If you’ve ever purchased decor for your front door, you are going to love this creative business idea. As someone who has purchased various decor for my front door depending on the season or holiday, it is so exciting to meet the artist who makes these.
Painting door hangers has been such a profitable business for my friend Tamara. I hope you enjoy this interview and feel inspired!
Hi Tamara! Can you share a little about yourself and your business, Southern Adoornments Decor?
I am a Marine wife, mother of three, crafter, and businesswoman. That last word feels a little funny to say out loud. I started this business while my husband was on deployment in Afghanistan.
At the time, I did not realize I was planting the seeds for starting a business. I was just inviting women into my house for a night of crafting once a month to save my sanity.
Staying home with little ones while your husband is away can take its toll. I found so much joy in teaching women how to paint and create something beautiful!
Almost 7 years later, my husband is no longer in the Marine Corps and I am so proud to say that my business has supported our family in ways I never expected that it could.
I have the privilege to teach over 1,000 women every month how to paint door hangers and turn that hobby into a business.
I love helping others improve their painting skills, but most importantly their confidence in themselves. My husband is no longer in the military, so he is home full time now and is running the laser cutting shop for our online store.
You focus on all aspects of painting door hangers on your site and in your courses. When did you create your first door hanger and what about door hangers appealed to you?
My first door hanger was a simple snowman with a cute little hat and scarf. I chose something that I knew would be easy to cut with a jigsaw and paint.
My dad taught me how to use the jigsaw since it was my first time. I am proud to say that it was easier than I thought it would be!
I ended up cutting out about a dozen of them and my friends and I sat around my dining room table and painted them.
People often ask “why door hangers?” when they find out that door hangers are the main focus of my business. I have come to the conclusion that it is a fun craft that is less intimidating than something like painting on canvas.
How many of you have ever been to a painting studio to do a canvas painting and never actually hung it on your wall when you got home? The reason for this is that we are all so critical of our own art.
We often don’t feel like our art is “good enough” to be up on the wall.
However, if you were to paint a door hanger, it’s just up on the door for a short time until the next holiday rolls around.
You aren’t sitting on your couch staring at your own art. You can close the door and it’s still there but not visible to you at all times. There’s also something fun about painting something that’s a cute shape.
Canvas painting is on a frame shape, but door hangers can be any shape or size. The possibilities are endless!
Tell us a little about how your business started. Was it your goal to start a business from day one, or did it evolve over time?
When I initially began painting door hangers, there were no plans to start a business. I was just a crafter and it was just another craft I enjoyed doing.
As I said before, I was having women in my home once a month to craft and paint. It was a stress reliever for me.
However, once my husband returned home from his deployment, we were under financial stress and I decided I better either get a job or start a business.
At this point, the ladies who had been crafting with me were missing our monthly craft parties and were asking if I could do a party with them in their home with some of their other friends.
This sparked the idea that I could have a paint party business!
The door hanger painting projects were always the most popular ones, so I started advertising that I would host door hanger paint parties in people’s homes, churches, or even local restaurants.
You mention on your site that Facebook Live caused a big shift in your business. How did you use it and how did it change your business model?
About a year or so into my paint party business, Facebook Live began to become the new thing that people were doing to gain attention and followers on social media.
By this time, I was teaching 6-8 paint parties every month and when I wasn’t teaching, I was painting door hangers for customers.
Since I was spending so much time painting at my dining room table, I thought I would give Facebook Live a try.
I began turning it on a couple of nights a week when I was painting a door hanger for a customer.
While painting, friends, and family would comment and ask questions about what I was doing. The natural teacher in me began to emerge and before I knew it, I was giving out tips and teaching how to paint in every video.
Years later, I still paint on Facebook live every week, usually on Tuesdays at 11 am CST.
In addition to your main site, I see you also have ShopDoorHangers.com where you sell a variety of physical products (such as wood blanks and stencils) and digital products (such as digital cut files). When did you add this to your business?
We added an online store to our business about 6 months after I started doing the Facebook Lives out of a need that my customers were having for wood blanks and help with drawing outdoor hanger designs on their wood.
