This week, we celebrated Small Business Saturday — and tomorrow, we will celebrate Cyber Monday. You may have already seen my blog post dedicated to the most kawaii Black Friday deals of 2020. However, today I wanted to do something different by celebrating the hardworking independent artists of Etsy in the next installment of my stationery series (you can check out the first two posts here and here).
For a little bit of backstory, I have always been obsessed with kawaii stationery you can buy in Japan, yet I didn’t see how this related to my journey toward healing. I used to write a side blog dedicated to my love for books and stationery, but quickly became overwhelmed by managing two online platforms at once. It wasn’t until I changed my name to Heal with Haley that I recognized all the unique things that have become part of my healing journey.
Stationery is a way of expressing my creativity, and creativity has been incredibly healing for me — both on and off of this blog. Thus, I am no longer hesitant to express other sides of myself on this blog. Being chronically ill does not mean I am not allowed to have other interests, and having a niche does not mean I am not allowed to present my unique self and all of its facets on this blog.
As a small business owner myself, I am incredibly empathetic to what the community is going through during COVID-19. Finances are tight for many of us, which means that lots of people are spending less than they otherwise would supporting small business owners. Unfortunately for us, this means that many of us are working harder than ever to make ends meet and having to come up with new and creative ways to help our business survive the pandemic.
Hence, when it comes to my stationery obsession, I’ve made a conscious decision to buy less from Aliexpress and other large chains, and more from independent artists and small business owners on Etsy. At first, I thought I would be disappointed to have to give up some of my favorite brands, but I quickly discovered that Etsy is full of incredibly talented artists with the same kawaii aesthetic as many of the O.G. characters from Sanrio, San-X, and other brands. You can even find fan art that celebrates the things you love, like Animal Crossing or Hello Kitty, while supporting a small business online!
As we approach the holidays, I sincerely hope you will consider buying some of your stationery from these cute artists on Etsy instead of big chain stores like Target or Amazon. This time of year is usually one of the busiest for small business owners, but many of us are preparing for a less lucrative holiday season due to COVID-19. Whether you’re looking for stocking stuffers, gifts for a loved one, or even a little something to treat yourself, thanks to Etsy, you can find almost anything you’re looking for for while still supporting a small business.
By the Paper Memories
Where: Toronto, CA
What: Matte and sparkly sticker sheets and flakes.
Why I Love It: By the Paper Memories’s tagline is “Spreading Happiness,” which they do with their kawaii sticker collection. I especially love the happy mail-themed sheets and their basics, including pastel and bubble-shaped letters and numbers.
My Pick: Heart Alphabet Stickers ($2.50)
The Kiwee Shop
Where: New York, USA
What: Matte and vinyl sticker sheets and flakes.
Why I Love It: The Kiwee Shop is based around the owner’s OC, Kiwee, who is an adorable floof with a plant sprouting from its head. I especially love their functional planner sticker sheets, which include everything you need for a weekly layout in your planner or bujo.
My Pick: PoofWee Planner & Journal Sticker Sheet ($3)
Where: California, USA
What: Matte, vinyl, and foil sticker sheets, sticker flakes, art prints, and memos.
Why I Love It: Tamollimo Studios features kawaii cats in almost all of its pretty pastel designs. They have a wide variety of offerings, but my favorites are the themed sticker sheets they release for every season.
My Pick: Mental Health Matters Glossy Sticker Flake ($3)
Where: Louisiana, USA
What: Matte sticker sheets and flakes.
Why I Love It: Jankami’s sweet designs feature a fluffy bear design that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Their kawaii sticker flakes are especially popular on Etsy, as are their washi sticker sheets.
My Pick: Beary Bakery Cafe Sticker Flakes ($3.50)
Yay! It’s Vica
Where: California, USA
What: Digital downloads, matte and holographic sticker sheets and flakes, art prints, and cards.
Why I Love It: Yay! It’s Vica is one of the cheeriest sticker shops on the web today. What makes this store unique are its digital downloads, which allow you to print and use your favorite stickers over and over again.
My Pick: Juicy Fruit Journal Kit ($5)
Where: Georgia, USA
What: Matte and vinyl sticker sheets and flakes, art prints, and handwritten fonts.
Why I Love It: BeeBaoBun has tons of kawaii designs inspired by everyone’s favorite quarantine game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The store’s other designs are equally adorable, including yummy motifs like boba and ramen.
My Pick: Usagi Plays Animal Crossing Print ($2)
Where: Pennsylvania, USA
What: Matte and shiny sticker sheets and flakes.
Why I Love It: Kumo Shop’s Korean-inspired sticker designs all include kawaii teddy bears, reminding me of Milkjoy. The shop also carries oops bags with discounted misprints / miscuts of its signature sticker sheets.
My Pick: Bear Sticker Flakes ($3)
Where: California, USA
What: Matte and foil sticker sheets and handmade earrings.
Why I Love It: Studybeary is a small shop that’s still buiding its offerings, but what they lack in quantity they more than make up for in quality. Its designs include kawaii frogs, Animal Crossing-inspired motifs, and cute planets from outer space, alongside its signature bears.
My Pick: Coffee Time Studybeary Sticker Sheet ($2)
Where: Texas, USA
What: Matte, vinyl, and glitter sticker sheets and flakes, acrylic charms, and polymer clay pins.
Why I Love It: In addition to its wide variety of offerings, Hoo Studio’s designs are cheery and colorful, guaranteed to put a smile on your face. My favorites are their matte sticker sheets, which are perfect for kawaii-ifying your life.
My Pick: Sticker Sheet Set ($6.50)