A CHAT WITH MAUREEN VAZQUEZ, MOTHER OF FOUR AND FOUNDER OF PIPSTICKS STICKER SUBSCRIPTION CLUB (ONE OF OUR RAD FOUNDATION SPONSORS).
When did you start Pipsticks?
I launched Pipsticks September 1st, 2014.
What inspired you to start it?
As a child of the 80’s I have a deep seeded love for sticker collecting. I’m also a designer and left my corporate brand management job when my first son, Atticus, was born. A few years later, I was doing part time freelance work, but missed projects that I could sink my teeth into. Around this time, 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 write letters, buy stickers, address envelopes and find stamps my kids received one measly envelope in the mailbox. Though maddening for me, they went absolutely bananas over that one sheet of stickers in the post. Inspired, I created Pipsticks after looking for a sticker subscription and coming up empty.
What’s the general gist of it – what do you offer?
We’re a subscription sticker club. Originally we set out to find the coolest stickers around the world, and package them up for kids to find in their mailbox once a month. Everything is totally child friendly, with the intention that this can be brilliant entertainment for kids to enjoy unassisted (I am a mum of four!).
A few months in, we realised that many of our subscribers were adults. We quickly launched a second club – our Pro Club – for crafters and older sticker lovers, which has really taken off. Now we have kids and mums anxiously awaiting their sticker packs so they can trade with each other once they arrive. We ship worldwide and have thousands of subscribers in over 60 countries.
What is your philosophy?
Little things can make a big difference.
What are your favourite stickers?
I’m pretty much in love with everything coming from Japan and Korea right now, but my all-time favourite is the sparkly rainbow by Mrs. Grossmans.
Tell us about your work/life balance/juggle.
Ha, balance? Though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend launching a business with four little kids, there are a few thingsI do now that make it possible:
- Sleep in one day on the weekend – like, until 11am! (my husband and I alternate)
- Relax about the kids’ bathing routine and picky eating
- Rely on my Instant Pot for quick dinners / prep food for the week on Sunday
- Have a sharp bedtime so Nathan and I have time to ourselves in the evening
- Think in terms of a 24-hour clock (this takes pressure off of doing things during the “day” or “night” If I’m up with the kids at night, I don’t have to wait until the next night, I just sneak in a quick sleep when I can).
- Try to laugh whenever I can.
Can you share some favourite moments from your business journey so far?
Every time I open a massive box of new stickers I get butterflies in my stomach. Also, our little team shot and produced an impromptu video in one day to celebrate our second birthday last year. We shot it in my backyard, and everyone was amazing with such fun ideas. It was SO MUCH FUN. Oh, and just recently Nathan surprised me with a revolving disco ball in our new studio!
What are you hoping Pipsticks to be known for?
FUN! Technically, we’re in the sticker business, but I am more interested in the feeling someone gets when he or she finds a package full of stickers in the post. I want to spread THAT feeling with gorgeous products, inspired DIYs, and a team whose energy is infectious.
How can readers get involved? What’s on offer?
Join our sticker club! Subscriptions start at 9.95 USD (free shipping in the US; we ship anywhere in the world for $3).
Can you give Lunch Ladies a deal?
Get 20% off the first two months of any non-gift subscription with the code STICKERLUNCH. Head to Pipsticks website for this kind offer and more info. x