Hi there! My name is Katie Hulse. I am a senior at BYU-Idaho and I will be graduating this semester (Winter 2023) with a Bachelor’s in Visual Communication with a module in advertising.
For my senior project, I decided to launch a passion project I’ve been dreaming about for two years–an Etsy shop for stickers. This idea was sparked after taking a class called Vector Graphics on campus. One of the assignments in that course was to create three different sticker designs. Even after that project was done, I couldn’t stop thinking about designing stickers to share with the world. I craved more! Despite the passion I felt, life got in the way. It wasn’t until this semester, two years later, that I realized my senior project was the perfect opportunity to get my business off the ground.
With creating my Etsy shop, I needed a brand. After graduation, I plan on starting a freelance design business, which I wanted to tie into my brand, as well. I decided to go with the name I came up with two years ago: Katie Lea Creative. This brand name incorporates my first name, middle name (pronounced Lee), and the word I often use to describe myself.
One of the most difficult parts of this project was creating my brand. I wanted it to be perfect and to represent my personality. After much ideation and drafting, I came up with the following.
After nailing down my branding, I developed my target audience. I chose to target young adult females, ages 18-30, who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and who love expressing themselves, the gospel, pop culture, and spending time with friends.
With my audience in mind, I set out to create many different series of stickers. Below are examples of stickers I created, but this gallery is not all-inclusive. The process of creating stickers was a difficult one to nail down. It involved much trial and error, but I was successful in developing a process I am in complete control over. I design the stickers, print them, seal them, cut them, and package them. This process has become easier over time and it’s almost therapeutic at this point!
To gain some more traction with my business, I ran one ad on Instagram and one ad on Etsy for seven days. I set a budget of $35 each for both platforms. Here is a pdf of my findings and experience with running these ads.
This project was an incredible learning opportunity for me. All the visuals you see were created by me during this project. I received firsthand experience in developing a personal brand and creating a vertically integrated system for my business. I plan on continuing to run my shop after graduation, and I can’t wait to see where it goes!
Featured below: my business cards and showcase display
Planning & Research: 6 hours
Brand Development: 6 hours
Shop & Listing Setup: 4 hours
Sketching & Executing Sticker Designs: 16 hours
All Photography: 1 hour
Printing, Laminating, and Cutting Stickers: 10 hours
Packing Orders: 1 hour
Business Card Design: 4 hours
Update Instagram Account: 1 hour
Meeting with Mentor: 1 hour
Total: 50 hours