Best Resources for Launching a PPOD Business in 2021

Franco Varriano
February 16, 2021
 min read

If you're looking to dive into the world of online commerce in 2021, launching a personalized print-on-demand (PPOD) business is one of the best starting points.

Finding advice on how to start your own PPOD or dropshipping business isn't the hard part—there's a ton of information out there. What can be more difficult is knowing which information to trust.

To help, we've curated a list of some of the best resources: industry leaders, experts, and other content that will point you towards trustworthy information that aligns with your business goals.

Let's dive in!

Industry leaders

While they won't directly teach you how to launch a PPOD business, these industry leaders are worth following for their insights and business acumen.

Tobi Lutke, Co-founder & CEO, Shopify

While Shopify is valued at a $179B (at the time of this writing), Tobi often shares unique insights and knowledge from his journey with entrepreneurs at all stages.

Harley Finkelstein, President, Shopify

Shopify's mission is to "arm the rebels". Harley is at the forefront of that mission, sharing tons of insights!

Web Smith, Founder, 2pml

Web Smith is a DTC veteran who launched his own community dedicated to a multidisciplinary approach to commerce and media. 2PM is an incredible resource for entrepreneurs, strategists, operators and more!

Jaime Schmidt and Chris Cantino, Color Invests

A DTC power couple, Jaime & Chris are co-founders of Schmidt's Naturals, a brand they started and exited in a nine figure deal to Unilever. They now continue to invest, share insights and are very active on Twitter and Clubhouse (with Club CPG) among others.

Michele Romanow and Andrew D'Souza, Clearbanc

Michele Romanow is the youngest ever entrepreneur to join CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den. She previously co-founded e-commerce platforms SnapSaves (acquired by Groupon) and Buytopia.

Alongside her partner Andrew D'Souza, they launched Clearbanc, an innovative platform for ecommerce investing. They are very active online and share tons of valuable insights.

Phil Winkle, Chief Communications Officer, Something Digital

Phil Winkle is part of Something Digital, an ecommerce agency that specializes in commerce, digital strategy, user experience and design. He's also the co-founder of Future Commerce, a retail media research startup that puts out increadible content like special reports, blogs and podcasts.

Ben Parr and Matt Schlicht, Octane

Serial entrepreneurs Matt Schlicht and Ben Parr launched Octane to provide a suite of automated marketing solutions to ecommerce merchants. They are both very active online, insightful and run the CommerceClub on clubhouse.

Kristen LaFrance, Host, Resilient Retail podcast for Shopify

Seasoned DTC operator, Kristen is the host of the Resilient Retail podcast. She shares tons of insights from founders, operators and more on the podcast and via Twitter.

Andrew Youderian, Founder, eCommerceFuel

Andrew Youderian is the founder of a community called eCommerceFuel. They offer a ton of resources and programs.

Doug Stephens, Author & Consultant, Retail Prophet

Doug is an experienced veteran of the retail industry. He shares valuable insights into a variety of topics around the transformation and future of retail.

Nate Poulin, Founder & Consultant, Digitally Native

Nate is a DTC veteran who previously scaled several significant brands (Bonobos, Outdoor Voices, Michael Kors). Now shares lots of insights and lessons on Twitter and via his newsletter.

Nik Sharma,  Investor & Operator, Sharma Brands

Nik is the "DTC guy" on Twitter. A unique thinker with the execution to back it up. He currently runs his own consultancy that invests & operates in DTC brands.

Kunle Campbell, 2x eCommerce

Kunle runs 2x eCommerce, a long running community and resource in the commerce community.

Taylor Holiday, Managing Partner, Common Thread Collective

Taylor is the Managing Partner of CTC, an ecommerce growth agency. But there's much more going on under the hood - CTC & Taylor run several other invaluable platforms that give them unique insight and experience in the space. Definitely a valuable follow!

Taylor Sicard, Co-Founder, WIN Brands

Previously a PM and growth lead at Shopify, Taylor has extensive experience in the ecommerce space. He's currently the co-founder of a DTC holding company WIN Brands, which acquires and operates fast growing companies.

Zach Stuck, Founder, Homestead Studio

Homestead is a growth marketing agency for 7-8 figure DTC brands. Zach often share tips and tricks around paid social advertising on Twitter.

Wilson Hung, angel investor and former Director of Growth, Kettle & Fire

Wilson is an incredibly analytical thinker and data-driven operator. He's not very active on Twitter, but does put out incredible content from time to time. If you check out his profile, you'll be blown away.

Ana Andjelic, Author & Executive

Ana is an incredibly experienced and insightful executive. With a PhD in sociology and years managing and growing high-end, luxury brands as a CMO - she's now turned those insights into a blog, newsletter and book. Any and all of those are must reads for anyone looking to build a significant brand.

Jason Del Rey, Journalist with Vox and Host, Land of The Giants podcasts

Jason is a journalist that covers everything commerce for Vox. He also runs an awesome podcast called Land of the Giants which dives into how Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google have changed everything. As such, he often surfaces very unique and interesting insights and breaking news about the industry.


We won't dive into each of these experts below in the same way as we did for the Industry leaders above.

However, each of these experts have built and scaled PPOD and ecommerce businesses.

We've linked to their Twitter or Instagram handles (whichever they are most active on), as well as their websites.

They all share their hard earned experience with: free content, consultations, online communities or paid courses. So feel free to dive deeper into these individuals if you're looking for modern, trustworthy guides, videos and frameworks on how to launch your own successful print on demand or ecommerce business.


Finally, outside of industry leaders and experts, there are a few other resources we recommend checking out to help you on your PPOD journey.


Shopify's Blog and Shopify Compass

Shopify's content team(s) put out incredible content on their blog, as well as the Compass program. In the latter, we'd specifically recommend checking out their free class created in partnership with Adrian Morrison.

BigCommerce's Resource Section

BigCommerce is another leading ecommerce platform. They also publish high quality and valuable resources in a variety of formats on this site.

Printful Lessons

Printful is a successful print on demand manufacturing company. They have several apps which plug right into online stores powered by the major platforms like Shopify. With Printful, you can quickly start selling a wide variety of products. They offer some helpful courses and tutorials on how to launch your own print on demand company - powered by Printful products and tech!


Now acquired by Shopify, Oberlo is one of the original dropshipping startups who made it easy to launch your own dropshipping brand. While they aren't specific to print on demand businesses, they do have tons of amazing content on how to launch an ecommerce business.

Recap of other previously mentioned resources

As mentioned, there is no shortage of resources exploring the world of print-on-demand businesses. These are the most relevant, recent, and trustworthy ones we’ve found, and hope they’ll be helpful for you!

There’s never been a better time to launch your own personalized print-on-demand business. And if you’re interested in really unique products—something more than just putting text on a t-shirt—you’ll want to sign-up for early access to Creative Layer!

We’re on a mission to empower entrepreneurs and creators to discover and sell truly unique products that their customers and fans can further personalize to fit their style and identity.

Sign-up today and be part of the journey on Twitter and LinkedIn!