John Fischer is the founder and CEO of Denver based StickerGiant. You guessed it – they make and sell stickers. StickerGiant has actually been around since 2000, but it really changed focus recently. I thought it was a great example of how experimenting with your business can have a huge impact, and I wanted to quickly tell the story.
But before I get to that, here’s John explaining how StickerGiant got going.
“I started StickerGiant after some success marketing other novelty items during the Bush/Gore indecision news cycle. Since aggregation was on my mind that became my StickerGiant mantra. StickerGiant retail got started the August before 9/11, and we were #1 for “flag stickers” at the time, which gave us a unbelievable boost to start off. The Bush Presidency gave us a big boost as well, as things got worse, the rhetoric stepped up, and in the political sticker business, rhetoric=sales.”-John Fischer
John started StickerGiant eight years ago, and until last year he actively resisted the notion of the company doing its own printing. The company had always outsourced the actual printing of the stickers and was really just a storefront and a place to buy cool stickers. The company had done well doing just that, and was growing nicely.
Then, opportunity knocked. John had an employee who had just gone through a big life change and needed to earn more money. This meant that she would have to leave the company and go and get a full time and higher paying job. Rather than losing a valuable employee, John sat her down and charted out how they could build a printing business together that would give them leverage. She took the challenge, the the overall business was 20% larger in less than a year. It turned out that this changed the company significantly and it’s been growing by leaps and bounds since that day.
Now John says “StickerGiant printing services got started last June and is now more than 50% of our business, we are experiencing out-of-control growth and we are making staying on top of it our #1 priority.”
The lesson? Experimenting with things and taking some risks can pay off in a big way. Ten employees and millions of stickers later (many of them custom), it’s paying off for StickerGiant.
Although profitable and experiencing about 100% year over year growth currently, StickerGiant is considering a round of angel investment this summer in order to step up marketing efforts and to help fuel the growth of the business.
John asked me to mention that Colorado Startups readers should mention “Social Media Love” when placing an order with StickerGiant.