Shop Etsy

Quit Your Day Job: The Paris Letters by JaniceArtShip

Feb 19, 2013

by JaniceArtShip

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

When Janice MacLeod set out to travel Europe, she had no idea she’d end up building a business based on her adventures.
“I was on the brink of burnout from my copywriting job in an advertising agency,” she remembers. After spending a year “devising ways to bust out of cubicle land,” in 2011 Janice quit her job and left Los Angeles to explore the world.
While traveling in Rome and Florence, she started mailing letters from the road to pals at home. Over time, Janice turned a friendly habit into a 1,000-letter-a-year business. “I create painted letters about life in Paris and snail-mail them to people around the world,” Janice says. She personalizes her dispatches, too. “I really want each person to feel like they’re getting special mail.” People love receiving mail from Janice so much they purchase a whole series of letters from her in the form of six- or 12-month subscriptions.

“I take photos of scenes I love, then turn them into letters,” Janice says. “There is so much here to talk about, from museums to food to street art and architecture. I can’t imagine ever running out of material.”

If every one of Janice’s letters tells a story, there’s an entire novel she could share about her shop  — she’s even working on a book about how she left a corporate job of writing junk mail and began writing The Paris Letters.
Janice talks here about her journey to becoming a full-time artist and Etsy seller and shares her insights for new sellers embarking on their own Etsy adventures.
You started on Etsy in 2010 by trying to sell your paintings. How did that lead to creating a business selling artful letters?
I finally got my life down to one suitcase and saved up enough money, so I quit my job to hit the road. I had decided to sell a few paintings on Etsy to help fund my adventure but only sold one and my shop lay dormant for a long while.
I came up with The Paris Letters idea in January 2012 after I came across an artist named Percy Kelly who created amazing painted letters to send to his pen pal. This inspired me to buy a small set of watercolors and add illustrations to travel letters I was already writing to friends. Once I realized I could mail out more than one copy of each letter and still make them feel personal and intimate, my dormant Etsy store took on a second life.

“I don’t have a fancy work space,” Janice says. “Much of my art is done in coffee shops and on park benches around Paris. And let’s not forget my kitchen counter.”

You offer five subscriptions so that people can purchase up to 12 months of letters from you. How did you go from a dormant shop to offering a year-long letter series like “Paris Love Stories?”
It helps to be accountable to someone in order to stay on task. At first, I gave a handful of one-year subscriptions to friends, sending them a letter each month for a year. By the time I launched The Paris Letters on Etsy, most of my subscribers were friends who saw links to it on Facebook and my blog. I suspect they wanted a good way to support my adventure, but when they displayed my letters on fridges and bulletin boards, other people saw them and wanted their own. By the end of 2012, I sent over 1,000 letters to subscribers around the globe.

Janice’s mantra: “Luck comes more easily to those concentrating on their craft.”

What are your top three tips for new Etsy sellers?
1. Make it easy for your buyers to lead people to your shop. Think of each sale as an advertisement for your product. Add your shop name to everything so when buyers receive compliments on their T-shirts, letters, jewelry, or whatever, they can easily find your Etsy shop address.
2. Don’t be sheepish about social media. Facebook, Pinterest, and Polyvore are great selling tools. Twitter? Less so for me, but other people swear by it. If you find social media outlets you love, they are more likely to love you back.
3. Be generous. Share the work of other Etsy sellers on your Treasuries, Facebook, Pinterest, or whatever social media turns you on. Support other sellers by buying their products. I love buying downloadable PDFs from Etsy sellers that I can turn into fun labels for my letters. Good karma.

“I’m conscious to add personal touches,” Janice says. “Sometimes I add an interesting sugar packet, vintage postcard, or a beautiful label I find in my explorations through Paris.”

Have you encountered any challenges along the way?
At first, I was always running out of supplies like ink, paper, envelopes, and stamps. Now I plan ahead so I can stay on schedule. If I see an envelope I like in a tiny paperie, I buy a lot of them. And because I insist on using real stamps, I buy them in sheets of 100. The ladies at the post office think I’m nuts.
What do you enjoy most about running your Etsy shop?
Three things: I love finding stories to tell about daily life in Paris. I also love getting to know my subscribers. I love that one woman lives on a street called Flowery Branch Road and another lives in Peculiar, Missouri. And half of my subscriptions are gifts to those who could use a pick-me-up each month — people in hospitals, nursing homes, or those who just like fun mail. Finally, I love afternoon naps. After over a decade in advertising, I need them.

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Seller Handbook Best-of Archives | Quit Your Day Job Series

3 Featured Comments

  • JaniceArtShip said 7 years ago Featured

    Thank you for your kind words! People loving people. Grinning from ear to ear. You've made my day, week, year, LIFE!

  • Tarahawken1 said 7 years ago Featured

    What an amazing idea!! I am such an old romantic, I totally love this idea and will be looking at your subscription packages. This shows that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and move on to the unexpected...but that way something amazing you could never have dreamed of can happen. I totally love your business ethos, with buying real stamps and keeping it personal, those touches add a lot! I also like it that you support other etsy sellers, I do this too, mainly because I can't help myself because there are so many amazing shops on etsy. Paris is one of my favourite places, keep up the good work! X

  • BenuShop said 7 years ago Featured

    Love this unique, special and really personal concept. It really stands out and is different, your story is definitely worth of this lovely feature. I'm from Paris and I'm feeling a little nostalgic now, you're really capturing the best bits of it!

251 comments

  • PennyBirchWilliams said 7 years ago

    This is an amazing idea for a business that grew out of your letters to friends, combining painting and writing and traveling in such a personal connection with customers. I am frankly envious of your ability to find a way out of the cubicle work-life and going off to explore the wonders of Europe...and making a business to support you along the way! What synchronicity and serendipity that is. I love your art and the handpainted, handwritten intimacy of your letters. It would be a treat to receive them, I'm sure. Thank you for sharing your story and best wishes for continuing success and freedom to choose your own path!

