This month, Sticker Planet, located in the historic Original Farmers Market, celebrated 30 years in business. It’s nice when we get to write about a milestone celebration for a small business in Los Angeles.
Store founders Bernie and Selma Kraft launched Sticker Planet into orbit back in 1992 with one guiding principle…if it would stick, they’d sell it! With thousands of stickers in all shapes, sizes, and surfaces, the Krafts crossed their fingers and launched their specialty store thirty years ago and never looked back.
We got a chance to interview Selma Kraft about starting the store. Here’s what she told us:
Why did you start the store?
My husband, Bernie, and I were looking for a new opportunity after working for many years in the garment industry. Bernie had a great feel for business, and I have always been creative artistically. A store selling products for crafting seemed like a perfect way to combine our individual strengths into a successful business. We wanted to start a business that would, of course, earn a living for us but that could also become a fun community space for people to be creative.
What where planning when you started?
The store was first conceived as a shop to sell artistic rubber stamps, which were very popular in the ’90s. While at an industry trade show looking for rubber stamps, we came across a booth featuring Mrs. Grossman’s stickers and decided that stickers would be the perfect complement for our store’s other items. We decided to fixture our store just like the Mrs. Grossman’s booth…with the stickers displayed on rolls so people could have fun picking and choosing exactly what they wanted. It was such a hit that we still sell many styles in our store that way. As the rubber stamp craze faded, stickers remained ever-popular, so we focused our business to sell stickers exclusively.
Did you start with the intention to build a family business they can one day pass along to their kids?
No, and as a matter of fact, our kids Hilary and Richard were not involved in the beginning at all. They each had successful careers in other industries. We always told them that they were welcome to join us, but we wanted them to pursue whatever made them happy, whether that was working with us or not. As it turned out, the fact that they had other careers before joining us made our business stronger. The outside knowledge and skills they brought into the business positioned us to better grow and thrive…now going into our fourth decade.
Today, siblings Richard and Hilary Kraft continue to lead the business with the same goal as their parents. Says co-owner Richard, “Hearing how much we’ve meant to generations of our customers is enormously gratifying. It reminds us that our parents’ vision of a place where everyone can feel creative still speaks to people in a powerful way.”
For the rest of the year, Sticker Planet is hosting a weekly kids’ “make & take” door-hanger activity every Saturday from 10am-12pm. Children ages 12 and younger can get a free blank door hanger personally stickered with their name. After they decorate it with stickers they’ve bought, Sticker Planet will laminate it to last for years.
In addition to their shop at the Original Farmers Market at 3rd & Fairfax in Los Angeles, the company started offering its products world-wide, 24/7 through its online store. Sticker Planet’s motto is “The world’s best stickers, all in one place.” For retail store hours and location or online shopping visit: www.stickerplanet.com.
About Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.
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