Van life and hand-drawn stickers create successful business for artist – St George News

IVINS —Living the life on the road as a full-time sticker artist wasn’t a designer’s original plan, but she leaned into the opportunity and grew her business into more than 130 stores in across the country, with designs that are sure to draw you in.

Artist Kandis Larson poses at Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Kandis Larson, St. George News

Kandis Larson, artist and owner of Kandis Created, said she had never taken an art class. Although she has no previous drawing experience, she has practiced many other art forms over the years, such as leatherwork and basket weaving, and has even built her own hut. She started drawing about ten years ago and has never stopped since.

“At first I didn’t think I was an artist,” Larson said. “I thought you had to do certain things to be an artist or to draw. Like you had to do landscapes or be a painter, and I was none of those things.

She began frequenting farmers’ markets and art shows, selling her hand-drawn designs on cards and other paper goods. One day she decided to turn her drawings into stickers and was shocked by the response. She created more sticker designs, starting with 10 designs and continuously adding from there. As the sticker business grew, it phased out its paper products and went all out on stickers.

Larson said she started showcasing and selling her stickers to a few local businesses outside of weekend markets. As she got her stickers into more stores, she said business owners loved the hand-drawn designs, which set them apart from anything they already had in their stores.

A custom Utah sticker designed by Kandis Larson is displayed, location and date not specified |  Photo courtesy of Kandis Larson, St. George News
A custom Utah sticker designed by Kandis Larson is displayed, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Kandis Larson, St. George News

When the pandemic hit and her life changed, she decided to take her life on the road, living full time in her van and selling her stickers in stores across the country.

“This past year is all I’ve done,” Kandis said. “I just live in my van and travel. My stickers are now in eight states and in many stores. I have been very blessed and it has been very successful so far.

Larson said his stickers are currently sold in 130 stores nationwide, including Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Nebraska and Hawaii. She continues to grow her business by traveling and personally visiting each store to speak with business owners.

Kandis Created stickers are also currently featured in 18 different stores across Utah, from Spanish Fork to St. George. A native of Spokane, Washington, Larson said she lived all over Utah before the van life and loved the whole state.

“I think Utah is one of the coolest states around,” she said. “Being in the desert – I love the desert – but I also love lakes and mountains.”

As she loves the life on the road, Larson is currently in Colorado and continues to travel the western part of the United States. She plans to go to Grand Teton National Park next and says she goes where the tourists are because they mainly buy her products.

“I’ll just roll with the sticker thing,” Larson said. “As long as people buy stickers, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Larson said she often receives messages on social media asking how she got the life she has now. She is happy to tell her story and give others the tips and tricks that led to her success.

In her experience, Larson said the first two things people need to run a small business are trust and quality products and that she has “the best fucking sticker you could ever get” in terms of quality and design.

To see the stickers available, visit the Website created by Kandis. Follow Larson instagram follow his adventures on the road.

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