Preserving our island, one sticker at a time.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start your own business? To create something that would help the world become a better place? Well, I have. My name is Ella Blecher and I am the owner of Studio Island.
When I was 12 years old my family and I were stuck in quarantine and to be quite clear, I was bored out of my mind. For as long as I can remember I have always had a passion for art. During the pandemic, I wanted to expand my artistic horizons and try graphic design. I started to draw on an app called Procreate which is a graphic design platform. I made digital landscapes inspired by Martha’s Vineyard and I loved how Procreate allowed me to alter the shapes and textures of my designs. I began to wonder if I could turn these landscapes into something more than just images on a screen.
I had noticed that many kids my age were decorating their laptops and water bottles with colorful stickers that reflected something about their lives. I thought there might be a market for stickers inspired by the island. After some research, I found a way to print my designs as high quality stickers. I received sixty dollars of investment money from my grandparents, created a spreadsheet to track my costs, and printed fifty stickers of one design. However, I still needed to find a way to get my stickers on people’s water bottles and laptops.
My ultimate dream was to sell my stickers in the fancy boutiques in Edgartown. I did not know if any store owners would actually sell my stickers, especially because operating during a pandemic was challenging enough, but I decided to give it a shot. I wrote my phone number on the back of a few stickers and biked into town. The first store that I went into was a high-end clothing boutique called Slate, which is owned by Elizabeth Hynes. I was nervous because Ms. Hynes was someone I looked up to and I wanted her to take me seriously as an artist and as an entrepreneur. I explained my business to Ms. Hynes and she was so impressed by my designs that she offered to sell them at the front counter of her store. I had the same experience when I approached other female-owned boutiques on the island. By the end of that summer, five different stores were selling my stickers. I also began doing custom graphic design work for clients who wanted logos for businesses and weddings.
My stickers have been featured in celebrity social media posts and sold online via a website that I designed myself (www.studioeyeland.com). Over 3,000 of my stickers have been sold, and I have made approximately $7,000 in net revenue. I have also donated ⅓ of my proceeds to a non-profit organization to help fund natural reservations on Martha’s Vineyard. I want to be a part of the movement to preserve conservations all across the island and respect the environment in the best way I can. My goal is to one day start my own clothing line that promotes environmental awareness and become a successful female entrepreneur. None of this would have been possible without the initial support of the female business owners in my community. They taught me the difference between feeling isolated and feeling alone.
Through this experience, I have learned that when members of a community work together, the outcome is so much greater than what any one person can achieve.
On Martha's Vineyard, it may be the off-season, but our stickers are here all year around. Shop our annual holiday sale for stickers up to 50% off!