As we turn the page on another year, it's time to look back on the many inspiring ideas that turned into stickers and labels. This past year found business owners faced with different challenges, with many entrepreneurs motivated by the pandemic to start something new, while others found new avenues to promote their existing business.
We'll start in January and make our way through the year. Thank you again to everyone who has checked in to see how our customers use stickers and labels in creative ways.
January Customer Stories
If it's the first month of the year, it means #NationalStickerDay. For the 2021 "at-home" edition of our favorite national day, we wanted to bring people together in a virtual way with an Activity Book featuring Saul the World’s Largest Sticker Ball and his many Sticker Friends. The downloadable activity book, titled Saul & Friends, is for sticker fans of all ages to get creative and enjoy time together at home.
Then we spoke to Weave, a brand that modernizes the way businesses interact with customers, unifying data and all channels of communication onto one smart software platform.
February Customer Stories
Jefferson County Public Library helps to build an educated and vibrant community by providing equal access to information and opportunities, and stickers are just one way to show thanks to their customers.
At the end of the road past Hanalei on Kaua’i’s North Shore, weary travelers will find the Wainiha Country Market, a local store that brings good food and creates a strong community in a region that’s often left inaccessible. The sticker design uses the classic circle shape and a black text with white background and features Nola, the Edwards family dog, as the star right in the middle of the sticker giving it just the right amount of personality.
March Customer Stories
Modern Plate is a new Denver-based food service business that believes busy days deserve good food. Started up during the pandemic, this meal delivery food service concept helps their customer by removing the planning, prep, and clean-up when cooking at home.
Puzzle Culture was created by Dawn Walsh, an avid puzzler, lover of all things geek/nerd culture, as well as a fan of subscription boxes. Dawn felt she could combine the best of what she loved about these things into one experience. Once she started putting together her first box she realized she had so many ideas to elevate the experience around puzzling culture.
It was four days before New Year’s Eve 2020, and April Canlas Eddy was bored. She was looking for a way to energize her community and have fun with her neighbors, and in true pandemic form, she started baking her well-tested chocolate chip cookies. “Last year was really hard, for everyone,” says April. “I want to bring some joy to my network with my cookies, so I set up a simple, one-page website that connected to my Venmo so I could take payments.” And thus, The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever was born.
April Customer Stories
Katie Yaeli came up with the idea for Collar Me Charming in May 2013 with the help of her Golden Retriever Cassy. She had always dreamed of starting her own business and decided to combine two things she loves, animals and creativity, into a brand. Katie was never a fan of “dressing up” her dog in uncomfortable clothes, but she did think it would be fun to be creative with the one accessory that a dog needs to wear, their collar. So she started producing hand made quality dog collars and Cassy served as the product tester and inspiration.
When it comes to internet culture these days, few things are as popular as emojis. We communicate through symbols, and people love to express themselves through these simple images. That’s why Will Scruby decided to combine unicorns and tacos, two of the Internet’s favorite things, into one lifestyle brand called Unicorn Taco. Fans of both unicorns and tacos will love the many apparel options that are on the online store. From flip flops to face masks, there’s something for everyone that’s adorned with the unicorn taco character.
May Customer Stories
Michael Torres started CyclusMoto from his lifelong passion for all things motorcycles. “Simply put, there are few things I find more enjoyable in life than riding a motorcycle, alone, down a winding road where I can really lean into the road,” says Torres. The love affair started early for Michael, “from the moment I threw my leg over that Honda XR75 at eight years old I fell in love with riding.” Some riders describe the experience as therapeutic, enlivening and addictive, for Torres it is all three.
Yami and Tina are the Correa sisters behind The Sister Yard, an organic cold brew coffee brand. They learned from a young age that they could tell a story through their creations, as their home has always been filled with family and friends who love to gather around the kitchen. “We grew up watching our abuela, tias and mom use food to celebrate the big and small moments of our lives,” Tina says. The SisterYard began as weekend cooking classes in their backyard. Their Coconut Cold Brew Concentrate was born out of needing an extra push without the extra work. “Cold Brew seemed like the obvious answer, because we were already hooked on it,” they say. “But, if we were buying it weekly, why not experiment with our own? Why not make one that requires even less work because it can even be enjoyed as is? Believe it when we say we’ve tried every brand. The coconut base is what makes our brew special.”
June Customer Stories
SpiceBAE was the happy product of quarantine. When the need for easy, yet delicious, meals presented itself, Head SpiceBAE, Jonathan McKeeman created a spice for his friends and family. The mission was to create one spice blend that could go on anything, from meats and produce to takeout and breakfast. “We’re a baby brand that just started in November 2020,” says Jonathan. “During quarantine I was with all my best friends who decided to do quarantine together in my friend’s big house. We all camped out there for the lockdown, and I was cooking for them morning, noon, and night. It just kind of became this thing.” He says that SpiceBAE is the spice you use “Before Anything Else” because of its robust flavor profile.