  • MissLucyA said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful, unique idea! Fantastic shop :)

  • kpoklemba said 7 years ago

    Such a great idea! Your images are adorable and the personal touch of using real stamps makes them individual rather than mass market. You can read about a place, but until you get a first hand account or go there yourself you do not really feel like you know it. You say you are giving people a pick me up, you are also giving them an outlet. Beautiful work!

  • JessicaMatthewsArt said 7 years ago

    How wonderful! It sounds like such a blessing for both you and the people getting the letters from you!

  • LetsAllMakeBelieve said 7 years ago

    I LOVE your work and your story--congrats on all the success :)

  • Iammie said 7 years ago

    Love your drawing! Congrats on the feature!

  • KiwiGirlCreations said 7 years ago

    Your work is so beautiful and what an innovative idea. It really warms my heart when creativity touches people in such a personal hands on way...good for you.!

  • sonyarasi said 7 years ago

    Congratulations! Fantastic work!

  • AZCreativeStudio said 7 years ago

    Your artwork is nostalgic and very romantic. Congratulations on your success!

  • HabitNation said 7 years ago

    Your desire and persistence has surely paid off to leave behind the cubicle job. I love the romantic and magical feel to your paintings. There is nothing better than receiving old fashioned snail mail, and this is just brilliant. I love that you insist on real stamps too. I used to have a pen pal from England when I was younger, and the postage stamps were the first exciting thing I was able to anticipate with each letter.

  • BirdiesCozyNest said 7 years ago

    What a beautiful life you have created!

  • mattyhandmadecrafts said 7 years ago

    Fantastic! Congrats!!!

  • auntjanecan said 7 years ago

    Genius! What an innovative idea and wonderful wonderful art work!

  • BossysFeltworks said 7 years ago

    You're more than an etsy shop -- you're a movement! An such an amazingly fun one at that. Well done!

  • GoldenDaysAntiques said 7 years ago

    What a great idea for an artist! And how fun! Your work is beautiful. Congrats!

  • FrancesMarin said 7 years ago

    Such a beautiful idea! I love travel drawings and the subscription is such a fantastic idea.

  • HandpaintedThreads said 7 years ago

    To personally touch people and make them feel good while making a living doing it is a wonderful way to live and a great business to have. Good Luck and keep enjoying life! Your work is beautiful.

  • peshka said 7 years ago

    Beautiful!! Congrats!

  • renphotographycouk said 7 years ago

    I'm so glad it has worked out for you, beutiful pieces of art and very personable.

  • noritadesigns said 7 years ago

    Congratulations! very inspirational and breathtaking illustrations!

  • IsabellaDiSclafani said 7 years ago

    Fantastic concept and artwork! Email and text are fast and efficient, but it doesn't replace a personal letter in an envelope...the human touch is so much sweeter. Congratulations!

  • ingapeterson said 7 years ago

    Wow - what a great idea! Congratulations on making a successful and rewarding venture out of something you love. Beautiful letters!

  • heatherfuture said 7 years ago

    Oh my goodness! You have just about the most incredible shop ever. Thank you dearly for sharing your inspiring story!

  • ThreeBarDGifts said 7 years ago

    What a great idea! The concept combined with your talent as an artist must be very rewarding for you! Congrats on the feature and much success to you!

  • applesong said 7 years ago

    What an admirable and original idea, I think I am going to treat a loved one to this lovely gift, well done!!!

  • destree said 7 years ago

    Love it! So unique too!

  • OrangeOdge said 7 years ago

    Beautiful and such an original idea - love your work!

  • SusanFaye said 7 years ago

    What an enchanting and beautiful way to perpetuate the art of letter-writing and snail mail! Best wishes for continued success!

  • teacountry said 7 years ago

    Love it!

  • JaniceArtShip said 7 years ago Featured

    Thank you for your kind words! People loving people. Grinning from ear to ear. You've made my day, week, year, LIFE!

  • VelvetRevived said 7 years ago

    Janice, this is such a wonderful idea! I am so inspired by your story of having left office work to do something you would love to do and live in Paris as well! I'm also so impressed that you enjoy keeping the Etsy karma moving by using images from other shops to decorate your letters!!! Very cool!

  • minouette said 7 years ago

    This is a delightful story and project!

  • alexibon said 7 years ago

    So inspired by how you were able to put your talents to use in such a creative, original and fulfilling way! Congratulations!

  • dreamsinreality said 7 years ago

    You are an ispiration. Thank you for sharing your story. Your product is simple and one of a kind, I love it, such a great idea. I wish you much success

  • ThreefoldDesigns said 7 years ago

    Wow, that is an incredibly innovative and charming idea! Original artists like this deserve much success ;)

  • gescate said 7 years ago

    Fantastic!

  • vintageletters said 7 years ago

    I am about to open my Etsy shop with letters from words written by my Grandmother of her sea journey from Australia to England in 1935. **Full credit for the idea goes to Janice!** I bought her Paris Letters subscription for my sister, who just loves-loves-loves them. Also - Janice's blog is fabulous. JaniceMacLeod.com Find it and add it to your reading list :) M.xx

  • MariesJewelryshop said 7 years ago

    Such a lovely idea! Best of luck to you !

  • InnerWild said 7 years ago

    *beautiful*

  • Gbydesign said 7 years ago

    How wonderfully inspiring!!! Thank you!!!

  • ikabags said 7 years ago

    Formidable ! Congrats !

  • aroundthestory said 7 years ago

    Wow... you are completely amazing! Your work is beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with the world!

  • Aristocrafts said 7 years ago

    I have never heard of a more original, creative, beautiful and simply fun business! Your work is amazing! I'm just stunned! Thank you for sharing your story, your great tips and best of luck with everything!

