Oct 202008

I write to create, expose, think out loud, tell a story, keep me sane. But I photograph flowers, animals, cityscapes for fun. I see a scene, a flower, and as long as my camera is nearby, I shoot. No thinking involved, like with writing, well, usually not. I lost this hobby of mine for several years after my closed head injury. And then one day, almost three years ago, when I thought the hobby was gone for good, with the strong encouragement of a friend, I bought a digital point and shoot. I had been using SLRs (single lens reflex) cameras for 20 years at the time of my injury, complete with a supply of filters and lenses, and considered myself a decent photographer, one who wasn’t interested in point and shoots with their limited abilities. But by late 2005, I no longer cared about point and shoots’ limitations. Simply pointing at a flower and shooting was a big leap forward for me. A year and a bit later, fate intervened again, and I got my second lifetime SLR. This time it was a digital one; I exchanged in my old film one, the one that had remained idle for 6 years, at the same time. Me and my Nikon D80 are still learning about each other, and me and my Nikon Coolpix S2 are now old friends. Together, we’ve enjoyed the pleasure of a beautiful rose, the fun of following a butterfly, the impressiveness of Toronto’s buildings. But what I never expected was that my Nikon buddies would lead me to an income-earning opportunity.

Today, I’m pleased to announce the opening of my new CafePress.com shop at CafePress.com/ShireenJ. I call my shop Points North Studio, after my Flickr name. I’ve created a few products to begin with: T-shirts featuring my popular morning rose, a journal with the CN Tower soaring up its cover, and a birthday card featuring a jaunty yellow crocus. Other products and shop features will follow regularly as I familiarize myself with creating them. Also CafePress provides the ability to open up more than one shop; if, for example, people want to see more greeting cards, I’ll open up new shops to showcase new card designs.

I invite you to check it out, e-mail me your comments, and shop!

  • Karen Wattie

    I happened across your cafepress shop, and wondered if you have sold anything. I’m thinking of opening one of these too, and being Canadian, I looked for others with some experience with this venue. I’m not clear on if your shop is the free version or one that you had to pay for….not that it’s any of my business. I’m just wondering if it’s worth setting up. Can you take a moment to tell me how long you have been doing this, and if it’s worth the effort? I’d appreciate the input. Thanks.


  • Shireen

    I’d be glad to answer your questions. I’ve sold a little to relatives, but nothing to the general public yet. I’ve read in the CafePress community that it takes a few months for new shops to appear on Google, which is when they start to make sales, and, as well, that premium shops tend to do better than free shops. I wrote in more detail about setting up my shop and howto stuff on Squidoo, and included photographs of some of the merchandise (I’ll be updating it with new items soon). I’ve been doing it since just before Christmas. I would say it’s worth it as long as you do your homework on how to maximize sales, you’re willing to put the effort into it, and you have the patience to regularly add new products in the face of few sales for awhile. I hope this helps you!

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