How to Succeed in a Niche Market

31 Jan

Shirley Fisher entrepreneur with successful handpainted cards

Shirley Fisher is our guest blogger. She shares how she found the niche for her beautiful hand painted inspirational cards that are available at .

What inspired you to start your business?

In a nutshell, it was my passion to find a unique platform to share the heart of God. I found this outlet as I began to write phrases and words of encouragement. Before long, I realized that I was writing poetry. I wanted to find a way to share what I had written so others could be blessed by it.
My husband and I had already started a printing and publishing company called Accent Digital Publishing. I started putting all the poetry in greeting card form. I wanted to paint even though I had never done it before. It looked so easy, yet I wasn’t sure how to do it. One night, in a dream, the Lord showed me the exact strokes I needed to use. I have been painting flowers and writing poetry ever since.

What did you do to market your cards?

I found the first opportunity I could, which at that time was our local farmer’s market. I simply started painting the cards and discovered that people were fascinated and wanted to watch me paint them.  People were very receptive to a hand painted card. Some wanted specific poems for encouragement and some just wanted blank cards so they could to put their own words in. The fact remains that in some special way, people are being touched by the love of God.

How do you generate income?

I make my money through the custom work I do for weddings or special occasions, the original design cards, hand painted book marks, custom book marks and other specialty custom designs. You can see many other gift ideas on my website

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a business like yours?

Dream bigger, because you can. We all have a voice. Start with what is in your hand to do. Influence the ONE first.

What pitfalls should those looking for a niche market avoid?

Getting too busy. When that happens I lose the focus of my original dream or the original intent.

How do you handle discouragement?

Recognize it for what it is and where it came from.  Be honest with myself and God. It’s okay to let Him  know you’re discouraged. I think He already knows anyway. After I pour my heart out to Him, I close the door to any other discouraging thoughts that may come and then I do the right thing. If I rest in His presence and read His Word I can enjoy peace.

What inspires you to keep going?

That’s easy to answer. When I see the smiles on people’s faces as they receive the hand painted greeting card I am motivated to keep going.

How do you keep the passion alive?

Ten years have now passed and the passion is still very much alive. I could not stop if I wanted to. I have painted and given away so many cards I have lost count. The opportunities are endless. One of my latest pleasures was to paint cards for the staff at our local women’s refuge facility. Other ministries have asked me to do the same for them also. This is a gift from the heart. Very few people will turn away a free hand painted greeting card.  The heart of giving is one of the ways God shows His love.

Like the motto on the back of my cards says:
 Fishprint – A Lasting Impression Through Art & Poetry
Each day we have the opportunity to make an impression on someone; my prayer is that I make it count. Whether it’s painting flowers in a decorative style, writing poetry or speaking, my focus is the same:
To reflect God’s glory in all that I do.
“Let me be a flower in Your Garden of Worship.”
Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Please email her at if you would like to receive one-on-one coaching. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur.

I would love to get your insights on this topic.

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