How My Business Changed When I Began to Pivot

jenna rainey

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How My Business Changed When I Began to Pivot

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My business changed completely when I began to pivot.


We’re all looking to gain more hours back in the day, right? To be more present with our loved ones, to save money for that trip to Cabo, to feel less stressed, and to finally be freed from those invisible chains that keep you tied to your desk.

I can’t tell you how many birthday parties I’ve missed or phone calls I’ve sent to voicemail because: DEADLINES. The first 5-6 years of building my business, I spent working around the clock and while it was necessary to build the foundation and make the mistakes, I’m also not proud of it. Definitely conflicting.

As a former custom wedding stationery designer, I’ve worked on countless custom jobs, I’ve written and published how-to books and taught hundreds of in-person workshops, and you know what all of these have in common??

You’re trading time for money.

And while doing this is necessary to a certain extent, my business completely changed when I began to pivot and focus on licensing my artwork and patterns.


What is art licensing?

Art licensing is when an artist (Licensor) and manufacturer (Licensee) come to an agreement where the artist gives permission for the manufacturer to use their work on products in exchange for payment. This payment could be an advance that goes against royalties (commission rates are typically in the 3%-10% range on wholesale price), just royalties or just a flat fee).

Related: Art Licensing: Is It For You? How Does It Work?


Perks of Licensing

*Hello passive income*

Through licensing my work, I’ve been able to earn recurring royalties on work that I’ve done in the past, just collecting dust in my Dropbox library.

  • I create collections of work for brands like Toki Mats, Little Sleepies, CASETiFY and have my work in Staples and Target!
  • I’ve been able to design prints that I’m inspired to create and excited about, instead of following specific orders from a client.
  • My revenue has increased and I’ve been able to phase out of client work and into working on product.

No overhead, no client emailing me at 3am…ahhh.

Related: A 7-Figure Licensing Program?! How Dabney Lee Got Started in Licensing


How to Get Started

If you don’t know the first thing about getting started in licensing, I got you. Here’s a (FREE) cheat sheet that lists out all the steps for you!

If you’re ready to dive right into becoming a surface pattern designer/licensing pro, my course Brand Plus Brand, which is co-taught with my agent and licensing expert, Julie Turkel has a waitlist you can join. We open registration once a year for this, but usually let in waitlisters sooner!! Go here to check out the details and sign up for the waitlist!

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