Collecting stickers is having a moment


Pipsticks now produces 30 new sticker designs each month, responding to very specific requests in their three Facebook groups. All of the stickers in their two monthly packs are now made up of their internal designs and “the response has been crazy,” Vazquez says. Subscribers frequented the store before the pandemic, both to get exclusives a few weeks before everyone else and, later, to stock up on extras. “Some designs really speak to people and they want a bunch of them; they want to be able to use them with abandon, ”explains Vazquez. Their three biggest sellers: rainbow dinosaurs, sloths wearing “I like naps” t-shirts, and one subscriber request: avocados doing yoga.

Vazquez is especially pleased with the heartwarming messages she receives for stickers that touch people’s hearts, like a sticker of a child in a wheelchair who delighted a child whose father uses one. She is also concerned about other aspects of representation. When she noticed that most of the people on the stickers were white, Vazquez decided to change that with her designs; a recent sticker she produced features a black woman’s hand signing “I love you” in American Sign Language.

While Vazquez discovered that diehard sticker enthusiasts “tend to be a bit introverted,” she found that social media engagement helps fuel her business and the sticker fandom in her. together. “It’s not just a scroll where people look at other people’s things,” she observes. “They ask where someone got the sticker, how long they’ve had it, and if they want to exchange it for something else.”

So what is fueling the current sticker revival? It comes down to the nostalgia, the personalization and the price. Sarah Schwartz, Editor-in-Chief of Stationery Trends Magazine and founder of the site The paper nerd, makes the link between the return of stickers and the “resurgence of the pencil” that she observes in the stationery market. “What stickers and pencils have in common is that they are inexpensive and collectible. You get one, you tend to get more. Scwhartz calls them “affordable follies” and recalls that at the last National Stationery Show, most retailers were grabbing stickers. “There is a backlash to the digital transformation of our culture,” she says. “There is something simple and accessible about these endearing little objects.

Brittany Paige
Brittany Paige

Caroline Weaver, 29, owner of a boutique in New York CW pencil company, who at one point had his own sticker room, tells me that the stickers “evoke a really intense sense of nostalgia” for his generation. “We’ve been relying on all of these tech devices for quite a long time now that people are coming back to these simpler, nicer, more tangible analog things because it’s just a different experience. For the most part, stickers don’t have an intrinsic function, so I think adults buy them for the exact same reason kids buy them: because they’re fun and it makes them happy.

Handicrafts boom during the COVID-19 pandemic also heightened the appeal of stickers. Pipsticks and EverythingSmells have both seen their online sales skyrocket since March. Customers of Vazquez’s Pipsticks told her how the stickers helped them get through the “sadness and isolation” of 2020. EverythingSmells sales are up 43% from 2019. Founder Riniker believes people “Look to their toys, stickers and childhood memories to help them. soothe and restore ”during this difficult time.

Additionally, the sticker makers used their artwork to reflect the pros and cons of this tumultuous year, producing images of a dumpster fire and voting sheets, and stickers with MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B of the “WAP” video.

Brittany O’Brien, 27, founder of the company Brittany Paige, started selling a “You kill him“Hand sanitizer sticker on March 25; it was an instant bestseller, and customers told O’Brien that they gifted the sticker to loved ones who had lost their jobs or were essential workers. One, a nurse from NYU Langone, stuck the sticker on the computer in the hospital’s rest room.

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