November 19, 2021 • Debbie Eisele
A Sticky Situation
The Maple & Molasses range adds a novel earthiness to adhesive offerings
Over the past few years, stickers have once again shaken up stationery in a big way. These palm-sized purveyors of personality pack an expressive punch, and once a consumer’s interest is piqued, she or he cannot stop at just one.
Nearly all available merchandise tends to be vinyl, so P. Graham Dunn’s wooden offerings, dubbed the Maple & Molasses Collection, definitely take a fresh approach to the category. But how did this collection come to be? Stationery Trends sat down with Anthony Burdette, vice president, marketing and product development, to learn more.
In a market dominated by vinyl stickers, please share how the idea of wooden stickers came to be?
AB: We’re always looking for ways to expand into new categories. We’ve offered magnets, keychains, car charms, and other similar small gift items for years and we were looking for something new. We fell in love with the concept of wooden stickers because they resonated with our brand, which is heavily weighted in wood-crafted décor. Plus, we knew we could manufacture them here in the USA, using existing equipment and materials.
How long did they take to develop?
AB: (It) took our team approximately 2-3 months. Since we are a domestic manufacturer, much of that time was spent sourcing and testing. We took time finding a material we liked; in our case a maple veneer at just the right thickness and with a clean, authentic grain. But we also spent quite a bit of time determining the most efficient way to print and cut, which took a few rounds of tweaking our equipment to work with this unique material.
Did you encounter any obstacles during this process?
AB: Our biggest obstacle was handling the thin sheets of veneer that have a tendency to warp. Once cut into individual pieces, the warp is minimized and hardly noticeable, but printing them in larger sheets was immediately a problem. Taping the sheets down was an option, but not a very efficient one. Ultimately, our solution was to increase the vacuum intensity on our print bed in order to eliminate warp during the printing process.
What kind of feedback have they received so far?
AB: Positive! Folks have pointed out that wood crafted stickers allow retailers to sell at a higher price point, due to the perceived value. We anticipate continued growth in adoption as more stores become aware of the category. Since it is so new, retailers are still being educated on the product.
Are there plans to expand the range?
AB: Our next phase of development for this product line will be to increase our variety of designs. Our next rollout will most likely include coastal-themed wooden stickers for vacation destinations, souvenir stores, and surf shops.
How do you recommend retailers merchandise this collection?
AB: Our recommendation is to utilize props to explain/suggest functionality. For example, placing sample stickers on a phone case, lunchbox, laptop, notebook, etc,. to plant a seed in the shopper’s mind. We offer a spinner display that holds all 16 of our designs in multiples. Each sticker comes in a packaging sleeve that explains the product as well.
Is there anything else you would like to share with Stationery Trends readers?
AB: We encourage retailers to try something new and different! Shoppers seek out independent shops to find items that are both unique and original – these wooden stickers fit the bill. Plus, they are designed and crafted right here in the USA!