  • art4ear said 7 years ago

    What FUN!!

  • sarahschroed said 7 years ago

    Travel is such an important part of life.. it can spark all kinds of creativity :)

  • metalicious said 7 years ago

    Stunning illustrations! Thanks for sharing your stories, Janice. What an inspiration!

  • FreelyExpressed said 7 years ago

    This is a great story, really inspiring! It shows, life is full of great surprises as long as you reach for the stars. I helps me to keep my artist dream alive forever! Thanks Janice, Irmi

  • michellemach said 7 years ago

    What a brilliant idea! Wishing much success for you!

  • ShabbyNChic said 7 years ago

    Absolute genius! What a brilliant idea! I am not at all surprised that your shop has been a wonderful success. I imagine your letters brightening your day and the day of those who receive them. I just love knowing that a shop like this exists and right here on Etsy!

  • YaYJewelry said 7 years ago

    How wonderfully creative you are. Beautiful!

  • reynalore said 7 years ago

    Great creative idea! I have a couple of friends who mourn with me the lost art of letter writing, so we are occasional pen pals. It's nice to get something in the mail besides bills and flyers too. Love your drawings and your shop.

  • kiihelewest said 7 years ago

    If your Etsy shop is ultra-successful, you could afford to, say, take a trip to Rome or Barcelona or... You would never run out of adventures to write about. I have a girlfriend who spent some time in Paris and traveled all over Europe. Her birthday is coming up in April. This might be the perfect gift!

  • SweetBohemianLife said 7 years ago

    Love this! Such an inspiration! What a talent as well.

  • WingedWorld said 7 years ago

    What an incredible, amazing idea! I just love the idea behind these letters!

  • PattieJansen said 7 years ago

    Extremely cool. And yep, I'm green with envy!!!!! My hat (beret?) is off to you, Janice...Congrats, for sure, and Snail Mail Forever!

  • FavorITDesign said 7 years ago

    such a sweet and unique idea!! :o) Congrats Janice!!!

  • bsurles said 7 years ago

    Such a delightful way to pick yourself up and spread the ripple to those around the world...Go global girl! betsysetzy

  • PattieJansen said 7 years ago

    Extremely cool. And yep, I'm green with envy!! My hat (beret?) is off to you, Janice! Congrats on your success... and Snail Mail Forever!

  • 11Eleven11Eleven11 said 7 years ago

    Sentimental!

  • FreshRetroGallery said 7 years ago

    Where an adventure goes with creativity, talent and free spirit. Enjoy life!

  • MysteriousMannequin said 7 years ago

    Such a great story! Love this idea. I have a friend from College that i still exchange handwritten and illustrated letters with I love the part where you talk about using regular stamps. I think personal Touches help shops be more sucessful. I have a doodle, illusrtation I draw on every package i mail out , i could save $ on my Ship charges with pre printed labels. But where is the fun in that I love your suggestion to support other shops, share the karma As you explain! Is it time for Bali letters. You should take your shop on the Road!! Stay happy

  • CopperAndTin said 7 years ago

    I am in awe of your idea - how truly wonderful! I'm heading to Paris in October with my mother-in-law, who is a watercolor artist. I'm sharing your story with her for inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing your story - best wishes for continued success.

  • OldWorldPetPortraits said 7 years ago

    My friend gave me a birthday gift of an old travel diary of a woman who traveled around Europe in 1953. It's fabulous and I never would have thought of it as a gift. Your idea was ingenious and I can see how fun it must be for recipients to go to their mailboxes and find out the latest from abroad.

  • designlab443 said 7 years ago

    Your illustrations are so lovely... congrats!

  • TreehouseIllustrator said 7 years ago

    I've never heard of something like this -- and it's awesome! Good for you. And good luck! :)

  • HuellaHuella said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful story!

  • birdy27designs said 7 years ago

    how inspiring!! this really opens my mind re: what is possible. thanks so much for sharing your story and your tips.

  • kitty525 said 7 years ago

    What a fantastic shop and concept -- not to mention, wonderful artist. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

  • hjmart said 7 years ago

    Wow! What an original, amazing idea! Congratulations!

  • merryvine said 7 years ago

    Just lovely!

  • JennWahl said 7 years ago

    What a lovely idea and a wonderful way to form a business out of doing something you love! Best wishes!

  • loeladesigns said 7 years ago

    This is so inspiring and real!

  • GisieArt said 7 years ago

    Amazing idea. Wonderful work. Thanks for sharing. Wish you the best!!

  • castlecalligraphy said 7 years ago

    WOW. What a great idea. I love snail mail, illustrations and PARIS

  • LucyRoseDesigns said 7 years ago

    What a treat it would be to receive letters like that in the mail each month!! Thank you for sharing your story!!

  • kat4526 said 7 years ago

    fantastic idea! so happy for her...it's not easy for a creative to work a 9-5 in a cubicle all day long! it's very inspiring!

  • SiameseDreamDesign said 7 years ago

    This is a great gift idea. I am already thinking of someone this would suit so well.

  • accentonvintage said 7 years ago

    Very unique and interesting work!

  • eileenblodgett said 7 years ago

    I love this "outside the box" idea! Thanks so much for sharing with all of us. Congratulations!

  • watermediaworks said 7 years ago

    fabulously original idea! congrats on your well-deserved success!!

  • GardenDaisiesStudio said 7 years ago

    Love your work! These will definitely make great gifts. Congratulations on quitting your day job and following your dreams :)

  • Dogdohr said 7 years ago

    What a very unique idea! I have always thought about taking the letters I've written and received and put them in a book!

  • omabina70 said 7 years ago

    ja, tolle idee! Viel glueck...........

  • loosestockings said 7 years ago

    I love happy endings...although, I guess this is the beginning....Beautiful, inspireing work!