Until this point, if I wanted to paint let’s say a pumpkin door hanger, I was sketching out a pumpkin on a large sheet of craft wrapping paper to use as a template.
That way every pumpkin I cut would be the same shape and size. I had over a hundred hand-drawn templates.
Most of my viewers were asking to buy the wood blanks so they could follow along with one of my videos and paint too.
After they painted a few designs, the customers were wanting to try cutting out their own wood pieces.
However, the struggle my viewers faced was their lack of drawing skills.
So I figured out how to digitize my templates so that anyone could download them, print them out and replicate what I was teaching even if they can’t draw!
Now we have over 1,000 different door hanger designs available in our shop in both wood blank and digital template format.
You also have Painter’s Clubhouse, a membership community. Tell us a little about it!
Painting on Facebook Live week after week gained me a lot of loyal fans who were learning to paint and who wanted more support in their painting journey.
In April 2018, I opened the doors to my online membership community called the Painter’s Clubhouse.
We now have over 1500 members of all ages, mostly women, who are watching our member-exclusive painting tutorials each month and growing their painting skills.
They call themselves “PC Sisters” and have become quite a close-knit community that supports one another and relies on each other for painting advice.
If someone wants to not just create door hangers for fun but also earn income, what opportunities are out there for them?
There are quite a few ways to earn an income through door hanger painting. You could start as I did by teaching paint parties (workshops) in your local area, you could sell at craft fairs, open an Etsy shop, or teach virtually online.
Many of our Painter’s Clubhouse members have found success with door hangers in these areas.
Some women have retired from their jobs to then start a door hanger business, some are stay-at-home moms like I was and some are just doing this for a little side income to pay for a family vacation.
Whether someone’s goal is to create door hangers for fun or to eventually expand into a business, what resources and courses on your site should they take advantage of?
If you’re thinking that you’d like to try your hand at painting a door hanger, I would recommend starting with our Free Template Library.
We have some free templates you can download if you’re interested in cutting out your own wood. They each have a painting tutorial included so you can follow along as you paint.
If you’re intimidated at the thought of cutting out the wood, you can start with one of our wood blanks.
We have don’t have video tutorials for every single design, but we have hundreds of videos stored on our Youtube channel that you can watch and follow.
You might also find our Door Hanger Painting 101 ebook helpful if you’re unsure what kind of paint, brushes, or wood to buy. It has a paint supply list and instructions that will make getting started a little easier.
If you reach the point where you’re ready to start a business, we even have some helpful blog posts about hosting your first paint party and tips for starting a door hanger business.
It’s been about seven years since you hosted your first door hanger paint party. Where do you see Southern Adoornments Decor in another seven years?
We are hosting an event in Dallas Texas in July 2022. I am really excited to get to see and meet so many of our members and Facebook live viewers in person.
We are going to get to craft and paint together for two days. I see this being a big part of the future of Southern Adoornments Decor.
I dream of one day having multiple locations around the US where I travel a few times a year and meet the people I’ve been teaching to paint all these years. It is so fulfilling to watch their painting skills and confidence grow.
Teaching virtually is such a blessing since it is easy to do from home and anyone can join in, but the in-person meet-ups are my favorite. I look forward to doing more of these in the coming years!
I am a Marine wife, mother of three, crafter, and businesswoman. That last word feels a little funny to say out loud. I started this business while my husband was on deployment in Afghanistan. At the time, I did not realize I was planting the seeds for starting a business. I was just inviting women into my house for a night of crafting once a month to save my sanity.
Staying home with little ones while your husband is away can take its toll. I found so much joy in teaching women how to paint and create something beautiful! When I started my business, I was not the best painter, but I enjoyed it.
Almost 7 years later, my husband is no longer in the Marine Corps, I am so proud to say that my business has supported our family in ways I never expected that it could. I have the privilege to teach over 1,000 women every month how to paint door hangers and turn that hobby into a business. I love helping others improve their painting skills, but most importantly their confidence in themselves.