Add little art to your life with locally made stickers

Stickers aren't just for little kids — here's how you can start your collection, right here in Madison.
Sticker collection
Photo courtesy of ShawPawPrints
Shaw shows off her sticker collection.

Remember how excited you used to get as a kid to collect a new sticker of your favorite superhero or television character? Well, this winter, as we spend more time inside, recreate that joy by adding locally made stickers to everything your water bottles and laptop cases. Each sticker is a little piece of art that showcases your style.

Let’s get collecting!

ShawPawPrints
Owner Ashley Shaw is a watercolor artist who has always had an interest in sticker collecting, even before she opened her business. And it was pretty much this exact fascination — and her friends’ prompting — that pushed her to start ShawPawPrints roughly a year ago. 

Shaw says stickers allow people who can’t necessarily afford an original piece of art to still enjoy those works. “Stickers are a portable, less costly version of artwork,” she says. “I love that I can bring a little more joy into this world through my colorful designs.”

 

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A post shared by ✨Ashley Shaw Adams✨ (@shawpawprints)

As far as her own collection, Shaw is a sticker fiend. She usually keeps them on her water bottle. Still, Shaw says there is definitely more than one way to collect your favorite sticker finds — from keeping them on your laptop to putting them in a sticker notebook. 

“Using a small journal, diary or notebook to keep your sticker collection is a great way to start,” she says. “All of your cool stickers are in one spot, plus you can write notes about the stickers and where you got them on the pages around them.”

Shaw’s creations can be found at Convivio in Spring Green, Noble Knight Games in Fitchburg, on her Instagram, @shawpawprints, or through her Etsy and Redbubble accounts. 

Pulling Shapes Madison
For Michael Braley, owner at Pulling Shapes Madison, starting his sticker gig gave him a new direction. After losing his job due to a particularly messing situation, Braley was looking for his next opportunity when his friends noticed the goofy-faced fruit he was drawing. They told him the fruit and his other drawings would make great stickers, and the rest is history. 

“I love stickers, they’re fun eye candy that has absolutely no artistic definitions or preconceived notions,” he says. “Just two inches of creativity.”

Braley is also an avid sticker collector beyond his business, simply because he enjoys having little reminders of his favorite things around him. 

“I usually sticker things like my journals or planners, things that I save and archive,” Braley says. “The stickers attached to it are like an additional aspect of that time for me.”

Find Braley’s work at braleybranding.com or on his Instagram, @pullingshapesmadison. Braley now sells his stickers in local shops, including Freedom Skateshop, Little Luxuries and The Regal Find in Middleton. 

Anthology
Laura Komai and her sister started making stickers at their local paper and craft shop, Anthology because they aim to make art accessible. Customers were also asking for them. Sticker collecting was more than a way to expand their business — it’s also very personal. 

Both have had a thing for collecting stickers since they were young, so seeing their stickers do so well in stores truly makes them happy. As adults, the sisters use stickers on mail to friends and enjoy keeping a special stash. Laura truly believes there is something special about something so small, yet so specific to each person.

 

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A post shared by Anthology (@anthology230)

“Collecting stickers is so personal — some people essentially have a collection walking around with them on their laptop or water bottle, other people use them for their planners or letters; still others simply collect them,” she says. “The type of sticker that’s best really depends on how it’s going to be used.”

For your own collection, Komai says trading is a good way to get into the game.

“Since the pandemic, we’ve had a lot of customer purchase stickers in our good things/small packages that they are going to use for trading,” she says. “It seems like a lot of people are swapping stickers with friends.”

Anthology sells its stickers at its store, through Instagram and at a few stores around the state. Find them at at 230 State St. or anthologymadison.com.

Nicole Peaslee
As a graphic designer and artist herself, Nicole Peaslee believes stickers are really important for spreading the word. “I think making stickers is a cheap and easy way to get your artwork out into the world,” she says. “It’s almost like a business card.”

 

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A post shared by Nicole Peaslee | Creative (@nicolethecreative.co)


Peaslee tries to make designs that really hit home with sticker collectors, especially those right here in Wisconsin, her home state. Peaslee used to keep stickers on her laptop and now puts them on her sketchbooks and things she hopes to keep for a long time. She dreams to own a custom coffee table covered in her stickers so she can see see all of her favorites all at once, all the time. 

“I think all stickers are great for collecting,” she says. “Especially ones that feel sentimental or meaningful to you.”

Peaslee’s work can be found online on her Instagram, @nicolethecreative.co.

A Few Good Things
Hannah Nelson, founder of a Few Good Things, started her business a few years back as part of her senior showcase. She was in a class that required her to build a business, and suddenly the theoretical became reality. 

“As soon as I had my little stickers in hand I was hooked,” said Nelson. “It was really fun seeing my designs as something that could be placed anywhere!”

 

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A post shared by Hannah Nelson (@afewgooodthings)

For those of you looking to get into collecting, like Nelson, she recommends grabbing every sticker you see, in order to really get the ball rolling.

“I love collecting stickers, though I am more of a hoarder. Every time I get a new sticker, whether I buy it or get it for free with a purchase or something else, I put it with my collection in an old wooden cigar box I thrifted,” she says. “I have so many and part of me doesn’t want to use them because I’m afraid they’ll get ruined if I use them!”

Nelson primarily sells her stickers online, but she will soon be expanding into Itty Bitty Bookstore in Stoughton and White Rabbit in Iowa City. All of her artwork can be seen on her Instagram, @afewgooodthings or online at afewgooodthings.com.Magazine footer that says "Like this article, get so much more by subscribing"