Francisco Rivera Income Report


Home Decor, Candle, Arts and Crafts

Revenue Models

E-commerce, Print on Demand

Francisco Rivera’s Candle Craze Generates $462,000 on Etsy Leveraging Print-On-Demand Business Model

Meet Francisco Rivera: From Music Prod to Etsy Entrepreneur

Hey there! Imagine pouring your heart into music production, only to end up at an Apple Store and moonlighting as an online tutor. Bummer, right? Well, that was the tune for Francisco Rivera post-graduation from Full Sail University in 2017. But fast forward to February 2023, and he’s rockin’ a different beat.

A Side Hustle Turns Main Gig

Rivera stumbled upon the print-on-demand scene with Etsy, dedicating just four or five hours daily at first. Though it was a slow burn with a few hundred bucks a month, one particular day changed everything — over 70 orders on a date night! Can you imagine your phone blowing up like it’s the Fourth of July? Talk about a sign!

Nowadays, with more than 5,000 sterling reviews, maintaining his Etsy store is as quick as microwaving popcorn—just 20 minutes of his day. Last year? A whopping $462k in sales. On average that’s nearly $38.5k every month! All this while keeping about 30% to 50% in profits.

The Journey from Tech Support to Candle Boss

  • Apple Stores: A place where multitasking and customer service prowess were honed amid angry customer yells.
  • Outschool Tutoring: Jumped into the online business realm teaching kiddos on Minecraft for up to $100/hr.
  • Print-on-Demand Discovery: Uncovered the potential via YouTube videos while seeking additional income streams when tutoring demand dipped post-pandemic.

Differentiating In A Packed Marketplace

Picking candles over popular apparel (even though he’s allergic), Rivera sought out more unique paths within print-on-demand. His excellent customer service played no small part in quickly gaining traction on Etsy—everybody loves fabulous feedback!

Finding The Secret Sauce: Creativity & Strategy

Rivera keeps things fresh — tweaking product descriptions and photos plus smartly investing in Etsy’s internal marketing. And guess what? The overhead is peanuts! With each listing costing just twenty cents and minimal fees after sales — it’s not rocket science why he’s killing it.

Nurturing Success with Research & Trends

A bit of globe-trotting hasn’t slowed him down; he still works under an hour each day. At home base in Orlando though? He dives into trend research for at least two hours weekly—targeting those niche audiences like new parents or long-distance lovers.

Juggling Expansion vs Free Time

Sure, success is sweet but so is free time for music jams and jet-setting adventures. Expansion temptations linger (like making his YouTube tutorials) but might mean less free time – a tricky trade-off between growth and personal passions for Rivera.

Dreaming of supplemental income without chaining yourself to another desk?

“There’s value in time and value in flexibility,” says Rivera as he weighs his options between hustling harder or savoring the freedom his current success affords him.

How It Works: Starting Your Print-on-Demand Business

Step 1: Market Research and Niche Selection

To kickstart your print-on-demand (POD) venture, the first step is to dive deep into market research. Identify a niche that’s not oversaturated but still has demand. This could be anything from candles with catchy phrases to unique tote bags or custom mugs.

Step 2: Design Creation

After selecting your niche, it’s time to unleash your creativity. Use a design tool like Canva to craft appealing visuals and phrases that resonate with your target audience. Your designs will be the heart of your products, so invest time in making them stand out.

Step 3: Setting Up Shop

Create an account on an online marketplace such as Etsy. Upload product photos and add captivating descriptions that highlight the benefits and uniqueness of your items.

Step 4: Integrating with Manufacturers

Select a POD service like Printify to connect with manufacturers who will print your designs on products. Integration is key here – ensure that when an order comes in, it goes straight to production without requiring manual intervention from you.

Step 5: Pricing Strategy

Determine a pricing strategy where you factor in costs such as marketplace fees, manufacturing, and shipping, while also ensuring you maintain a healthy profit margin.

Pricing Example:

  • List item cost: $0.20 on Etsy per listing.
  • Sale fee: Etsy takes a percentage of each sale (e.g., 6.5%).
  • Total Cost: Include manufacturing and shipping costs.
  • Retail Price: Set this high enough for profit but competitive enough for sales.

Step 6: Marketing and Promotion

Increase visibility through internal marketing tools provided by the marketplace, such as promoted listings or ads within Etsy’s ecosystem to attract customers.

Tips for Promotion:

  • “Smells Like Success”:A candle line could have clever names making them perfect gifts for professional milestones or graduations.
  • Maintain Customer Relations:If there are any issues or inquiries from customers!


  • Financial Flexibility: The ability to determine one’s own income potential, as profits from sales can represent a significant portion of revenue.
  • Lifestyle Freedom: Engagement in this business model allows for a flexible schedule and the opportunity to work from anywhere, supporting travel and personal pursuits.
  • Scalability: With a print-on-demand approach, expanding the product range or scaling up operations does not necessarily require substantial upfront investment or inventory management.
  • Utilization of Existing Skills: Opportunities to leverage prior experience and skills in customer service and online business savvy contribute to success in this model.
  • Earning Potential with Passive Elements: Once established, such ventures can require minimal day-to-day involvement while still generating income, offering a balance between work and leisure.


  • Financial Overhead: Initiating a money-making venture often requires upfront costs for services and materials, eating into early profits.
  • Market Saturation: Entering popular markets can be challenging due to the high competition, requiring exceptional differentiation strategies.
  • Time Investment: Success necessitates significant research and development time, which may conflict with personal interests or leisure activities.
  • Customer Dependency: Relying on customer reviews for reputation building can be precarious as one is at the mercy of public opinion and platform algorithms.
  • Scalability Limits: There’s an inherent trade-off between expanding the business and maintaining the lifestyle flexibility that attracted one to it initially.

