

Learning and practicing web-design as a freelancer, I pushed money away  💸 💨 and attracted clients who didn’t like paying money for services. 🙅‍♀️ That can be a problem if you’re a human who needs to pay for anything in order to live.

After hours, I signed up for 20,000 webinars with shouty men  🗣️ convincing me I might die if I don’t drop-ship some crap I’d never even use myself.

My soul was slipping away, I considered trying to palm-off bulls**t products to poor innocent, hard-working folks around the world.

F**k that! There’s got to be a better way…

They say 1 book could change your life

It’s true.

🗓️ Jan/Feb 2017:

Delivery guy Wayne (I knew all my delivery guys by name at the point – hermit mode strong) pushed She Means Business by Carrie Green through my letter box. 🚚💌

She Means Business Book by Carrie Green, founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association

Carrie is the founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association. I loved Carrie already, I had her videos playing in the background when I’d do my client work and dream of something better. She helped me believe I could start the business of my dreams, I believed her because she’d done it and she was real about the mindset and fear. Not some guy on a stage bollocking you for not working harder.

A few pages in I read about a girl from Guam, who’d managed to go from working in a cafe, cleaning and babysitting, to building out a fabulous business on Etsy selling her printable products.

She’d dreamt of making money while on holiday in Paris, 🇫🇷🥐♥️ coming home with more money than before she’d left. And she did it.

No graphic design school, she didn’t have a business degree, she didn’t start with a tonne of cash. But she did build a passive income business selling products she’d designed and loved… no scrambling on Alibaba necessary.

Who is this girl? I have to find out more!

Hehe you know it was Michelle!

Michelle Rohr, creator of the Passive Income With Printables course and founder of Secret Owl Society

I hopped over to her site Secret Owl Society. OWL 🦉stands for Obsessed With Learning. Yes! So on board with that.

She was launching a course Passive Income with Printables, where she’d teach how she earned $30,000 selling her gorgeous Life Binders on Etsy.

Was I ready to leap? Not quite…

Well actually, you already know I did.

But this was the very first thought that came up for me: “Will I ever be able to make that money back?” 💭💸🤔

HOLD ON a moment. It was like I’d stepped outside of myself. Something snapped.


I promised I’d do whatever Michelle said and that I would make it work on my own timeline, even if it took a little longer than her or anyone else for that matter.

*Staring at the ‘Buy’ button for a good 5 minutes*…finally, I clicked!

A tiny, not-so-tiny part of me wondered if it was just another course I’d buy and never use. All my hard-earned money was being poured into courses at that point, crossing my fingers that they’d save me.

My doubts, questions and fears

I had a few:

  1. Am I going to be able to make as nice printables as her!? I don’t know how to use InDesign, or Apple Pages. Barely use Google Docs…and if they’re anything like Microsoft Word this is going to be a nightmare. Visions of being forced to attend ‘special’ computer classes for the tech-challenged in high school came flooding back.
  2. My brain is already fried trying to figure out this coding business, what if more computer stuff just kills me? 👩‍💻🧠☠ What if this is the end?
  3. Graphic design is scary. Graphic designers are immaculate people in turtlenecks 🐢 who dream about fonts and effortlessly poop out perfect logos. There’s no hope for me – I can sew a zip into a pair of trousers 👖🧵 BUT WHAT GOOD WILL THAT DO ME NOW?!
  4. Social media??? I use instagram to post pics of my cat drawings 🐈 and brownies…
    Cat illustration by Aimee Johanan. Aimee Today Blog
  5. Michelle has a blog. I don’t. How does that work? Could I be a person who starts a blog? I am BORING how will make a blog about being BORING? Maybe that could be my niche.
  6. What would I even make? I’m not a planner fanatic. Would I need to live a lie, pretending to have my life together? Do I need an Erin Condren life-thingy-majig? Should I rekindle my childhood love of stickers?
  7. What if…I actually end up doing NOTHING? It’s happened before. High hopes… believe this is my moment… procrastinate instead… nothing changes.

*Throws water in face* 💦🌊💦


Jeez Past-Aimee, it’s only a course! Get it together will you!

You’re right. But that’s where I was mentally back then. A natural worrier, you might say.

Until eventually, once again, I’d reached worry-saturation point. Enough, f**k it! 

My new mindset: whatever I don’t have, I’ll work around

My journey doesn’t have to look exactly like Michelle’s, so I’ll take the detours if I need to. 🗺🧳🧭✈️

I took the course.

In part 2…

I’ll go into:

  1. What Michelle covers in the course with a sneak peek of what it looks like behind the scenes.
  2. The realisations and mindset shifts I had along the way which made the biggest difference to keep me going.
  3. Making my first sale! A mind-blowing moment!


Read part 2 here!


P.S. Curious about this course I keep mentioning?

Passive Income with Printables teaches you how to make create gorgeous printables the easy way, set up a store on Etsy selling your printables and make passive income doing something fun! Michelle, our teacher, has made over $60,000 to date selling her printables and she shares exactly how she did it.

Click below to find out more.

Passive Income With Printables Online Course

📖☝️Lovely disclaimer:
This is my affiliate link, which means if you click through and decide to invest in the course, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Michelle has been really kind giving me this link, because it means I can share my story with you and help more people achieve the same results I have or better!

And it doesn’t have to take away from my client-work time.

I’m not a full-time biz owner just yet, but growth plans are in the works which I’ll surely share with you soon!

So right now, it’s super helpful  🙂


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