How One Small Business Owner Meets Her Customers Just About Anywhere with PayPal's Small Business Solutions

Read with Carylee

Although Carylee Carrington always loved to write, she never imagined she would become a published children’s author. That all changed when her young son came home from kindergarten one day, upset about a racist comment uttered on the playground. She knew then that her love of writing was more than a hobby – it was her key to making a difference and teaching her son and other young children about resilience and determination.

Today, Carylee is an award-winning author of several children's books that feature diverse characters navigating social situations. She also started a YouTube show featuring more than 120 authors who have also penned books featuring characters from all backgrounds and experiences, and now actively works with school districts and community leaders to help advance children’s literacy.

“After writing the book Everyone, Just Like Me, I started doing author visits,” Carylee shared. “I saw how children would light up to see that the author was someone that lives in their community. I started Read With Carylee as a YouTube show, and it has evolved into so much more. I’m able to impact children, teaching them about diversity in children's literature, but reaching teachers, parents, and guardians too. I want to encourage all children to read and to know that, whatever they want to be, the sky is the limit.”

Leveraging one payments platform to give customers choice and drive conversion

Carylee Carrington and two children

Carylee sells her books online, and uses PayPal Complete Payments to securely accept a range of payment options from PayPal and Venmo to credit cards, which gives her customers more choice and flexibility when it comes to paying.  

PayPal Complete Payments is an all-in-one global payments platform that allows SMBs to accept PayPal, Venmo (in the U.S.), PayPal Pay Later solutions (where eligible), Apple Pay®, Google Pay™️, credit and debit cards, and local payment methods  from around the world all through one account, which can help drive conversion and repeat buyers  . It also offers businesses seller, fraud, and chargeback protection, which helps entrepreneurs like Carylee help reduce the risk of financial losses and time spent on managing disputes.

“I like having everything I need in one place,” she said, adding that it’s particularly handy around tax season.

PayPal helps her online business run smoothly by managing credit card processing on her website, enabling a paid subscription to an author directory list, and allowing her followers to donate to her nonprofit organization.

Accepting payments on-the-go was a “challenge” before PayPal

PayPal checkout on Read with Carylee website

Aside from selling online, Carylee likes to connect in-person with community members at pop-up markets all over the east coast. However, selling on-the-go can come with a host of challenges.

“It was one of my biggest challenges as a small business owner,” she explained. “I've been in places where people don't have the correct change or just don't have cash with them. Being able to accept payments with the PayPal app and also with the PayPal Zettle point of sale has made things much easier.”

Beyond accepting payments, Carylee has also been able to use PayPal’s invoicing tool to bill the schools and authors she works with.

“As a self-published author, getting my books out there is critical,” she continued. “If I'm not able to sell my books at these events, that is really a loss for me. Every sale, every new customer generates great word-of-mouth, and word-of-mouth travels really fast.”

It’s so important to give customers a hassle-free, convenient, and secure payments experience, she said. “PayPal and Zettle have been a lifesaver for me, letting me complete a sale quickly, while also helping me give my customers more payment choice, and therefore giving my customers a great experience,” Carylee shared. “And customers trust PayPal, so they feel comfortable paying with it. Using PayPal not only gives me a sense of security as a business owner, but it also gives my customers a sense of security knowing that their payment information is secure. Also, having the PayPal logo prominently displayed on my site helps add to my credibility, which is really important for a small business.” 

Today, Carylee’s biggest advice for other entrepreneurs is to “just go for it. You never know who needs you until you put yourself out there!” she shared.

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