Waking from her surgery, Jeanne felt the dreary prospect of recovery weighing on her 12-year-old mind. Being constrained to her bed for 10 weeks was not a pleasant thought when her friends could run, jump, and play outside. Worst of all, she could not do her favorite activity—riding her horse Pepper. Her mom suggested she try designing some fun graphics and sell them on t-shirts. The challenge of this enterprise might distract her from the tedium of recovery. It could give her purpose … give her power … give her extra money for when she recovered.
Over the next two weeks Jeanne designed 11 different graphics using a copy of Adobe Illustrator her dad bought and installed for her. Some of these designs were of horseback riding. Some were of dogs. Others were of babies. She uploaded these 11 designs to CafePress.com. On CafePress.com she could create a storefront to sell the designs on t-shirts using CafePress’s built-in e-commerce platform. CafePress took the digital designs and printed them on the t-shirts as new orders came in. CafePress also took care of shipping the printed t-shirts to customers.
Jeanne e-mailed a link to this storefront to her friends. Her mom posted a link on Facebook. Her dad sent tweets to his Twitter followers. Her simple yet cute designs were a hit. In the first week she sold 38 t-shirts. By the end of the month, she had earned $561. By the time her recovery was over, she had grossed over $1,200. With her recovery complete, she bought a new saddle for her horse from her earnings and returned to her passion of riding.