“I love it here! This is my home; Oregon is a place I love.”
That is simple meaning behind our Heart in State and Heart-Shaped designs.
The Heart Sticker Company was born with a simple sketch on a napkin in a Portland coffee shop. Oregon + Green Heart + a Dream = My heart is in Oregon.
Over a decade later, we have many designs that promote the passion people carry for the places, activities, and things they love. We have a thoughtful design for each state. We continue to improve upon these designs through the stories our customers share.
We started as a simple company, selling just one iconic sticker, the Heart in Oregon sticker. Now, our brand spans across an array of products--and all 50 states! In every new endeavor we take on, whether a new product line, new partnerships, or a philanthropic endeavor, we take them with the goal of continuing to capture and share Love. We stay creative as we evolve, always keeping the spirit of the simple connection to place felt in that coffee shop where that napkin was sketched.
We have programs for wholesalers, local artists, non-profits, and special events. Our programs allow for these organizations to benefit from our hard work for their purposes, as well as help us thrive through strong partnerships and a sense of community.
To us, the Heart Sticker vision is about people. People have the power to both create and destroy, improve or remove from the gifts of life. When people promote how they feel about their place and find others who feel the same way, they get together and talk; it is through these heartfelt and nostalgic conversations that powerful ideas and movements are born.
It all started with an internal monologue, a napkin, and a dream.
In 2003, Creative Director Chris Bucci was unemployed in Oregon with few prospects, making his ability to remain in his adopted home of Portland look bleak. Where would he go? What would he do? His heart was here, his heart was in Oregon. While having an internal debate about his future, a man approached Chris at an outdoor seat, (which is now in modern day the Salt & Straw on NW 23rd Ave) and offered Chris an I-Heart-Portland sticker for two bucks. Being the sticker lover that Chris is, he bought three stickers for $5. This set the gears in motion. He decided, “I’m going to improve this sticker with the shape of Oregon and heart in the middle,” and see what happens.
On a napkin, he drew a rough sketch of Oregon with a heart in the center. He knew he was on to something and that, if he was right, he could continue to live here in Oregon. If it could work here in Oregon, he could get it to work anywhere because everyone loves the place they call home. This is how he planned to live his own pioneering Oregon dream.
So, with his last few hundred bucks, Chris contracted Mary, an Art Institute of Portland graduate to collaborate, and bet his future on 1500 stickers.
He sold exactly ZERO stickers.
When first printed, the stickers were rectangles and not the Oregon shape as we all know and love. Then, a friend said the design would be better if the sticker was cut into the physical shape of Oregon. (Thank you Diane & Chrissy). That night, he went home and butchered the first sticker to capture the shape of Oregon. Even as mutilated the sticker had become, his friend was right. He diligently began cutting each sticker by hand and they started selling.
The original color of the heart was red, until a friend suggested the heart be green because, “It’s Oregon, after all!”
Today, Heart Sticker has sold state-shaped, heart-shaped, custom-cut, and MLS (Major League Soccer) stickers throughout the country. They are in small shops, grocery stores, airports, and online retailers nationwide.
It’s not a large business, but it is enough for Chris to still live his dream in his adopted home of Portland, Oregon. Chris dedicates his time to the Heart Sticker brand, raises his son as a single parent, and still takes time for the what he loves--listening to someone else’s story about the places they love and sharing with them a piece of the place he loves in return.
How we approach things: We do what we can… and then do a little bit more!
Donations and Community Outreach:
We donate and heavily discount thousands of stickers and products each year to worthy causes in the Pacific Northwest and internationally. If you are interested in having Heart Sticker support your event, simply reach out on our contact page. If we can, we will.
Retailers and Wholesalers:
Consider selling Heart Sticker products in your store. They are profitable, take up little room, and sell quickly. We would like to share our success with you. Early on, we discovered the importance of the retailers in our success. The demand for our decals and other products is much higher than one person can supply. Our retail partnerships help satisfy the demands of millions. Go to our Wholesale Inquiry Page or drop us an email at info (at) heartsticker.com and tell us to how to reach out to you.
To the purchasers of our products, we thank you. You are the secret sauce that has made all of this possible. Over the years, we have heard many stories about how you got your first sticker, why you got one, or the special feeling you had when you saw one. Our decals help identify each of us to each other and start a discussion about the love we have for our state. We love hearing your stories about the places you love. Always let us know what you’re thinking.
Quick Advice for Young Entrepreneurs:
There is too many adages to count, but here are a few:
- Don’t be afraid. Be cautious as you do new things, but don’t be afraid. Fear is paralyzing.
- Get the idea out of your head and into the world! Other folks don’t want your idea, they have their own, and they can and are willing to help (most of the time).
- Making mistakes and correcting them are your shortest path to success. Embrace the mistakes along the way. No shame!
- There are a million great ideas out there, but implementation is the key to success.
- The number one reason small businesses fail is by losing focus and depleting their resources. Be wise with your cash.
- Take good great care of your people. Rarely, can you do this alone.