Stick To It
With a work hard play hard attitude, the team at Stickers Northwest in Tacoma, Washington is getting both done, and growing the business at the same time. Tony Saddler began selling stickers as a side hustle in 2014 with a dream of running his own business. Fast forward seven years and the side hustle has more than doubled each year. Today, the company supplies approximately 1,800 stores, both physical and online, with its vinyl die-cut stickers. To date, about 10 million stickers have been made.
Gift Shop Plus talked with Sales and Marketing Director Arden Darnell about what it’s like behind the scenes at this popular sticker company.
Tell us about your operation. Do you make all of your stickers in the Northwest?
Arden Darnell: We make all of our die-cut vinyl stickers in our Tacoma location. We even make our own displays!
How do you create your designs?
AD: Almost all of our sticker designs are created in house. Some of our original designs were state shapes for a “love where you live” local vibe and designs having to do with getting outside. We are always open to suggested design ideas from our retailers and sales reps so that we can help our retailers sell even more stickers! We recently added a tab on our website to submit new sticker design requests.
Have you always offered free name-dropping? Do you create custom designs for retailers?
AD: Yes, name-dropping has always been no extra charge and the same quantity as our stock designs. Also, there is no set-up fee.
Who makes up your team?
AD: Tony – owner, Arden – sales, Elise – art, Kailey – customer service and our fantastic warehouse team who print, cut, box and ship stickers.
What is the best part about working at Stickers Northwest?
AD: For me it’s getting to know our sales reps all over the country and to help them set their retailers up for successful sticker selling. I suspect for everyone in our warehouse they would say the best part is the generosity of Tony and the fun work environment he has set up including a skate boarding area, basketball hoop and ping pong table!
To what do you attribute the current popularity of stickers?
AD: I think the ability to express oneself by showing off things you love or places you have been on all of your gear. Stickers are even fun for adults because they make you feel like a kid again.
What are your plans for the future? Do you see yourselves branching out to include other products?
AD: We’ve actually had a few other products but stickers sold so much better we decided to focus on them and do the best job possible. We have streamlined our process to turn orders around in just a few days even when they include name-drop designs.
How can retailers set up an account with you?
AD: We can connect retailers to their rep with our wholesale application on our website www.stickersnorthwest. com. Stickers Northwest works with the following sales agencies: Ritz Sisters, Roadrunners Atlanta, Dallas and Las Vegas, Main Street Reps, M & M Sales, Gib Carson mid-Atlantic, Blend Sales, CJ’s Cottage, DYA/ Shadowbox and a few independents.