  • bellabiondinella said 7 years ago

    Hi Janis, What you do is very magical and unique, I just had to comment. Congratulations on your success, creativity, and talent! Best, Dana

  • woolymossroots said 7 years ago

    This is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing your story Janice. :)

  • ProctorCreations said 7 years ago

    I absolutely love this idea and most of all your beautiful illustrations of Paris. I spent a month there in 2011 and I can imagine that you will never run out of unique places to paint. I especially like the idea of sending a subscription to someone who can't get out much, or someone who would love to travel to Paris but can't. Congrats on your courage to quit cubicle land and never look back! Colleen

  • breakmydreams said 7 years ago

    Such a great story :) Keep up the good work :)

  • weskarchut said 7 years ago

    Very talented artist.

  • DonnaRoberge said 7 years ago

    How unique and inspiring you are! Great story, thank you!

  • burnabybelle said 7 years ago

    I love this idea so much. In the 60s I did much the same thing as in liquidating my assets and heading to Europe for as long as the money lasted. (I stayed 3 years.) I kept an illustrated scrapbook complete with brochures, stamps, receipts and postcards. 25 years later I considered trying to get the local newspaper to help fund a trip to retrace my steps to see how much things had changed. I didn't and I have always regretted it because the worst thing that could have happened was a rejection letter. Trust me, when many years have passed these letters will mean more to you than they do now. When your short term memory starts to go, the reminders from the past will make you feel so young and alive again.

  • DCCFORMALSTYLE said 7 years ago

    By far the BEST "Quit your day" story. You sholud be proud of yourself. Such bravery and commitment. I wish you the best and much more. I want to be like you when I grow up !!!! Best Wishes !!!!

  • scrapbookcompleted said 7 years ago

    Your art is amazing! You're so talented! Congrats on finding your niche in the Etsy world! One of the best "Quit Your Day Job" interviews. Keep up the great work and inspiration!

  • krisblues said 7 years ago

    So inspiring and beautiful work. Thank you for sharing it in Etsy. -K

  • jwlc said 7 years ago

    What a dream! And you're living it - way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BelleHaven said 7 years ago

    How inspiring! Thank your for sharing your story and having such a great outlook.

  • simpleedesigns said 7 years ago

    My mother-in-law was also a wonderful watercolourist and her hand painted cards for birthdays, Christmas and every so often, out of the blue, were always the highlight of the occasion! With her now passed, we have had some of our favorites framed and they are admired by everyone who visits. Your story and cards are the stuff dreams are made of! Congratulations!

  • SayMyNameShop said 7 years ago

    Brilliant! What an inspiring and beautiful idea!

  • 2TrickPony said 7 years ago

    wow what an awesome idea, and on top of that, really doing it! Letters are irreplaceable...stamps envelopes, and all the good stuff inside. On my list for presents...best of luck to you, and congrats on the well deserved feature.

  • wishingstarranch said 7 years ago

    This is so inspiring! I love it when artists find a new way to break through to financial success. Your work is beautiful. I expect it to grow into more than you thought it would :)

  • Calicokook said 7 years ago

    I love how what was not initially a success spawned something that became a unique and fun way to live... and earn a living as a by-product. Thanks!

  • ArtdeLimaginaire said 7 years ago

    I think you're a genius! Just fabulous! I think you could get your letters published in a book as well. Really cool!

  • ArtdeLimaginaire said 7 years ago

    You are truly genius! Fabulous shop! Awe inspiring!! I think you could get your letters published as a book!

  • oliveetcafe said 7 years ago

    I dont know what can I add to those beautiful comments... I just need to say how much inspiring it is for me! I am planning on oppening an Etsy and one day I feel like it is the best project in the world, and the other day I am scared. I loved to read your tips and story! You got talent and you found a brilliant idea! Olive xox

  • GoldGraceShop said 7 years ago

    Yes, you are really gifted in this way. So good that you found a way to express your talents and use them to live as you love. I hope more people could find their unique gifts and the way to use them. Best to you.

  • alexstone3 said 7 years ago

    Its great that you can finally enjoy your work, and have great adventures at the same time. Well done you for having the courage!

  • joycesaearrings said 7 years ago

    Love your idea, your art and your business sense. It must so fulfilling to know people are enjoying your art through your letters and vice versa. You are very inspiring to me. I needed this to get me thinking and doing some more planning of my site. Thank you so much and continued success. If you have any suggestions for my site I'd appreciate hearing from you. Love your work! You're amazing! Joyce

  • PillowsByJanet said 7 years ago

    That took a lot of courage and belief in yourself to give up the paycheck and leave the country. I'm sure you had plenty of doubts and fear along the way, but you DID IT! You are truly an inspiration to all. Congratulations and keep up the work! Janet

  • LeasaMarie said 7 years ago

    How fun and clever!! They would make great framed artwork too! To travel and create - lucky you!! Enjoy~

  • LeasaMarie said 7 years ago

    To travel and create!! It's a great life....! Enjoy~

  • gloriafreshley said 7 years ago

    Wonderful! Kudos to you for such a brilliant idea!! All the best!

  • owlgypsy said 7 years ago

    Gorgeous!!! Love it!

  • wearthou said 7 years ago

    What an amazing idea - it's so refreshing!!!! Kudos for turning this into a great business!!

  • PillowsByJanet said 7 years ago

    It took a lot of courage to give up a paycheck and leave the country.I'll betbyou had lots of doubts and fears, but you DID IT! Congratulations! Keep up the good work.

  • gracedmoments said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful way to live! Glad you took the chance to explore the world because look what came of it! Your art is lovely...and I like that you send your letters also to people who need pick-me-ups! BRAVO!