Patrick and Carey Schwerin started Beach Goff in the late summer of 2020. Yet another of a growing list of entrepreneurs that found a creative outlet during the pandemic. As residents of Beaufort, South Carolina—with access to some of the best beaches in the world—the couple came to this invention naturally, as they have seven kids who needed to be entertained while at the beach. “Anytime we would go to the beach, we had to have something to entertain our kids,” says Patrick. “So we would pick up a ball and try to make a game of it.” From there it evolved to the point where they realized they wanted to market the brand and create a product. Along the way they realized that it was “very hard to patent or trademark the name ‘Beach Golf’,” says Carey, so they chose Beach Goff as the name because it was close enough and just unique enough to make someone do a double take and remember the brand.
July Customer Stories
Venture Wipes are the adventure ready, single-use wipe that fits easy into your backpack, gym bag, purse, or even a pants pocket. Made of Bamboo, Water, Aloe, Vitamin E, and Tea Tree Oil, these wipes are good for your body and good for the environment. It’s the perfect product for any RVer or outdoors enthusiast. In 2017, Thomas Fromm joined forces with another RV family as they turned to life on the road. “There are two families that own the business, and both families are full-time RV’ers,” he says. “The ultimate reason for Venture Wipes was to sustain a living and being able to enjoy life and travel at the same time, so that was probably reason number one reason. The second reason is that we saw a need in the market.”
Jilly Pads is a humanitarian mission dedicated to distributing period hygiene to people who menstruate and are experiencing scarcity. The hashtag for the group is #doyouhaveapadyes. Jilly Pads was created by Jillian Ward-Butler, who saw a need in her community. “I started this when I was nine,” says Jillian. “I had just had my first period and I learned that menstrual products were super super expensive for something that you’re going to need all the time.” She saw an opportunity to help out, and she enlisted the assistance of her mother. “I had my mom to help me out,” she says. “But I wondered about other people who didn’t have help, so I decided to try to make these products free for anyone who needed them.” Now she’s 13 years old and Jilly Pads has helped hundreds of people over the past four years.
August Customer Stories
Brandy Wayne is a woodworker and artists based in Long Beach, California. She conceptualizes and fabricates a variety of custom cutting boards and other artistic creations through her online store BrandyWayne.com. She’s an alum of Cal State Long Beach who has been working with her hands as long as she can remember. “My dad gave me the name Handy Dandy Brandy when I was young and building stuff,” says Brandy. “I went to school for design and focused on furniture design, but no surprise, I ended up liking the building part more so I just started collecting tools and creating.”
Icon Technologies Limited (Icon Direct) started operations in 1998. From the start, their goal has been to provide innovative custom thermoformed solutions to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) customers. By focusing on that objective, Icon has grown and consistently brought business and welcomed travelers to their home base in Winkler, Manitoba, Canada. They have a really fun sticker map that road trippers can catalogue their travels.
September Customer Stories
CharfooderieATX is a woman-owned business specializing in Charcuterie boards and grazing tables. In late 2020, Alexa Romero started CharfooderieATX to provide an experience that stimulated appetites and conversation with every board that she creates. “We specialize in Luxe grazing with lots of color and variety,” she says. “I am committed to using quality, hand-selected ingredients, while also being conscious of the environment.” Alexa loves to customize as little or as much as the customer likes so that they receive something worthy of the moments that CharfooderieATX shares with them. To help brand her creations, she is using custom product labels to add that little special touch.
Tiffany Tan is an illustrator, designer, and YouTuber with a strong passion of exploring new mediums and trying new things. She runs a shop called Apple Cheeks, which is a home to all the characters and creations in her mind. The goal is to create a place where you can feel happy and warm. Tiffany has had the entrepreneurial spirit since her early days due to her family. “I think my young age, my dad had his own small business, and I think like just watching him pack orders growing up,” she says. “I thought it was so cool that he was able to work from home all the time, so, then when I grew up I wanted to integrate my art with a business somehow because I felt like working for yourself was just so fun and being control of your own schedule and everything that goes with it.”
October Customer Stories
Achieve Now is a literacy non-profit dedicated to transforming the educational system in Philadelphia. They do this by incorporating evidence-based literacy instruction into Philadelphia schools that results in measurable improvements in grade-level reading. Their mission is to bring all children to grade-level reading, and the vision is simple: that all students gain the basic skills necessary to succeed in school and life. They use a set of stickers to help kids get excited about reading.
Partners in Print brings people together by using old printing presses to amplify new voices, share knowledge, and spark creativity. Partners in Print has an interesting backstory, as they are a lo-fi group based in a high-tech city. What started as the Letterpress Program at Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts (SVC) spawned a community of printers, and their use of stickers and labels helps get their brand out in a variety of ways.
November Customer Stories
In June of 2015, Chef Johnny Ray Zone started Howlin' Ray's, a Nashville Hot Chicken food truck with his wife Amanda Chapman, a soulful foodie raised on southern hospitality. Chef Johnny is a Los Angeles native who has spent his life honing his skills in the culinary industry. In 2016, they opened up a brick and mortar location in the Chinatown neighborhood of Los Angeles. "The people of Los Angeles were hungry for hot chicken," says Tess Meza, the Executive Coordinator Director for Howlin' Rays. "They just didn't know it yet." The stickers they printed up are used in their merch store.