Perseverance, intuition guide successful sticker company
Tisha Linn exudes “sticktuitiveness”—that’s a combination of the words “stick-to-it-ive-ness” and “intuition.” She founded a company called Picky Sticky, a manufacturer of stickers that chronicle children’s ages from prenatal stages to teen years, and mark developmental milestones along the way.
Notes Linn, “Picky Sticky started when our daughter was born. Each week I wrote her age on a piece of paper and then took her picture sitting next to it. As time passed, I got a little more creative and dressed it up a bit with designs, using all the power Microsoft Word could muster.
“As she was getting older, it was getting harder for her to sit still. That is when I saw some cute onesies with iron-on transfers that were pretty expensive. I didn’t know what size she was going to be at each stage and at that point, the idea of using a sticker popped into my head. Thus, Picky Sticky was born.”
Linn launched Picky Sticky as a web-based company in 2008 in Renton, WA. She points out that getting people to find and buy a product they had never heard of was challenging: “I started Picky Sticky on a web marketplace, I set up my site, posted my first product, went to view my finished listing and couldn’t find it. It had sold within the time I could figure out how to view it. I was so confused, then over the moon that someone wanted something I created.”
Primary marketing to date has been via bloggers and chat boards. Emphasizes Linn, “We wanted to see if our product could speak for itself and it did, built by word of mouth. We eventually started a little viral marketing on Facebook with photo contests for our past clients.”
Once she realized that there was demand for Picky Sticky, quality control challenges surfaced. “There were many bumps in the road with the questionable product quality that was coming off my laser printer. I couldn’t handle the ink chipping off on little babies as they would chew or grab at my stickers on their tummies.
“That is when I set out to put out the best quality product that would be safe for little ones and we found that with Lightning Labels, a company that provides companies with custom labels and stickers. Not long after we opened up for business, a blogger wrote about us and we had 50 orders within an hour of her post. This gave us the confirmation that we had a product that was in demand and to keep moving forward,” Linn adds.
Each sticker is 4" in diameter and made of transparent sticky paper. When applied, it looks like an iron-on transfer. Currently, Picky Sticky’s two full-time employees and three contractors handle sales volume that averages about 300 sets per week. The firm has a wholesale division as well.
Product offerings include both boy and girl stickers numbered from 0-13 months, a line with just numerals so that buyers can chronicle yearly development until the teen years, and prenatal stickers that expecting mothers can wear to indicate their stage of pregnancy. Set prices range from $10-20.
Missy Fissy is the firm’s “number one bestseller hands down,” according to Linn, with Mister Fister, Girly Girl, and Boy O Boy as the next most popular items. “Our stickers are more popular with moms of girls but boys are not far behind with Mister Fister.” New designs following the same concept are in some of the other colorful rhyming selections that Picky Sticky offers.the works. Chicky Wicky, Pinky Dinky, Fuddy Buddy, Curly Whirly, and Buggy Wuggy are some of the other colorful rhyming selections that Picky Sticky offers.
Linn takes great satisfaction from her company’s popularity, saying, “We really love the amazing feedback we get from our customers. They love the concept of our products and the superior quality.”
Then there are the “personal perks.” “Being able to work with my family is something I never thought I wanted. But now that I have it, I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Perhaps the best personal perk has been the historical documentation of her children’s growth. She notes, “As avid fans of photography, we enjoy keeping our family history. Having a collection of photos of each milestone really puts into perspective how much our babies changed and how fast time flew by. We are so glad we have these photos to remember our growing children.”
An interior designer by trade, Linn says she never envisioned doing anything like this 10 years ago, adding, “It’s funny where the life change of starting a family takes you.”
Linn’s ownership of a web-based business naturally caused her to look to the web for printing support for her company’s label stickers needs. She found Lightning Labels via Google back in 2009, pointing out, “Originally their great website and bidding system made me contact them for samples. From there, the great customer service keeps bringing us back.
“They have been a great company to work with. Their system from start to finish is seamless. The quality of the product stands out, and there’s peace of mind that I never have to worryabout the quality of my product. That is really hard to find.”
For Tisha Linn and Picky Sticky, “sticktuitiveness” has paid off handsomely. For more information on the company, visit Picky Sticky online.