Designs That Stick
- A STORY BY OUR OWNER -
As of Late 2014 I was holed up in a small apartment in Waterbury Center. I had moved up to Vermont from Connecticut earlier that year, leaving behind my 9-5 customer service job at an insurance company. Currently working at a cider mill up the road and giving part-time lessons as a snowboard instructor, I was eager to challenge myself and use the business degree I had earned a couple years back.
Drawing had always been a passion of mine, but I was far from being a "professional artist." One cold night, with my Rinnai heater clicking on and off, I started to sketch some drawings of Vermont on greeting cards to give to my family for the holiday season. Of the drawings I came up with, one in particular stuck with me. It was a hand drawn outline of Vermont with a county map rendered with loosely accurate and curvy lines.
I thought to myself, "people might buy this," but I had no idea where to start or if I would still like it in a couple weeks. I sent the other greeting cards to family but kept the Vermont drawing taped to my refrigerator so I could look at it every day for a while.
Much to my amazement, I did not get tired of the design, in fact, I could not stop scheming over what to do with it. On my next day off I took the Vermont design off my fridge and brought it with me to a local shop in Waterbury, Vermont.
I tentatively showed the shop owner the design and she told me I should get it printed into a vinyl sticker at a location in downtown Burlington, Vermont. She even told me that once I had some printed out, I could sell them at her store on consignment.
My first batch of stickers was in one color scheme, one size, and of a total quantity of 75. It was a great feeling having my own product, but I had no idea how they would sell. After making my first delivery to that local shop I decided I would also try to get some into a craft beer store in Waterbury. About a week later I found myself in need of some beer, so I drove down to that store and found that my stickers were no longer on the shelf. I thought, "well they must have decided against selling them." To my amazement, that was not the case, they had sold out!
I came up with the name "Northern Safari", and figured it was a great fit for a business that designed stickers with a northern animal theme. I began printing the stickers with the name Northern Safari in early 2016. From this point on, I came out with a moose and brook trout sticker and slowly began to add to my list of retailers. In the spring of 2017 I decided to move Northern Safari into New Hampshire, and by autumn had secured 70 retailers whom I would sell more than 20,000 stickers to before the end of that year.
Why Little Rest Design?
So why change names to Little Rest Design? Well, a quickly expanding business often times runs into issues, and these issues would teach us a lot about running a small business. We had registered the tradename "Northern Safari" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and while we researched all existing tradenames, one business had slipped through the cracks of our research. To avoid a legal battle, we sold them the conflicted tradename and went back to the drawing board.
I, myself, grew up on a peaceful country road in Western Mass named Little Rest Road. My fondest memories as a child were on this winding country road and we could not think of anything that would fit our business better. The core belief is that Little Rest Design will not rest until we finish the job. We will utilize all of the many lessons and skills we have learned in the past few years to deliver a professional quality product to your business!
Obtaining, managing, and communicating with 70 retailers across two different states and selling those retailers more than 20,000 stickers gives us a head up on other businesses that provide similar services.