Bend-based Stickerlishious Partners with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation

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(Stickerlishious of Bend, which recently partnered with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, offers a collection of stickers, cards and gift items designed to spread positivity | Photo courtesy of Ann LaFlamme-Allan)

Stickerlishious, a Bend-based, women-owned and women-run line of inspirational cards, gifts and stickers, has partnered with Born This Way Foundation, an organization founded by Lady Gaga and her mother that helps support the mental health of young people. “Because of COVID and because we recognize that mental health is a huge issue in our society right now, we wanted to focus on how we could expand our reach. We reached out to Born This Way, and we were fortunate enough to be accepted by them,” says Ann LaFlamme-Allan, co-founder and chief positivity officer of Stickerlishious.

The new partnership focuses on making kindness cool, spreading positivity and supporting youth mental health; joint marketing to raise awareness of the Foundation’s resources and mental health programs; and Stickerlishious pledging 1 percent of 2021 net sales to Born This Way Foundation. “We could not think of a more positive way to start off 2021,” says LaFlamme-Allan. “We believe in the power of positivity, so when our products are applied to laptops, cars and water bottles, they are designed to inspire during challenging moments. While this helps many, we know that our society needs more mental health services. Born This Way Foundation addresses these unmet needs and provides timely services and support for youth.”

LaFlamme-Allan started Stickerlishious four years ago as a passion project, largely for herself, she says. “I started the line because we live in the land of Hydro Flask, and I am a big believer in the power of words and affirmations. I wanted to personalize my water bottles. I started this mostly for myself, then test marketed the stickers in a couple of local stores, and it took off from there. Now we are in over 500 stores and in six showrooms across the U.S.” She adds, “It started as a side hustle, then about two years ago we got serious about the business, so I hired an amazing sales manager and we started pursing big accounts.” The business now has three employees, a contract marketing person, a contract social media person and a graphic designer. “I’m hoping to add two more people to payroll this year to help with production and shipping. We’ve grown quite a bit in the last three years.”

LaFlamme-Allan says Stickerlishious was starting to gain some huge momentum right before COVID, but the pandemic nearly shut business down for a couple of months. “Then slowly, in June and July of last year, buyers started buying for their retail stores again. Because we are so broad across the U.S., we started seeing more activity in the southeast as it opened back up, and now we’ve got momentum back and business is good. We’ve done some trade shows, and buyers are feeling cautiously optimistic.”

LaFlamme-Allan is no stranger to the retail business: She founded Lulu’s boutique in Bend and sold it, and co-founded ju-bee-lee here with a partner but got out of the business after three years. She also owned Wander + NW in Sisters and sold this business. “I have been around the block a little with business,” she says with a laugh. “My background is in wholesale and retail. I started off as a retail boutique owner, and also founded a company where we were a wholesale representative for several gift lines. This ignited my passion for developing products for the gift industry.”

Stickerlishious has gotten big enough that LaFlamme-Allan says they are currently trying to find a new location in Bend because they have outgrown their existing space in Northwest Crossing. “It’s challenging trying to find good, affordable office and warehouse space here. Thankfully, we were able to keep everybody on staff through COVID,” she says. “We are having all the normal growing pains of a business that is growing quickly, like sourcing. We make everything locally, and package everything in-house.”

As a mom who has raised two kids and two step kids with her husband, LaFlamme-Allan says she has witnessed the challenges that young people are experiencing today. “During the down time of COVID, I developed a collection in our line called Empathy is Cool. We created a whole card and sticker line with real messaging to reach young people. The message is that it’s OK to not be OK; the struggle is real.” The Stickerlishious brand includes a huge variety of cards, vinyl transfer decals, stickers, magnets, paper, hats and more with funny or encouraging sayings such as “Anxiety sucks,” “Sorry You are Feeling Shi@#y Today” and “Gratitude Every Damn Day.” There are stickers for all occasions, from Girl Power to holidays to camping and adventure themes. There is even a “naughtylishious” line in the collection. “We just really like to make people happy. If we can make people smile or laugh, that’s the goal,” she says. “Most of our customers can’t just buy one sticker because they can’t decide. They usually buy a handful. We love hearing about why they are buying them and how they will use them.”

She continues, “The thing that brings me the most joy is when a customer reaches out to me or sends me a picture of how they use the stickers and where they put them; that little splash of inspiration that reminds them it’s OK. Our mission statement is to be the positive force in people’s lives whenever they need it. We felt that Born This Way Foundation was really aligned with our mission statement. In addition to giving the 1 percent back, we look forward to working together with them in other ways going forward. They are amazing to work with and we are super excited.”

stickerlishious.combornthisway.foundation

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