STICKing to business

After taking on the concept of business and following in the footsteps of her family, a freshman has kickstarted their own sticker selling business.

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Lola Shipman

Freshman Sabrina San Agustin draws on her iPad during her sticker creating process on Nov. 15.

Natalie Policky, Writer

Entrepreneurship runs in the San Agustin family including freshman Sabrina San Agustin. San Agustin’s mother owns an ice cream truck named “Polar Oasis” and her father owns an IT business named “CTSS inc.” In addition, her sister, Sydney San Agustin is a marketing major and Sabrina now runs her own sticker shop through Etsy and her Instagram, @sj.s_shop.

San Agustin started her sticker career in February of 2019. This was also at the time when Hydro Flasks were on the rise, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two. San Agustin said she liked how other creators made stickers and thought she could do it herself. For San Agustin personally, she favored originality in a sticker.

San Agustin said her favorite part of running the sticker business would be receiving feedback from customers seeking to buy stickers, especially her sister, Sydney. Sydney said she acts as an additional pair of eyes to the sticker business, but lets San Agustin handle the work herself. Sydney said she loves what San Agustin is currently doing with her business.

“I am her number one fan and she’s doing really cool things,” Sydney said. “It’s so cool that Sabrina has her own business and she carries on that entrepreneurial spirit that our family has.”

As hundreds of customers around the world request to buy stickers from San Agustin’s shop, the business is not easy to control, San Agustin said.

“Waiting and just not assuming that people want to pay that higher price, but you deserve that higher price for the product is just really frustrating and hard to watch for anybody,” Sydney said.

Running a social media account can also cause difficulty in San Agustin’s business. San Agustin said she has to make sure that she is constantly posting aesthetically pleasing posts and Instagram stories along with doing giveaways so she can gain followers.

“There’s a lot of stuff that can go wrong and you just have to figure out how to fix that,” San Agustin said.

Running a business like San Agustin’s is not inexpensive either. According to San Agustin, she has spent close to $500 in simply testing different types of paper and observing what would look best in a sticker.

“It took me forever to figure out what kind of sticker paper I would use,” San Agustin said. “[For instance,] if it was waterproof, and I spent a lot of money on [experimenting].”

Despite these challenges, San Agustin’s company shows promising potential, even in its developing stages, Sydney said. San Agustin recently bought an iPad Pro, which shows a huge step in the productivity of San Agustin and the number of new opportunities brought up for her.

Sydney said San Agustin is passionate about what she makes and works tirelessly to get the orders completed as quickly as possible, but the best trait San Agustin displays is her desire of pleasing customers. One of San Agustin’s customers, freshman Angelina Thomas, has bought, and continues to buy, various amounts of stickers and said she loves what San Agustin is doing with her business.

“ It’s not just because she is my friend that I wanted to buy from her,” Thomas said, “Like, I genuinely like these stickers.”

To customers like Thomas, San Agustin’s business is impressive for how far it has gotten and how many people she has reached, Thomas said. However, San Agustin is still figuring out the ways of business for a bright future, Sydney said.

“She’s still figuring out her target market, which is hard to do,” Sydney said. “But she’s learning from it and growing and I think we could easily scale this company.”

A tip that is vital in starting a business is finding a personal niche, Sydney said. San Agustin’s business has gotten so far, because of how passionate San Agustin is about making stickers.

“Sabrina has definitely found her niche, which is customized stickers and illustrations and she has far more potential to do so many other things,” Sydney said.

San Agustin agrees with her sister and believes that if she didn’t like making stickers, then she would not have wanted to keep up with it.

As for the future, San Agustin is not quite sure if she is going to continue the sticker business. However, San Agustin said that she hopes to have her own business like it when she is older.

“I just can’t believe how much potential she has and this business has to grow,” Sydney said. “I’m just really proud, and I think she’s going to be super successful when she’s older.”