Sticks News Feed and Blog — Behind the Scenes

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Sticks at Las Vegas Market 0

Wholesalers and Sticks fans, we have awesome news to share with you!! 🎉🎉🎉

We're excited to announce we've joined the American Made Collective permanent showroom space at the Las Vegas Market! This is a collection of American artists that exhibits at some of the nations large gift and home decor trade shows. We truly believe in the power of numbers and that by combining our efforts and supporting one another, each of our individual businesses will be more successful!

You can catch us there at the Summer Las Vegas Market July 29th - August 2nd in building C, Floor 11, Showroom #1130!!  Save the date! 📅

Our mission is to make buying and selling quality American made goods as easy as possible, thereby increasing the number of American made retailers across the country. We do this by connecting with buyers (via showrooms, social media, traditional advertising, and through our website), and decreasing the time and costs for us to show at Americasmart and the Las Vegas Market. This allows us to focus on our products and brand awareness. Which gives American made buyers a better selection and quality of products to shop from, plus allows vendors who though they couldn't afford to exhibit at a large market to join the party.  Win-win!

From novelty gifts to high-end home decor, we make buying American made easy!  Check out the Collective's Facebook and Website!

Employee Spotlight - Sarah 0

Guess what time it is?! Time for another employee spotlight! Today we headed back down to the painting department and met with Sarah Boerner.

Sarah started working here almost 22 years ago. She began her career here at Sticks right after graduating from UNI with a degree in graphic design. Over the past 22 years she has made so many wonderful memories, probably too many to count! Some of Sarah's favorite times come from the earlier days here at the studio. She remembers everyone playing pranks on each other and one time in particular her friend was hiding in a storage closet and jumped out to scare her manager at the time. Of course the manager had to get her friend back by scaring her!

Outside of work she is busy doing normal "mom stuff" with her two boys, one is in high school and one in elementary school. One of her favorite hobbies is baking and when her boys were younger she started making custom sugar cookies for their birthday parties. She still enjoys baking and making custom cookies when she has the time.

A typical day begins around 9:00am which allows her to drop her two boys off at school before she heads over to the studio. Once she is here, Sarah likes to take the long way around the studio making sure she gets to say good morning to everyone.

Quite a few of our employees have been here since the earlier days and know each other pretty well which creates a very social and fun work environment. Once she makes her way through the studio and over to her painting station, it is time to figure out her project for the day. She makes it a point to stay on task and likes to try and beat her own painting time records. Around 3:00pm she leaves the studio, just in time to pick up her kids from school.

- Alaina Riley

Sticks ❤ Shawn Johnson East 0

 A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to have a visit from Shawn Johnson East. 

 

She's a bit of a local celebrity - we're all very proud to have an Olympic athlete from Des Moines, Iowa!

 

 

And while she's stopped in to see us before, this occasion was a little more special.  She partnered up with Google to share her favorite hometown small businesses and we were lucky enough to be featured in a full vlog while she took Andrew on a date around DSM.

Watch the full video here, featuring our art director Amy:

 

 

Thanks for the visit and hometown love Shawn, hope to see you again soon!

Employee Spotlight - Amy 0

Twenty-three years ago, after the floods of 1993, a young painter walked into a building in downtown Des Moines with muddy boots, leaving a trail of footprints behind her. The young painter was Amy Putney Koenig and the building was one of the first Sticks, Inc. studios.

Amy is an art director and drawer here at the studio. She started her career with Sticks as a painter and within her first year with the company, was transitioned into drawing. Not only does Amy play a huge part in the production of our handmade pieces here at the studio, but she also does her own artwork outside of Sticks, Inc. Some of her pieces include murals that can be found on the side of the Roca building and at the Power Life studio, both located in Des Moines, IA. She also creates beautiful and moving collages. When Amy is not working on art she can be found teaching yoga at Power Life Yoga. 

Being a part of the Sticks family for over two decades means 23 years of memories. One of Amy's most memorable moments with our company was 18 years ago when she found out she was pregnant with her daughter, Helen. The founder of our company, Sarah Grant, was the first person to find out about the exciting news. Amy and Helen spent the holidays with Sarah for five years making wonderful memories.

No two days are the same here at the studio, however, on an average day during the summer, Amy arrives at work around 7:00am. Usually the first thing on the agenda is to review files from the day before. There are always projects to be working on, some of which are products with a must-have-by date that get priority depending on when they need to be completed. The duration of her day is spent drawing, designing and composing custom artwork for galleries and clients, drawing artwork on the chalkboard for weekend weddings, attending meetings and walking through the studio to answer questions if there are any. Amy's day ends around 2:30pm which allows her time to pick her kids up from school.

Interested in learning more about Amy or seeing her artwork? Check out her website at: amyputneykoenig.com :)

- Alaina Riley