Virginia Ritacco is a creative young woman living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. When her first nephew was born in another part of the country, all she wanted was to ensure that she remains part of his young life, despite the distance. She sent him special story books, with pictures of herself, the boy and other members of the family. Little did she know that her creative personalized gifts would blossom into a thriving business.
In 2009, she launched StickieStory.com, where customers can create personalized story books with the names and pictures of their children, family and friends. Her goal was to create unique gifts that perfectly capture fun, adventure and engagement where YOU are the main character.
We interviewed Virginia Ritacco on how she started StickieStory.com:
StickieStory was a result of your correspondence with your first nephew where you write stories and putting your picture in the story. At what point did you realize that this is a winning business idea?
At that moment, the aim I was pursuing was not to do business with this. The intention was to keep close to our family while we were not with them. We just wanted to be present in the stories children read every night before going to bed. My nephew´s reaction when he saw himself in each story, made me think of this product as a business idea.
What makes this product different? What makes StickieStory stand out from the rest?
StickieStory is a mixture between a story for children and a toy. It is something that does not exist. Even though there exist personalized books within the market, we make the difference by using photos and giving it a funny touch with stickers. At present, we sell our products wherein the customers buy StickieStory and they personalize it at their homes. They can also acquire it online logging to: www.stickiestory.com and receive it by mail.
Can you describe the process of creating the stories and characters?
At present, the users may incorporate up to 4 characters in their stories. It is necessary to follow these steps:
1) To enter the names and photos of the characters
2) To adapt the photos.
3) To stick the stickers and just have fun.
How did you finance the business?
I financed the business basically through personal savings.
How are you marketing StickieStory?
We use Google Adwords online promotion and social networks such as facebook and twitter. We also market StickieStory through mailings and, in addition, we market it through the press. We trust our product and the customers who acquire StickieStory recommend us to other people and that helps us to promote it.
You are based in Argentina. What are the most difficult part of running an online business, and how are you overcoming these challenges?
Even though Internet is used a lot in Argentina, it is not similar to the use of it in the United States of America. We have to face two challenges as it is an original and new product: First, we have to make sure that the customers know that StickieStory exists and secondly, that they can acquire it online. We are promoting our product through the press in order to show how easy and quick it is to customize the stories in our website.
What are your plans for StickieStory in the next 5 years?
We are planning to incorporate a greater variety and quantity of products, to develop the no online sale in order to reach the greatest book and toy shops within the potential markets. Likewise, we would like to develop Stickiestory kiosks for commercial centers and something in which we are already working on: to develop the channel of corporation sales, in order to take StickieStory to important companies.
How has StickieStory changed your life?
Undoubtedly, my life has changed considerably. I have a personal and professional satisfaction and the full conviction and proof that dreams may come true if we work hard on them.
What lessons can you share to other women entrepreneurs?
I would personally recommend women entrepreneurs to always trust in the idea they´ve got, to maintain their aim in mind and to work very hard every single day so as to reach their goals. To follow the instinct is the key so as not to be out of focus.