  • isaiahfcobb said 7 years ago

    Janice, May the gift you have rise like the the glowing of sunrise to restore great hope in the hearts of mankind and may the smile of heaven embrace you with such love to enrich the lives of the young and elders at heart in Christ Jesus name. Thank you for the blessing and your unique designed work. www.etsy.com/shop/IsaiahARTDESIGN

  • PruAtelier said 7 years ago

    How wonderful an idea and what great artwork!

  • Emjoyc said 7 years ago

    This is such a unique business idea! How wonderful that many of her subscriptions are given as gifts to people who are in hospitals and need cheering up.

  • SillyBuddy said 7 years ago

    Absolutely fantastic!

  • sheilamcbryde said 7 years ago

    What a great story! Your unique idea is wonderful, along with your talent. Congrats to you:)

  • efratjewelry said 7 years ago

    A unique idea! I love it very much! It is wonderful that you have found something that allows you to live in Paris and do what you love!!

  • Winterowls said 7 years ago

    Such an inspiring story and what a clever idea to have come up with, I love it!

  • floridascarf said 7 years ago

    This is a heartwarming story. I enjoy hearing tales of people changing themselves and their lives for the better. You've come from feeling like your working day is pointless, and transformed into a life's work that is fulfilling and positively impacts many people. This is the life people dream about. I especially enjoy picturing those in Nursing Homes and Hospitals that receive your postal joy.

  • Peachygirl said 7 years ago

    What an absolutely unique & cool idea, I love it! I think of all the people in the world who would love to get to Paris but for one reason or another realize they'll never be able to reaize that dream. Being able to receive letters like yours that include so much flavor of Paris is just what they need to keep their dream alive. Just wonderful and I know your business will continue to grow & grow!! Wishing you great success! ♥

  • AmityArtifacts said 7 years ago

    Clever lady! The most perfect, transportable and generous of ideas.

  • crafts2love said 7 years ago

    Congratulations! Great way to use your talents!

  • tliv1965 said 7 years ago

    Love your cute and unique idea! Your letters a make the world a better, kinder place.

  • adrivoulgarellis said 7 years ago

    Hi Janice,your product is so unique.Thank you for sharing your expeience!

  • Snowdon said 7 years ago

    What a wonderfully inspiring story! Amazing how you've turned your life around Janice with such a great, original idea. Your artwork is beautiful too : )

  • meropisart said 7 years ago

    Inspiring story. Thank you for sharing

  • BenzaitenBulgaria said 7 years ago

    You turn back my faith that when someone makes what he likes and follows his dreams everything is possible. So amaizing story and the best is that it is true!

  • xcbx said 7 years ago

    Dear Janice Once more than ten years ago I was also in Paris and Florence with my then fiancé husband today. You have captured those beautiful romantic cities so perfectly and made it your own....I love how you have added your own feel to the pictures, making it even more friendlier and happier, I have notice that you have added flower boxes hanging from the windows etc....I wish all the lonely people in the world can receive a letter, may God bless your business so that my wish can come true! With Love from Christine xcbx

  • mirjamleskovek said 7 years ago

    Wow! This is so cute and lovely! I live in Europe, have visited most of its cities and villages and yes, France is simply the best country to write about it!. Paris, especially! This city has a soul, that no one else does. I found the french countryside even more beautiful than Paris itself. What a great country, with its farmers, beautiful villages, delicious country food. A great idea for all sentimental people and for those who love something special. My sister is also in love in Paris, perhaps this is a great idea for her birthday present! getting letters each month from Paris, and I am sure she will hang them all on the walls!

  • GypsyRock said 7 years ago

    My first time to encounter such an enterprise! Very good! I have just posted in my blog http://gypsy-artscrafts.blogspot.com/2013/02/reviving-post-office-lets.html to start a chain mail/letter to revive my local post office and there you are already making it! Cool! Keep it up!

  • DominykaLaz said 7 years ago

    Like Audrey Hepburn has said: Paris is always a good idea. Congratulations!!

  • skhambatti said 7 years ago

    Hi Janice, I have no words to say about your innovative idea of letters to your subscribers. Its just amazing and so simple when one comes to know about it. wishing you the best in your travel.

  • Tarahawken1 said 7 years ago Featured

    What an amazing idea!! I am such an old romantic, I totally love this idea and will be looking at your subscription packages. This shows that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and move on to the unexpected...but that way something amazing you could never have dreamed of can happen. I totally love your business ethos, with buying real stamps and keeping it personal, those touches add a lot! I also like it that you support other etsy sellers, I do this too, mainly because I can't help myself because there are so many amazing shops on etsy. Paris is one of my favourite places, keep up the good work! X

  • LittleFrenchShop said 7 years ago

    My French grandmother used to send mails just like yours ... Your story is so true and full of heart - totally adore you!!! x Eve

  • LyckeB said 7 years ago

    I love this! Thanks for sharing. You are so talented.

  • Devinedelinquents said 7 years ago

    So inspiring. I'm jealous of you, in a good way! very tempted to buy a subscription for me now. Lovely blog post and a joy to read, keep up the good work.

  • underneaththeoaktree said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful and unique idea. I love the abundant diversity on Etsy, with so many beautiful and inspiring things to see. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • HoneyThistle said 7 years ago

    This makes my soul sing! What a great idea & congrats on finding what makes you so happy!

  • LonesomeRoadStudio said 7 years ago

    What a clever idea - I love how you have combined your passion with something that makes you and others truly happy. Congratulations on your current success, and best wishes for more success in the future!

  • bartekd said 7 years ago

    Amazing ideal! I love write letters!

  • aglassofharmony said 7 years ago

    What a personal and unique idea! Your story is so inspiring! Just love it!!!

  • aprilheather said 7 years ago

    I think she must be a GENIUS!! This is fabulous and has me thinking of new ways to connect with my customer! Thank you for such an inspiring story to start off my Wednesday!

