Jenn Zieser sold her first custom T-shirt on CafePress Inc. for fun in 2006. She now makes about $25,000 a year from the site, more than at her regular job.
Zieser, a 41-year-old from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is part of a wave of entrepreneurs selling unique merchandise in online marketplaces. CafePress, Etsy Inc., Zazzle Inc. and Spreadshirt all help users find buyers for one-of-a-kind wares -- everything from shirts to magnets to iPad cozies. Now CafePress’s initial public offering, which may come this year, will test whether Wall Street is ready to embrace the concept.