Pen there, drawn that: The van life and hand-drawn stickers create a successful business for artists – St George News | Gmx Pharm

IVINS —Living life on the go as a full-time embroiderer wasn’t one of the creators’ original plans, but she jumped at the opportunity and grew her business to over 130 stores across the country, featuring designs that are sure to draw you in.

Artist Kandis Larson poses in Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah, date not given | Photo courtesy of Kandis Larson, St George News

Kandis Larson, artist and owner of Kandis Created, said she has never taken an art class. Although she had no experience in drawing, she has done many other art forms over the years such as leatherwork and basket weaving and even built her own cabin. She started drawing ten years ago and hasn’t stopped since.

“At first I didn’t think I was an artist,” Larson said. “I thought you had to do certain things to become an artist or a draftsman. Like you had to do landscapes or become a painter, and I wasn’t one of those things.”

She began visiting farmers’ markets and art shows, selling her hand-drawn designs on cards and other paper items. One day she decided to turn her drawings into stickers and was shocked by the reaction. She continued to create sticker designs, starting with 10 designs and increasing from there. As the sticker business grew, she discontinued her paper products and went full-on with stickers.

Larson said she has started selling her stickers to some local businesses outside of weekend markets. As she continued to buy her stickers at other stores, she said that store owners loved the hand-drawn designs, which made them stand out from anything else they already had at their stores.

A custom Utah decal design drawn by Kandis Larson is shown, location and date not given |  Photo courtesy of Kandis Larson, St George News
A custom Utah decal design drawn by Kandis Larson is shown, location and date not given | Photo courtesy of Kandis Larson, St George News

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

“That’s all I did last year,” Kandis said. “I just live in my van and travel. My decals are now available in eight states and many stores. I am very blessed and it has been very successful so far.”

Larson said her stickers are currently sold in 130 stores across the country, including Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Nebraska and Hawaii. She continues to grow her business as she travels and personally visits each store to speak with business owners.

Kandis Created stickers are also currently available at 18 different stores in Utah from Spanish Fork to St. George. Originally from Spokane, Washington, Larson said she lived throughout Utah before her van life and she loves the entire state.

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

Enjoying a life of travel, Larson is currently based in Colorado and continues touring the western United States. She plans to go to Grand Teton National Park next and said she goes where the tourists are as they mainly buy their produce.

“I’m just going to roll with the sticker thing,” Larson said. “As long as people are buying stickers, I will.”

Larson said she often gets messages on social media asking how she got into her current life. She enjoys sharing her story and sharing the tips and tricks that have led to her success with others.

In her experience, Larson said that the first two things people need to run a small business are confidence and quality products, and that in terms of quality and design, she offers “the best damn sticker you can have.”

To view available decals, visit the Created Kandi’s website. Follow Larson’s Instagram to keep up with their adventures on the road.

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