  • Savvon said 7 years ago

    Bravo

  • susanmagner said 7 years ago

    Yes, congratulations, you do touch people in a special way. The success of a business is in reproducing something that you can do once and reproduce it again and again. I love to teach others what i have learned, that is your legacy. You do beauftiful work.

  • DearEdna said 7 years ago

    This is my favourite Quit Your Day Job so far! What an amazing story and such a unique business that came out of it! I love the idea of buying a subscription for someone who needs a pick-me-up. So sweet.

  • sweetgumballinc said 7 years ago

    love! thank you for sharing your success here! {{{hugs}}}

  • jennystegemoeller said 7 years ago

    This is such a beautiful and inspirational story!

  • PrintsbyKarin said 7 years ago

    I love this! I think my favorite part of the whole story is the fact that you started by illustrating your own letters to your friends with Paris scenes. You are a true artist!

  • BowMoBBB said 7 years ago

    Think of all the hearts that are warmed each month when your letters are received. Just knowing that would be enough to fulfill your dreams. Your heart must be warmed as a result. What a wonderful route to success.

  • HappyWhoos said 7 years ago

    What a brilliant and unique idea! Totally inspiring article! Congrats!!!

  • PillowsByJanet said 7 years ago

    I'm sure it took lots of courage to give up a paycheck and leave the country. You're a true inspiration! Congratulations!

  • TwoChicklets said 7 years ago

    Wow, you have such a unique and cool thing going. I wish you many great adventures to write about!

  • mflower23 said 7 years ago

    Love your story! How beautiful your work it!!

  • QuiltedbyChelle said 7 years ago

    What an inspiring article, have had my Etsy shop for 1 1/2 years and am not quilte ready to quit the day job but this really inspires me to keep moving forward, SO glad you have shared your experience. Chelle

  • melissahager said 7 years ago

    Love your story and your idea! Your work is beautiful!

  • yolandeadedokun said 7 years ago

    This was such a wonderful loving story about your letters to your friends. They are beautiful.

  • copperandglass said 7 years ago

    What a unique idea. I love your watercolors and your sense of adventure, (especially the napping part!)

  • laurenweiland said 7 years ago

    Your story and shop are very touching. I am so happy for you. Sometimes its the small stuff (like the stamps) that make a huge difference. Congrats on something quite unique and very special to many.

  • ShopReminiscence said 7 years ago

    I LOVE your artwork and idea. Reading this makes me want to go back to Paris just to meander the streets and sip cafe au lait at the outdoor cafe's. What a lucky lady you are. Congrats on finding such a wonderful niche and making a living from it!! I adore your blog as well. You're an inspiring writer. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • JacyDesign said 7 years ago

    Congratulations on creating a fabulous idea! Who would'nt love to receive your Paris art letters in the mail. When we can inspire, dream, and create wonderful memories and share them with others, this is truely a gift! Thank you for sharing your gift with us! Peace, Harmony and Happiness

  • OxOriginalArtJewelry said 7 years ago

    Wonderful idea and wonderful work! I think the city of Paris should pay you for all the p.r. you're providing! Your letters probably move many to plan a trip.

  • ruoiled said 7 years ago

    You are such a creative person! I am really praying to unleash my success everyday! Your story gives me faith. Thanks for sharing!

  • LittleWrenPottery said 7 years ago

    Very sweet, I've always wanted to illustrate my life like this but I dont think its quite exciting enough!

  • loadedhipspress said 7 years ago

    Magical... most unique Quit Your Day Job story. You'll start a whole new Etsy category!

  • jeweluhl said 7 years ago

    This is so inspiring!....I was reading my great-aunt's travel journal when she traveled to Europe in the 1950's and just escaped in her writings...but I did not know how to share them with our very large family.... I will sooooo be a subscriber!!!.....my site is the prettytipi.....still in the making....but thanks for your story of success....so encouraging!....Blessings on all of your future creations!

  • EssentiallySplendid said 7 years ago

    I love your work. It's fantastically striking, beautifully created unique with a perfect touch of style. :)

  • inspiredartprints said 7 years ago

    Such a neat idea and inspirational story. Love it.

  • joyelizabethceramics said 7 years ago

    One of the best reads I've had in ages! Love your tips and your sense of humor, all the best to you, you deserve it! xxxx

  • brookeelissa said 7 years ago

    You are amazing, original and inspiring! What a dream to live in Paris, paint, write . . .

  • 118jan said 7 years ago

    Love your letters, what a wonderful idea. Thank you so much for all your tips on how to make our businesses grow!

  • Ivystable said 7 years ago

    I love your idea, truly beautiful! I wish you every success!

  • DawnMarieHoward said 7 years ago

    This is one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" ideas. Simple genius. Ok, who want's letters from Detroit? hee heee hee

  • MelodyCottage said 7 years ago

    Lovely imagination....the art of the letter is disappearing...i love a handwritten letter....fabulous...and Paris...love and songs...xx.

  • cbflanigan said 7 years ago

    Great inspiration and great advice!

  • BlueSquiggle said 7 years ago

    Who wouldn't want a juicy love letter from Paris!!!! Brilliant shop!

  • BonTons said 7 years ago

    A wonderful concept. Congratulations on your success

  • raedulcedesigns said 7 years ago

    So fabulous! I love how artful, beautiful, and personal each one is. Very inspiring!

  • PaperNotions said 7 years ago

    Truly a remarkable story! You passion and drive prove that dreams can come to fruition, even if we never truly know it was a dream to begin with! You are very talented. Best wishes to you!

  • BonnetsBagsTreasures said 7 years ago

    Janice, What a unique idea. I love your paintings. I can see myself taking a casual walk around Paris through your pictures. Don't give up those afternoon naps you deserve them. (smile) Sincerely Lisa Marie

  • cottonandflaxshop said 7 years ago

    This sounds like a dream job! What a fantastic idea, Janice, you are truly doing beautiful and valuable work. Well done!

