At Sticky Tiki, they have transformed home decorating in New Zealand with their amazing range of unique wall decals that are designed by artists and illustrators from all around New Zealand. They have made it possible to create a beautiful mural on your wall that looks painted on, without having to touch a paintbrush or have any artistic inclination! Made in their Christchurch studio, their gorgeous wall decals are a great way to decorate your home, easy to apply, and just as effortless to remove and rearrange. Sticky Tiki owner Rose Wells talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about acquiring her dream business, her business journey so far, supporting local artists, and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
In 2014, I had a young baby and I was at a crossroads in my career, not sure what I should do next. I wasn’t sure whether to continue doing graphic design, or re-train and try something else. Then I saw in a handmade business group that a business called StickyTiki was for sale. I had a look into it, and the more I learned, the more I realised it was a match made in heaven. It fitted perfectly with my graphic design skills, and I’d even used a similar printer at my first job. I got in touch with the owner, and she also thought I was a perfect fit. I bought it, went up to Napier to meet Kim and learn the ropes, then I shifted it down to Christchurch where I live.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
StickyTiki began when artist Kim Hand’s children were young. She would paint amazing murals on their bedroom walls and she got to wondering how parents who weren’t artistic could achieve the same results. This led her on a journey to research different materials and ways of printing that could create wall murals. She discovered an amazing printable fabric that had a reusable adhesive, then found a local supplier and machine that could print and cut it. She was one of the first in the world to use this material for decals, and got a lot of publicity and great reviews in those early years. Some of those early customers get in touch and tell me that their decals are still going strong, which is lovely feedback to receive.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I feel there have been lots of small ones, rather than one large one! It is a product with a lot of potential, and I have many ideas floating around in my mind. Last year I launched a removable wallpaper using the same material. Being able to easily apply it without the mess of glue, and even better, being able to remove it by simply peeling it off later down the track, makes it a very versatile product.
The other thing I did was to reach out to other local artists I knew, and licence their work. I love doing this because it supports other small business people like myself, and it gives my customers a larger variety of designs to choose from.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
I run the business from my home studio. I’m not sure if this gives me better or worse balance! The thing I like the most is that I can do my son’s school pick-ups and drop-offs. The school is within walking distance, so it’s a nice way to start and end the day. It gives us time to chat about his day, and any concerns he might have. It also breaks up my day, gets me out of the house, and gives me some structure! My son has a little desk in my office, so he can come in and do some drawing, or work on a construction project using my packaging offcuts. He has also developed his own collection of stickers, which he sometimes sells at markets.