It started as a side business...
In early 2018, Kylie realized that office life was not for her. She realized what she wanted to do: run her own business. That business was a Tabletop Game Cafe. Not quite the same as an online store, you think? Well, that's not entirely accurate.
Her visions for a tabletop game cafe came from the realization that tabletop and board games are for everyone. And that's what she loved about them, the way they brought people together.
That's what she wanted to do: create something that facilitated the togetherness you get around the table. With a game, you forget about the troubles around you for a moment. Instead, your focus is on the people in front of you.
Whether it's healing that barbaric party member of yours or finding the optimal placement for that wood monopoly in Catan, gaming brings people together.
But opening a cafe requires cash, and lots of it. Life as a barista doesn't pay that well.
Enter Cantrips Media's Etsy Shop.
Kylie created a very interesting and well-organized journal for all her Dungeon Master notes. In the process, she realized people were searching for ways to organize their campaign notes. So she set up to sell her handmade products online, with the goal of starting her own cafe one day.
It became the main business...
In early 2021, Kylie realized that she enjoyed her handmade business. A lot. While her dream of opening a tabletop game cafe was still something she longed to do, the COVID environment had put a pause to her plans. She had been saving (and still is), but the environment did not seem right for an in-person experience.
In April of 2021, she took the leap and decided to run her shop full-time.
Kylie loves her creative journey her journals are taking her on. As the sole owner and maker at Cantrips Media, she had her work cut out for her and she did most work solo until 2023...
A Tale of Two... Sisters?
In 2023, Kylie realized that, with her newborn and her business, things were a lot busier! As a result two major events happened: she moved the business from her home to a space in Youngwood, PA and she hired her first employee!
When Kylie mentioned her struggles to her sister, Autumn, she more than jumped at the opportunity to help! Not only does she have a love of all things stationery and nerdy (Check out W0nk0 stickers on Etsy!), she also had been running her own notebook creating shop Sketchbook Shop Co for 7 years!
Together, with Kylie's love of TTRPGS and Video Games, and Autumn's amazing artistic talents and love of all things stationery, we're happy to be working on expanded product lines in hopes of creating even more amazing products for you!
But what about the cafe dreams?
While the dream has been tabled (puns intended) for the moment, it isn't gone. Kylie still takes a part of her personal income from the shop for her cafe savings account and hopes to still one day make this dream a reality. For now, she loves and enjoys the small business she has already developed and works towards growing it further.
About the Team
It's crazy that I have to update this after this section staying the same for almost 3 years. I no longer do everything, though I am still the brains behind everything. Most page designs and decisions are made by me, and though we are now a company of TWO people, I still help with a lot of the day to day stuff too.
We no longer work out of my home (I KNOW CRAZY), but we're still in PA. I'm a dungeon master, a player, a cat-lover, and an all-around nerd. Now I'm also a Mom! When I have free time, I love playing video games with my husband or my niece and nephews, reading a good book, or designing new ways to destroy challenge my players.
Your support of the shop supports me and my growing family, as well as helps me fulfill my dreams of both running a successful business and a creative one. Your support also helps me make sure that my sister recieves a fair wage for her talents (most of the artwork for stickers and tokens is all her), and hopefully I'll be able to increase her wage as well as bring on more help and support them as well.
Thank you for all the support no matter how big or small it's been these last 5 years. It truly means a lot to me.
Autumn is a fantastic artist and amazing creative. While she's a big gaming and anime nerd, she's not as familiar with TTRPGs, (though her sister has definitely made her play D&D a few times). Her main jobs at Cantrips Media is to assemble journals (which is still a very handmade process) and pack orders. She also designs stickers and visual assets that help turn Kylie's crazy, wacky ideas into reality! She owns her own sticker shop W0nkk0 stickers on Etsy and also can be found on Instagram and YouTube as @artchiu.