Heart Stickers connect people to the places they love. It is a way for a person to say, “I love this place” through a combination of a heart and a place. The first Heart Sticker we created was in 2003, the Heart in Oregon.
“My heart is here, my heart is in Oregon.” That was what Chris Bucci, owner of Heart Sticker said to himself when he was pondering leaving his adopted home of Oregon. At that moment, he drew the shape of Oregon with a heart in the middle on a napkin. Shortly after he had 1500 stickers produced and started building a company.
Chris originally intended to sell the stickers for $2 only to help make ends meet until the economy got better and he found a proper office job. What Chris was not expecting was there were so many others who shared the same feeling as he did for his home of Oregon.
It could be that their heart was in Oregon, they called Oregon home, or they just loved it here. Folks started to gobble up the stickers as fast as he could produce them and suddenly there were 1000s of Oregon stickers floating around the Portland area.
It was suggested to Chris that he take the same formula, a sticker with the state outline and a heart in the middle to expand his business. However, rather than just replicate the exact formula Chris felt was more important and better strategy if the design for each state was representative of the locals. This is also the main reason why none of the other states has green hearts. It just does not represent them and for this reason, Chris started designing other states with local influences.
The California designs has a sparkly yellow state fill because California is nicknamed the golden state. Washington has a green state fill because it is nicknamed the evergreen state. The goal is to find a design that represents the local culture and community rather than replicate what works in one area and try to force it into another.
As you look at the Heart Sticker USA map, you will see all sorts of designs. We spend much time researching and interviewing locals on what is an appropriate design for that state. The map is a revolving design that we update when a better design is discovered. In addition, some states have such a large population base, like California, that it can support multiple designs (i.e. northern California, central California, southern California).
The message in every state is the same, “I love here!” We have also found that the more people who love a place or have a special feeling towards a place the more willing they are to take care of it, and that is good for them and ultimately better for all of us. So when you see someone who has your state’s heart sticker and you feel that way too, go up and talk to them about what makes that place special to you and them.