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.
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!
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,