From Planner Stickers to a Thriving Business: How I Disrupted the Stationery Industry
Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming about turning a hobby you love into a full-blown business that rocks the world? I know exactly what you’re feeling. I’m ready to share with you how I went from commercial banker with a passion for planning and creativity to the CEO of a thriving business, touching lives left and right. I'm gonna share how I disrupted the stationery industry and turned planner stickers into my personal goldmine and how my journey can light a fire under you to chase your dreams.
When I first dived into the planning community, two things I quickly noticed were lacking: representation and empowerment. For me, it was so much more than pretty paper and pens; I wanted to create a tribe where women could feel motivated, guided, and like they belong. I went all in, crafting a brand that spoke directly to women who looked like me and had the same dreams and ambitions as I did. I wasn't just selling stationery; I was building a community, a movement. Over time the brand became more about lifting each other up, sharing stories, and pushing towards success together.
But how did I crack this code? In the beginning, I focused heavily on what we all really wanted, to be seen. I saw a gap in the market where I could deliver not just high-quality products but a whole vibe, a community vibe. That's when things really took off. My brand became more than just stationery - it became a beacon for those looking to do more than write their goals down, they wanted to actually check them off. And let me put you on to something - the heart of my success? Planner stickers. Sounds simple, right? But it's all about tapping into what your audience craves. By knowing my audience inside out, I turned these little stickers into a booming part of my business, opening doors I never even knew were there.
Over time, my personal goals and ambitions have evolved in ways I never expected. After being in this game for over six years, I've come to realize something profound: it was never just about planner stickers. Sure, they were my starting point, my gateway, but they became so much more. They were the door I walked through to discover my true self. There was a moment when I found myself struggling - not because of a lack of ideas, but because my passion had shifted. I no longer wanted to create just stickers; I yearned to build a brand that truly represented what it meant to be a part of my community - a brand for the thriving, modern, everyday woman who juggles family, business, and personal fulfillment.
This realization led me to reevaluate and ultimately change my product offering. Let me tell you, this wasn't easy. But nothing great ever is. Was it worth it? The jury is still out, lol. I've faced burnout more times than I can count, each time rising with a stronger resolve. To reach your greatest potential, to truly serve where you're called, sometimes you've got to risk everything for a vision only you can see. So, I took the plunge and switched things up.
Now, every business guru might warn against this. They'll say, 'Stick with what you know for ten years, establish your brand, then think about change.' But in my heart, I believe that's a shortcut to dissatisfaction. When something doesn't resonate with you or your customers anymore, it's time to pivot. And yes, you might lose some customers along the way, but you'll attract new ones - ones who truly value what you're offering now.
Switching to a more subscription-based model was a game-changer. It gave me time to rest, to dive into deep work and research, and to create products that were more intentional and meaningful. This shift didn't just affect my business; it rippled through our entire community, inspiring others to reconsider what personal success really means.
As a die-hard planner fan, my journey has been nothing less than exhilarating. It started with my love for organization and creativity, and before I knew it, I was turning that into a business that not only filled my pockets but also filled my heart. I figured out what my fellow planner lovers were looking for – something unique, something that spoke to them. And I delivered.
But it's not just about the stickers, y'all. It's about the connection, the service. I keep it real with my customers, take their feedback, and made it part of my journey. This built a bond that's unbreakable. So, here I am, a testament to the power of chasing your passion and really understanding your people.
I want to leave you with this thought: It's okay to change course. It's okay to pivot and pivot again until you find your true north. In business, as in life, we grow, we evolve, and our dreams expand. Embrace that growth, and let it guide you. Your journey is unique, and your story is still being written. So, keep dreaming big, keep evolving, and never be afraid to take the road less traveled.
Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t leave you with tangible action steps towards building the business of your dreams. Here's your first step:
- Identify What Fuels You: Look around you. What's that one thing you love that others might overlook? For me, it was the planner community. Dive deep into your interests and find that unique angle that sets you apart.
- Know Your Audience: The best way to know your audience is to know yourself. Spend time understanding your needs and desires of who you are at your core. This is the quickest way to discover what’s missing. What’s the thing you need but don’t have? For me, it was a sense of belonging and planner stickers that looked like me. For you, it might be something different. Do your research, join online groups, or conduct surveys.
- Product Development: Based on your research, develop a product or service that fills a gap. It should be something you're passionate about, as this passion will shine through to your customers. It’s much easier to sell something you believe in than something you don’t.
- Build a Community: This is crucial. Engage with your audience, create a platform for them to connect, and make them feel like part of your journey. This could be through social media, a blog, or local meetups. I chose the route of social media and creating a facebook group. Now I’m diving into youtube and blogging. Your community’s needs may change as you all evolve, be willing and ready to pivot as necessary.
Now, let's talk about turning this all into a business:
- Start Small, Dream Big: Begin with manageable goals. Don't worry if you're starting small. Every big dream begins with a single step.
- Feedback Loop: Always listen to your customers. Their feedback is gold. Adapt and evolve based on what they tell you.
- Collaborate and Network: Join hands with others in your niche. Networking isn't just about growth; it's about learning and sharing.
- Stay True to You: Never lose sight of why you started. Your authenticity is your biggest asset.
Now it's your turn. Take these steps, put them into action, and start crafting your own success story. Remember, it's not just about making money; it's about making a difference. You have a unique gift to offer the world, and it's time to share it. So, go ahead, take that leap of faith, and let your passion light the way. Who knows? You might just be the next big success story we'll all be talking about!