Pipsticks : A Sticker Subscriptions for Sticker Lovers

I’m very excited to introduce a new Magic Sponsor  : Pipsticks.

Pipsticks provides sticker subscriptions for sticker lovers around the world. Designed to tickle the imaginations of kids, crafters and pen pals everywhere, Pipsticks brings a beautifully designed pack of stickers selected from high quality international suppliers to its sticker club members each month. Pipsticks also offers gift subscriptions at a range of price points – perfect for the holidays.

It was lovely to ‘sit down’ with Maureen, the lovely owner of Pipsticks, and find out a little more about her and her innovative company.

And, don’t you just love to hear how other mom’s are following their dreams too?

Donni : Tell us about your background. what path led you to the work you do today?

Maureen : I am a graphic designer and worked for years as a corporate brand manager managing large-scale projects and a team of designers before having kids. Once my first son, Atticus, was born, I took some time off and eventually started doing part-time free lance work when I found myself missing a creative outlet. I worked with many “mom start-ups,” developing their brands and identity which was fantastic, but I found that I missed the big picture responsibilities of my corporate job. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and had always felt drawn to the idea of starting a business, but realized that it needed to be something flexible that would allow me to spend the bulk of time at home with my kids.

 

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Donni : What inspired you to start your business?

Maureen : About a year ago, we were invited to join one of those sticker club chain letters. Like all chain letters, it was a bust: after loads of time and energy to find friends, write letters, enclose stickers, address envelopes, find stamps, etc etc, my kids received one measly response. Though maddening for me, they went absolutely bananas crazy over that one sheet of stickers waiting in our mailbox. Having been a sticker obsessed little girl of the 80’s, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to combine my love of stickers and design and start a company that could support and inspire not only sticker lovers but parents.

As the owner of Pipsticks I have the perfect combination of creative challenge – we maintain a very high standard when it comes to design and quality – and business operations. I love connecting with other makers and crafters, finding new and exciting suppliers and curating and designing each month’s sticker pack.

Donni : Tell us about your customers.

Maureen : It’s been amazing to see the overwhelmingly positive response to Pipsticks across the board. I was always confident in the power stickers had over kids, however I didn’t anticipate the special place they reserve in so many adults’ memories – men and women alike. I’ve been told countless stories about nostalgic sticker collecting by people who had temporarily forgotten this obsession until they came across one of our scratch n’ sniff or puffy stickers.

Our customers are all ages and range from grandparents gifting Pipsticks to their grandchildren (best gift ever!) to crafters using Pipsticks to enhance their sticker collections, scrapbooks and snail mail. Since launching in September, We have subscribers in 19 countries! I love seeing what people are doing with their stickers, and connecting with thankful parents and inspired makers. It really feels like a club!

 

 

Donni : How does the balance of family and work play out for you? if applicable, how has motherhood/fatherhood affected your work?

Maureen : Juggling work and family is always a challenge. On one hand, I wouldn’t be able to do it if I was not extremely passionate about my work (I mean who wouldn’t be ecstatic over a huge box of puffy robot stickers!). However, because my work is so exciting, my biggest challenge is balancing the mental time and energy I divide between it and my family. I strive to be present and focused on my kids when I’m with them, and let my mind wander to new designs and sticker crafts at other times – which usually means I stay up way too late thinking about puffy robots :) Almost every night is spent working after the kids go to bed. Luckily, I have an extremely supportive and insightful husband who is happy to discuss the merits of international sticker design and the challenges of supply chains over dinner – and to count it as quality time.

Motherhood inspires this business: though every sticker pack is appealing to a wide audience of all ages, each is designed to be child-friendly. Kids can open it up by themselves and get started on their own without the need of parent involvement which is key for moments when you just need to keep the kids happy, occupied and quiet. That said, the stickers and activities are fun and cool, which means even parents who are less crafty can get excited about using Pipsticks with their kids when they want to.

My kids (and their friends) are both inspiration and test subjects. After being (over)exposed to stickers for more than a year, they are still ecstatic at the offer of sticker as a reward. Their interaction with Pipsticks and unwavering enthusiasm reaffirms my confidence in the product, and informs the decisions we make as a business. My love of stickers as a crafter and pen pal drives the selection of stickers to ensure that they are fresh and unique every month.

Donni : What role does ‘handmade’ play in our society?

Maureen : Handmade is becoming more and more important as technology becomes more alluring and integrated in every aspect of our lives. Luckily, I think the quick advance of all things technology related makes people especially receptive to the handmade – the challenge is to integrate this “primal” need into our routines such that it isn’t overpowered by what is seemingly easier and more accessible.

That is one thing I love about Pipsticks. It’s just good ol’ fashioned fun, arriving in the good ol’ fashioned mail. It inspires and develops essential skills for kids and is also an irresistible distraction for us adults who spend too much time on Instagram :)

Donni : Is there a creative pursuit you haven’t explored yet, but would like to?

Maureen : I would love to get into quilting!

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Thank you, Maureen. And, thank you for the pack of GORGEOUS Pipsticks stickers you sent to my daughter, Kitty. She is turning 11 soon and just LOVES them. I had to smile yesterday when I spied her journal, all prettied up with bright and colorful Pipsticks stickers. I’ll be posting some photos of her pretty books on Facebook, so look out for those.

You can also follow Pipsticks on Facebook.

Blessings and magic,

Donni

Rembering Brave People

Today is Veteran’s Day.

Thank you to all those brave people who have fought for life and liberty. My gratitude transcends time and space and touches you, wherever you are.