Income Generation Platforms Used by Francisco Rivera


Remember when Francisco Rivera had to pivot from his music dreams to something a bit different? Well, it turns out that sometimes Plan B turns into your golden ticket. Francisco is now raking in the cash on Etsy, selling print-on-demand candles. I mean, who would’ve thought?

  • Started his Etsy shop in February 2023.
  • Initially, a slow burn with only a couple hundred bucks a month.
  • “Buzzing phones and booming sales”, with over 70 orders on one day while on a date!
  • A staggering $462,000 in sales last year. That’s about $38,500 per month!
  • Crafts those witty candle descriptions and deals with customer relations just 20 minutes a day now.

Online Tutoring via Outschool

Bet you didn’t know teaching kids online could be this lucrative! Before the candles were even a flicker in his mind, Francisco used to teach on Outschool. It was all about helping munchkins navigate through Minecraft—and hey, that gig paid up to $100 an hour!

The YouTube Connection: A Gateway for Learning

You’re probably wondering how our friend stumbled upon this candle biz idea? Yep, good ol’ YouTube. Not exactly an income platform itself but think of it as the trusty compass that pointed him towards those sweet-smelling profits.

Tiptoeing Into Teaching Content Creation?

Pondering over sharing his print-on-demand wisdom through YouTube videos… could this be another potential income stream for our entrepreneurial virtuoso down the line?

“Some people love structure … but I just recognize that wasn’t for me,” says Rivera. “Being my own boss is very fulfilling.”

🕯️ Inspired by Rivera’s story and thinking of starting your own side hustle? Don’t miss out — there’s plenty of room for more success stories like this one! 🚀

Commencing an E-Commerce Venture: Insights and Initial Investments

Revenue Models in the E-commerce Landscape

The digital marketplace offers a conduit for what might be called a “Print-on-Demand” business model. Entrepreneurs utilize online platforms to sell custom-designed goods, which are then produced and shipped by third-party manufacturers.

  • Sales Platforms: Leveraging marketplaces like Etsy to reach potential customers.
  • Product Diversity: Offering personalized items such as candles, apparel, or home goods.
  • Pricing Strategy: Balancing production costs against retail prices to ensure a healthy profit margin, typically between 30% to 50% per item sold.

Initial Investment Breakdown

To embark on a similar venture, one’s initial investment must cover several key areas:

  • E-commerce Platform Fees: Costs associated with listing products and transaction fees. A nominal amount per item listed plus a percentage of the sale price.
  • Design Software: Access to design tools like Canva for creating product visuals (if opting for the Pro version).
  • Promotional Expenses: Funds allocated towards marketing efforts within the platform or externally to drive traffic and sales.

Detailed Breakdown of Potential Costs

Marketplace Fees:

    1. $0.20 per listing on an e-commerce platform.

Design Tools Subscription:

    1. Around $120 annually (for Canva Pro, as an example).

Marketing Budget:

    1. Varying amounts based on reach desired; consider allocating at least $500 initially.

Miscellaneous Expenses:

    Budget for unexpected costs or trial-and-error learning experiences.

To gauge your entrepreneurial spirit – think of this not just as a set of expenses but rather an investment in your own innovative playground!

Tailoring Success Through Skills & Research

Prior experience may seem distant from e-commerce at first glance; however, skills like problem-solving, customer service from past roles can be invaluable assets. Furthermore, dedicating time to understanding market trends is pivotal – it’s akin to setting sail with the wind in your favor!

The beauty? Flexibility reigns supreme; you decide whether this becomes your full-time gig or remains a side hustle that allows financial growth while pursuing other passions.

Remember, it’s not just about making money—it’s about designing life on your own terms! Here’s wishing you bon voyage on your entrepreneurial journey!

Essential Tools and Services for a Print-on-Demand Business

Design and Product Creation

  • Graphic Design Software: Canva or similar software for creating product designs.
  • Blank Product Templates: Photos of base products (e.g., candles) for design overlays.

E-Commerce Platforms

  • Etsy: Marketplace for listing and selling print-on-demand products.
  • Printify: Service connecting sellers to manufacturers for printing and shipping goods.

Marketing and Analytics

  • All-in-One Marketing Platforms: Etsy’s internal marketing tools or external options like social media advertising.
  • Trend Research Tools: Resources to analyze platform trends to target niche markets effectively.

Budget Management

To keep the books balanced, incorporate tools like a spreadsheet program or finance management software.

Ratings and Feedback Management

Maintaining stellar customer relations could involve using message templates or customer relationship management (CRM) systems tailored for e-commerce businesses. Quick response to customer inquiries is a must!

Note on Expansion and Diversification:

If pondering the leap into educational content creation, consider investing in video production equipment or screen recording software suitable for tutorial creation. However, weigh this against the value of time—expansion could mean less time for personal passions like music and travel. It’s all about striking that sweet balance!

Idea Incubation Station: Dream big, plan well, work smart—a mantra for your entrepreneurial journey. Tip-toe through the minefield of starting up with these essential tools, but remember folks, there’s no ‘i’ in team but there is one in ‘winning’ – so solo entrepreneurs, don’t shy away from asking for help when needed! Let your business soar… as high as your dreams will take you!
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Revenue Type

Online Business, Side Hustle




Side Project

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