  • tinytweets said 7 years ago

    What an awesome idea! This is the reason I love etsy, where else can you find such people!

  • frenchfeatherdesigns said 7 years ago

    Janice I loved reading your story. You came up with such an incredibly simple yet romantic, creative idea to sell. Who wouldn't want to receive beautifully written letters from Paris, Rome and more, not to mention gorgeous artwork. Congrats on all your success!

  • whitneysmith said 7 years ago

    I just love this idea, and the organic way it developed into an art-based business. Ooooh, this makes me want to go back to Paris so bad!

  • karicreates said 7 years ago

    Great inspiration to get out and do what you love!

  • OliCreations said 7 years ago

    What an incredible story and I love the idea of these letters! The artwork is amazing too...wow

  • CoriSandlerPOTTERY said 7 years ago

    Are you even still reading all these wonderful comments. If so... add one more to your reading list. I can smell the streets of paris when I look at these images that you have drawn on your letters. They are each so intimate while being able to be duplicatable. Brilliant. As a potter, I make each piece individually, no moulds, and each one is glazed separately. The idea of being able to to 'prints' of my work is making me think in a whole new direction. Your work is delightful, charming, and the idea is ... I'll say it again. Brilliant! Kudos to you girl!

  • AllisonMakesStuff said 7 years ago

    What an amazing inspiring story! Wishing you many more amazing adventures letters and illustrations :)

  • mkasonen said 7 years ago

    Such a cool idea and wonderful implementation. This is a good example of creativity and thinking outside the box! Good luck for the future!

  • SassySudburySisters said 7 years ago

    Beautiful! What a novel idea and an inspirational story. Love that Janice is from my home province - Ontario! Good luck with your future adventures.

  • BenuShop said 7 years ago Featured

    Love this unique, special and really personal concept. It really stands out and is different, your story is definitely worth of this lovely feature. I'm from Paris and I'm feeling a little nostalgic now, you're really capturing the best bits of it!

  • BenuShop said 7 years ago

    What a lovely, unique and special concept. You really deserve this lovely feature. I'm from Paris and am feeling a little nostalgic right now, you're really capturing the best bits!

  • cazzooblue said 7 years ago

    Congratulations on breaking out and following your dreams and then coming up with a fabulous idea! You are young and free and can do it, wonderful! Maybe they will make a film about your life one day.

  • laurastark said 7 years ago

    This is a fantastic gift idea - especially for the Francophile!

  • TallulahsSoaps said 7 years ago

    WoW! How clever! Congratulations on your feature. -tallulah

  • LittleMissCustom said 7 years ago

    I love this!!!!

  • ZooCeramics said 7 years ago

    What a lovely idea.

  • CajaCreations said 7 years ago

    How lovely <3

  • Flicker65 said 7 years ago

    What a lovely and inspiring venture. Your illustrations are wonderful and I love the idea of using them to tell a story. You've managed to pull together elements of who you are and what you love to do and make it work for you. Wow. You've given me courage to persevere! Thank you.

  • AkimaBotanicals said 7 years ago

    An absolutely fantastic idea - what a great way to live vicariously through someone that is lucky enough to enjoy Paris daily. Congrats on your success and feature!

  • WhimzyThyme said 7 years ago

    This is fabulous! How fun. I hope one day I get to go back to Paris. What a fantastic idea and I wish you all the best.

  • capitalcitycrafts said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful idea, Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  • suezqbirds said 7 years ago

    Super neat idea. Wonderful pictures and letters. Your story is inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  • anordicrose said 7 years ago

    This is a great Idea.... there are so many lonely people in the world, bored people in the world, who would love to receive a little something in the mail box once a month. Emails are great for business, but so...... un-personal ! I like the fact that she uses real stamps... I find the ' printed', or 'sticker' stamps frustrating as I collected stamps as a child and now my son has started to do the same.

  • Bumbleweedz said 7 years ago

    Very creative my dear! And thank you for your wonderful advice. Happy travels to you!!!!

  • jryendesigns said 7 years ago

    Wow, I'm truly blown away. Gorgeous drawings and such an interesting, unique idea. I'll be seriously considering buying a subscription for myself since to visit Paris is on my bucket list. I really enjoyed this article.

  • VeraArtJewelry said 7 years ago

    Amazing idea. I am an old fashioned girl as well and this looks really romantic. Paris have such a spirit that it deserves to be shared in so artistic way with other people around the world.

  • reneemp8 said 7 years ago

    What an absolutely beautiful idea - amazing! I wish you much success! I also quite my corporate advertising job in 2011, moved to Paris...and back again, but the trip inspired my new life as an artist on Etsy too. So cheers to Paris!

  • LisasFabricShop said 7 years ago

    Fantastic story! Thank you so much for inspiring us to move ahead with our dreams. Your artwork is amazing! Wishing you much success. :)

  • lauraprill said 7 years ago

    super duper idea:) congrats on the post!

  • thevicagirl said 7 years ago

    What a cool idea, who would have thought. I think I should move forward with my unusual ideas, maybe people would love them to.

  • InMaterial said 7 years ago

    You make a lot of people happy. I couldn't think of any better way to earn a living. Amazing interview.

  • poojacampbell said 7 years ago

    I absolutely love this idea, and what you're doing. Its truthful, comes from the heart, is beautiful to look at, and brightens up somebody's day. Bravo to you!

  • monsterkookies said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful idea. And sort of romantic in a way, really. <3

  • Leatherworks4U said 7 years ago

    So very unique and original. I love it and know just the person to send a subscription to! Lovely feature. Congrats to you for saving and expanding the dying art of letter writing. Continued success!

  • carolethibault1 said 7 years ago

    I love your idea and talent, it's very original. I love reading real life stories like yours, it's inspiring and motivates me to continue. Thanks!