This is my veteran grandfather, holding a little me. He fought in World War II.

His survival is an amazing story : read it HERE.

Grandfather

In deep gratitude,

Blessings and magic,

Donni

Patchwork Indi Arts Show

On Sunday, we packed up the little shop and set it up again for the Patchwork Indi Craft Market in Long Beach, CA.

It’s my favorite market. It’s such fun getting to meet all the lovely shoppers. And see their delight as they Ooo and Ahhhh at my magical felted goodies.

I had three helpers… Kate, Teddy and my Good Man.

Here are a few photos of my booth…

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And, when I went for a break and a browse around the market, look what I saw on my return… My Good Man, NEEDLE FELTING!

He’s hooked.

 

The Magic Onions Shop : www.theMagicOnions.com/shop

 

If you missed the market, don’t fear. We will be at the Santa Anna Patchwork Market on November 30 too… details here.

If you see something above that you love and just have to have, you can visit The Magic Onions Shop too. You’ll be able to find just about everything in my shop.

Blessings and magic,

Donni

Magic Sponsors : October 2014

Please support my October Magic Sponsors by browsing through their beautiful shops. There are only NINE Saturdays until Christmas!!

 

The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook : Whether you are just starting to homeschool, or always wanted to, imagine this for a second… You feel confident that you are doing it right. The first steps are clear and you know exactly where to find the resources and support needed to be successful. There’s no second guessing. No confusion. No lack of focus.
Without any floundering, your Waldorf homeschooling falls into place with ease, assurance and joy.

 

The-Waldorf-Handbook : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

 

NEST is such beautiful toy shop filled with stunning natural and Waldorf inspired toys. Modeled after the toy shoppes of Germany, at Nest one can find eco-friendly sustainably sourced heirloom wooden toys & beautiful and practical things for the home. They believe that living sustainably need not be a sacrifice. Fine woolens from Ruskovilla of Finland, beautifully handcrafted figures from Ostheimer of Germany, shaker boxes from Brent Rourke of Nova Scotia. Waldorf-inspired play and Waldorf toys & crafts for young and old. I’m LOVING these fun and colorful building blocks.

 

Christopherus Bookstore : We offer a variety of publications and audio downloads of interest not only to homeschoolers but to teachers and other parents too. We take a fresh and practical approach to Waldorf education (grounded in the work of Rudolf Steiner).

 

Natural Kids – is a group of artisans from around the world who share a love for handcrafting eco friendly & all-natural toys, clothing, decor and more for kids, and kids at heart.

We’re committed to offering alternatives to mass produced, plastic toys and we share a love for open-ended tools to help kids discover what is new and interesting in the world. We believe that it is best for children’s environment and what they wear to be natural and safe.

You will find many items that are great for the holidays as well as inspired by the seasons. In our diverse shops of our team members you will find wonderful items for babies and kids of all ages. Many of our sellers pride themselves on offering open ended items for both boys and girls.

The Magic Onions - toys and treasures for the natural home. I make everything by hand using natural and eco-friendly materials. Bring the gorgeous texture of wool felt into your home with wonderful nature-inspired treasures like felted acorns and colorful felted garlands.

The Magic Onions has enchanting Fairy Garden kits… including this awesome Fairy House Kit, complete with a myriad of natural building materials for fun Fairy House construction.

Fairy House Kit : The Magic Onions Shop

Whole Family Rhythms – a series of seasonal and monthly guides created and designed to help Mums (and some Dads) maintain a steady rhythm in their home. The rhythms include unstructured, child-led play both outdoors and indoors; early childhood stories and fingerplays; weekly bushwalking themes; daily art, handwork or creative projects; holistic baking and cooking recipes for the whole family as well as weekly caregiver meditations and projects. Although Whole Family Rhythms focuses primarily on the ‘early years’ the daily activities are flexible and varied enough to inspire and work for families of all ages and sizes.

Whole Family Rhythms : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Artterro : Here at Artterro we make Eco Art Kits, and there’s nothing else quite like them on the market. In 2008, Artterro founder Forrest Espinoza was shopping for a craft kit for her young sons, and she noticed lots of uninspiring projects, cheap materials and wasteful packaging. She decided to make a high-quality, eco-friendly, engaging art kit so that parents would have a convenient way to bring art into the home and have a great time as a family. Our 11 titles make it easy to explore needle felting, decoupage, art journaling and more. Each kit is assembled by hand in Madison, Wisconsin, and contains beautiful, inspiring materials. An ideas sheet gives inspiration but never dictates what your final product will look like. Our mission is to bring creativity into people’s lives by offering fun projects with quality, sustainable materials and provide friends and families a wonderful art experience.

 

Megalo Wool : Hard Crafting Yarn, so versatile and easy to use – wonderful for big and little hands. Megalo Wool offers three sizes in our Hard Crafting Yarn: 5 mm ,10 mm and 20 mm.  All are hand felted and made from 26 micron New Zealand Wool and are dyed using Eco-friendly dyes. The three sizes can be used for weaving and basket making, small or large crafting projects where that chunky textured look is what you are after.

 

Twig and Toadstool – a gorgeous blog written by mama friends, Maureen and Shanti. Join them as they explore natural crafts and happy family life.

 

Thank you for supporting our Magic Sponsors and please remember …

 

Support Small Business : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

I’m passionate about connecting small businesses with customers who value them. If you are interested in becoming a Magic Sponsor, please click here for sponsorship information.

Blessings and magic,

Donni