Spotlight On: Shortcake, Turning Social Media Into Printed Keepsake Albums

It is truly incredible that our kids are going to have so much of their lives documented by social media.  Births, playdates, trips; all uploaded and saved.  But there's also something to be said for the old school way of printing up pictures and creating albums that you can take off the shelf and flip through anytime.  It takes a little more TLC and a lot more time and time is why 80% of online photo book creations become abandoned.  Until now.  Coralee Dixon was always passionate about scrapbooking.  She started designing baby albums for family and friends based on their social media content and after the birth of her own daughter, launched Shortcake as a way to turn existing social media content and photos into printed keepsake albums.  We spoke with her to find out about this emerging new venture.  

Q: How did you come up with the idea to create Shortcake?

A: Two words - mommy guilt. Just before my daughter Daisy's first birthday last year, I started to feel guilty because I hadn't made a baby book for her like my Mom had made for me. And then I thought about how I had shared a lot of her monthly updates and milestones on Facebook, and thought "I bet there's some service out there that can help me make an album out of all the photos and details I shared online." But I was disappointed when I couldn't find anything that would create the custom album I had in mind. That's when I thought that this business should exist, and I was going to create it.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge starting a business as a new parent?

A: Starting a business is always hard, for parents and non-parents alike. It's long hours and a lot of emotional highs and lows. But what's added on top of that for new parents is guilt over how you spend your time. My time now is at such a premium, and anytime I spend working when I "should" be taking care of Daisy (when I hire a sitter or ask her Grandma to watch her), I feel guilty that I've asked someone else to watch her. But when I'm with her all day and only have a few hours to work, then I feel guilty that I'm neglecting the business.

Q: What are the positives and negatives of working for yourself?

A: Positives-- You're the boss, you're in charge of making the decisions and deciding what the company will become. If you think something is important, you don't have to convince anyone else, you just do it. You shape the company according to YOUR vision.  It's extremely rewarding and validating when your efforts succeed, a great emotional high.  Your schedule is completely flexible around your personal needs. You learn SO much and really fast (usually because you don't have a choice). And a personal one, I'm proud that I can be a role model for my daughter and anyone else who thinks about doing something hard or being a leader. I think it's really something to be able to start a new business from scratch.
Negatives --- There's no one holding your hand. You have to figure out everything on your own.- You end up working a lot of very late nights. You have so much of yourself personally invested in your work that whenever you hit a roadblock you feel it emotionally, internally, and worry you are failing.  It's hard to justify taking any time for yourself when that's time you could be working.  It puts stress on your family and you see your friends a lot less.

Q: What are your goals for the company this year?

A: I started Shortcake just six months ago, so there are LOTS of things I want to accomplish in the next 12 months as the business continues growing. 1) I want to start reaching out to more local parenting communities (mommy groups, tables at local fairs, etc.) to help spread the word and learn how I can continue improving the product. 2) Increase my tech knowledge so I can incorporate new automated features (like login integrations) to make the order process faster and simpler for my customers. 3) Less last-minute quick-fixes and more purposeful, advance planning. (This year I didn't start promoting for Christmas until after Thanksgiving, which I learned was way too late!)


Shortcake is offering Luxe Angeles Mom readers $20 off all orders through the end of February. Just use the code LUXE20


2 comments (Add your own)

1. Irene wrote:
This looks amazing - just what I've been looking for! I'm definitely going to check it out

Thu, January 14, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

2. Coralee Dixon wrote:
Yay - so happy to be your first Business Spotlight, Elise. The post looks great - and so does your new site! :)

Thu, January 14, 2016 @ 12:56 PM

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