  • macleodagnes said 7 years ago

    Janice. I finally figured it out how to get registerd on etsy ,it took some doing apparently there is more than one agnes macleod can you imagine that so I had to try a few different versions on the "user name" but alas here I am . I am not as talented as my daughters but with a bit of perserverence I figured it out. Your feature on etsy is awsome ,you are a "shining star". People always like to read comments from "the mother". Once again I am veeeeery proud of your achievments and I hope you will be able to keep up with all your orders , if not I will have to come to Paris and be your secretary. Keep up the good work because you light up peoples lives with your Paris letters .

  • JaniceArtShip said 7 years ago

    Thanks mom! I'm so proud of you for figuring out Etsy. And thanks for all your kind words. As my mother says, "It's all in the upbringing." Love, Jan

  • TheDulceVida said 7 years ago

    What a great idea! I am truly inspired! Love etsy and love your art!

  • JypsyLight said 7 years ago

    What a completely original idea! I love it!

  • MyDreamShop said 7 years ago

    Very inspiring story and work! Thank you so much for sharing it with us and congratulations on the feature! Love, Alice

  • CaseyDeeArt said 7 years ago

    What a charming idea! I love that you found a way to connect with people around the world AND quit your day job (a dream of my own...). Also, kudos to you for being active in the comment thread. Beautiful work!

  • AmyBauerDesigns said 7 years ago

    ♥ your story. Very inspirational. & your work is fabulous! love snail mail. :)

  • MorphElle said 7 years ago

    So glad you found your way out of the humdrum and took the brave step to an exciting life. If we start out identifying what we actually want to do, your 3 Keys to success (innovation and personal touch and identity branding) will find, or indeed produce our market. I'll run with these ideas. Thanks

  • KMayCreations said 7 years ago

    What a great way to make a living, and to make new friends! Truly creative and original, and all with such a personal touch. You are one of my 'Etsy Heroes'.

  • whitemountaindolls said 7 years ago

    I love it! Letters from Paris, such a romantic story. Your artwork is beautiful and inspiring.

  • rosalynvintage said 7 years ago

    Wow! What a fantastic idea, what a wonderful way to share your art and story and your life! I'm so happy for you! Oh I would love to receive a mail from you :)

  • LoveStyleHappiness said 6 years ago

    Such beautiful artwork! I'm so happy you're able to do what you love. Your shop is so creative.

  • lynda123 said 6 years ago

    sign me up!

  • SewSimplyFresh said 6 years ago

    What a fun and original idea! I wish you all the best in your business and your life in Paris!

  • FeltHappiness said 6 years ago

    Janice, I loved this feature and your brilliance. Also love how your mom registered onto Etsy so she could share her love and pride in you here. It's truly quite heart warming and special.

  • stamptheenvelope said 6 years ago

    Wow. I love this! All of it! Question - Does anybody ever write back to you after they get your letters?

  • IncidentalGoose said 6 years ago

    So cool! Also nifty! and neat!

  • TwoStylishSisters said 6 years ago

    What an amazing idea!!! So unique... and what a pick-me-up it must be to receive one of your letters in the mail!! We can see why you've become so successful! Such beautiful work, keep it up! : )

  • JaniceArtShip said 6 years ago

    I'm floored and delighted by your amazing comments. I read them all. To answer a few questions, yes, some people write letters back. I love getting fun mail, too.

  • BijousWhimsy said 6 years ago

    OMG completely and utterly BRILLANT....AHHHHH. I am one of the ones still addicted to snail mail and I LOVE LOVE LOVE sending it but get discouraged when I never get any in return. I am heading over to check out how your market this amazing idea & product, right now. AHHHHH!

  • TanteAnnies said 6 years ago

    What a lovely idea Janice. Your illustrations and stories are so charming!

  • thegracioushome said 6 years ago

    I'm completely charmed by your story and kudos to you for building a business that fills so many needs of people, like validating that each person who gets your letters are special; I'm sure the recipients of your beautiful, thoughtful work will keep them in a special place forever, and will be found later by their own loved ones! How wonderful!

  • poppy1504 said 6 years ago

    I was lucky enough to receive one of these beautiful letters as a birthday gift from my boyfriend and I am thrilled with it. It is so beautiful and we are going to frame it and hang it for all to see. Thank you so much :) x

  • perebags said 6 years ago

    Brilliant idea! Much success!!

  • lowlalove said 6 years ago

    Inspiring story. Id love to be u one day <3

  • takeapicturedesigns said 6 years ago

    Totally love your idea and art! Makes me miss my trips to Paris. from Lynne

  • Raceytay said 6 years ago

    Janice, it was such a wonderful experience running into you today in the market. Thank you so much for showing us around your neighbourhood, you made a great day positively perfect. I hope your cheese was as good as it looked! Tracey

  • Agasart said 6 years ago

    This is absolutely amazing, beautiful and inspiring in many, many ways. Beautiful story.

  • handplayart

    handplayart from handplayart said 6 years ago

    Inspiration

  • HandmadeForYouByLeah

    HandmadeForYouByLeah from HandmadeForYouByLeah said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work and creativity!

  • papertreeshop

    Moon Munson from papertreeshop said 6 years ago

    What a lovely story! I like it a lot

  • gumnuts00

    KIM WESTWOOD from DoonbahBazaar said 5 years ago

    Janice I have just discovered you. I am reading your book now and loving it. You are an inspiration. I have order a Paris letter and waiting eagerly to see it. I have been at a stalemate, since I no longer work and looking for an outlet. I am a craft person, sewing, knitting, patchwork quilting. I also paint at times. Time to get back to it. I have a shop on Etsy & trying to come up with some ideas. You may have led me up a different path. Good luck with everything, I envy you living in Paris. I am a long way away in Australia. Merci for the inspirations. Must get and finish your book.

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