Maureen Vasquez, mama of 4 under 4, used to be a graphic designer, but now she is using those powers for the greater good… STICKERS. Created on the base of keeping her kids busy and artistic, Pipsticks is an international subscription sticker club where everyone in the world can now enjoy the gift of stickers!
How did you get the idea to launch a subscription sticker company?
I was a graphic designer with a background in brand management and had always been interested in having my own business. A few years ago, we were invited to join one of those sticker club chain letters. As a child of the 80’s, I couldn’t say no. But unfortunately, like all chain letters, it was a bust. It took loads of time and energy to find friends, write letters, enclose stickers, address envelopes, find stamps (oh, f’ing stamps!!).
Nothing happened for three months and finally, my kids received one measly response – it came in a plain white envelope and had one little sheet of stickers inside. Though frustrating for me, they went absolutely bananas crazy over that one sheet of stickers waiting in our mailbox. Inspired, I created Pipsticks after looking for a sticker subscription and coming up empty. At Pipsticks, we take the headache out of sticker clubbing and promise a monthly return that is easy and awesome.
The most amazing thing is that we now have two clubs – one for kids and one for sticker loving adults! Apparently sticker love is blind when it comes to age!
How do connect with your customers and get the word out?
We go to this shopping event called ShopUp – we’ve been in London and in LA. As an online biz, it’s great to actually connect with customers face to face. The buzz at the events is always fantastic, and it’s so fun to people watch. Each location has been totally different – all cool moms but each region with its own edge. At this point it’s kind of like camp – lots of the vendors have been to previous events and live all over the world. It’s awesome to get together to catch up over tables of beautiful hair bows and drool worthy toys. It’s also the only place where I’ve found myself checking out kids for fashion inspiration, haha!
What do you hope Pipsticks accomplishes?
Pipsticks is about so much more than stickers. I’ve set up the company to bring simple joys into people’s lives. Whether that joy comes from re-living your own childhood obsession with stickers vicariously through your kids, seeing them freak out over stickers in the mailbox, or having five minutes to really taste that coffee in the morning or cold beer at the end of a long day while your kids are happily occupied with stickers is what it’s all about. I hope Pipsticks reminds lots and lots of people how easy it can be to get excited over something as simple as stickers and mail.
What’s your happy place?
Saturday night, anticipating the next morning (Sundays are my days to sleep in!).
You have 4 kids under 4, how do you get any work done? 🙂
I’m married to an awesome guy who is super involved and we split things 50/50. We work together and move in and out of the parenting as one unit. At the moment, our offices are run out of a cottage behind our house, so we don’t have to waste time commuting and can feel totally present (dipping in and out of the kids’ days), despite having a full work day. I’ve also got a great pair of headphones to drown out the sound of kids coming from outside, haha.
It’s difficult to stay on top of customer service and social media while parenting. Though I hate to be attached to my phone when I’m with the kids, I do have to check on things every hour or so. Not ideal but necessary. I work 3-4 nights a week after the kids go to bed (I can’t let myself sit down on the couch after at night unless I’ve determined it will be a night off or it’s game over and I’m watching The Americans – I’m addicted!).
And, I don’t beat myself up. Something really does have to give if you have kids and run a business (or have kids OR a business). I don’t sleep as much as I’d like, I haven’t exercised in a really long time, and I’m in desperate need of a facial ,etc, but this is what I need to do to build our family business and it’s not forever (I hope). If I didn’t absolutely love what I’m doing, there’s no way I’d be so happy about doing it (but hello, millions of stickers!).
P.S. Pipsticks will be a part of the ShopUp by Babyccino Kids event September 18th & 19th. Come shop the 40 different booths, while your kids enjoy a plethora of activities and let’s not forget all of the delicious food vendors! Find out more about the ShopUp event here.