From Etsy Side Hustle to Swipesum: The Journey of Michael Seaman

From Etsy Side Hustle to Swipesum: The Journey of Michael Seaman

Swipesum co-founder and CEO Michael Seaman shares his experience of starting an Etsy side hustle in college and how it led to the creation of Swipesum, a company revolutionizing the payment processing industry.

Michael Seaman, co-founder and CEO of Swipesum, started his entrepreneurial journey with a successful Etsy side hustle during his college years. Inspired by the booming craft industry, Seaman found a niche in hand-stamped metal gifts and built a thriving business on Etsy, generating over $1 million in revenue. Today, he applies the lessons learned from his side hustle to Swipesum, a company that uses AI and proprietary software to create transparent payment strategies for companies and enterprises.

The Birth of a Side Hustle

Seaman’s entrepreneurial spirit was nurtured in an artistic and business-oriented household. While in college, he sought financial freedom and decided to explore the world of crafts. With a simple Google search for “crafts for men,” he discovered hand-stamped metal gifts and recognized their potential in the ecommerce market. Seaman launched “Snappin Studio” on Etsy, leveraging the platform’s growing popularity to sell custom gifts for special occasions. The venture quickly gained traction, reaching over $1 million in revenue and selling more than 35,000 gifts.

The Peak of Success

At the height of Snappin Studio’s success, Seaman experienced significant growth during the holiday season, with monthly revenues reaching $50,000. The business became a dominant presence on Etsy, eliminating the need for a separate ecommerce website. Seaman’s emphasis on customer interaction and social media engagement contributed to the side hustle’s success. He employed his track teammates to help with production, paying them generously for their efforts. Eventually, Seaman sold the business to a teammate who aimed to scale it further.

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The Path to Swipesum

After college, Seaman pursued a career in sales and marketing, drawing inspiration from a family friend’s success in the payment processing industry. He joined Worldpay’s sales team and quickly excelled, becoming a top performer on the West Coast. However, Seaman desired greater challenges and responsibilities, leading him to transition to MNTN and later Monotype. During this time, he provided informal advice on payment processing rates to friends and family, which highlighted a market gap. This realization sparked the idea for Swipesum, a platform that simplifies the selection process, negotiates rates, and offers unparalleled customer support.

Lessons Applied to Swipesum

Seaman’s Etsy side hustle taught him valuable lessons that he applies to Swipesum. First, he prioritizes customer delight over simple satisfaction, emphasizing the importance of customer interaction and engagement. Swipesum provides white glove customer support, ensuring each account is managed by someone familiar with the client’s business. Second, Seaman recognizes the significance of teamwork and a strong company culture. Swipesum cultivates a culture akin to an Olympic team, with elite members contributing to the company’s success. Third, Seaman emphasizes profitability, focusing on strategic growth while maintaining financial prudence. Finally, he emphasizes the importance of continuous learning, staying informed about industry trends and adapting to market changes.


Michael Seaman’s journey from an Etsy side hustle to the co-founder and CEO of Swipesum showcases the power of entrepreneurship and the lessons learned along the way. His success in the craft industry laid the foundation for Swipesum, a company that is transforming the payment processing industry with innovative software and expert consultancy. Seaman’s story serves as an inspiration for side hustlers and emerging entrepreneurs, highlighting the importance of customer satisfaction, strong team culture, financial discipline, and continuous learning. As Swipesum continues to grow, Seaman remains optimistic about the cutting-edge technologies they are developing and the impact they will have on their clients’ businesses.

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