“We ended up with something we never planned for, and it’s just blossomed,” Melissa Burnett said. “It started as just a side gig for some extra money.” Burnett and her husband, Rocky own and operate Big Girl Stickers, a vinyl lettering, screenprinting, and décor business. When they first started it together with another couple, they never imagined it would be so successful that it would outgrow their home, but here they are, planning the grand opening for their new storefront in Chatfield.
Big Girl Stickers started in 2011 when Melissa, a graphic designer, created a vinyl design for the Burnett’s daycare provider, Karla Bucknell. “I did it and she was blown away,” she laughed. It began as a partnership between Burnetts and the Bucknells, but within six months, the Burnetts ended up buying the Bucknells out. “It’s been just us ever since,” Melissa said.
Over the years, Big Girl Stickers has evolved and grown. They accept orders via their website from all over the country and the world. “We’re doing less vinyl work and more screen printing,” Melissa noted. All of the screenprinting and vinyl is done in the Burnetts’ basement, which means that they can control turn-around times on orders and allows for smaller orders instead of bulk. They also own a plotter to cut vinyl and use a conveyor dryer and special racks. Melissa does all of the design work herself. “It’s pretty involved,” she said. “It’s taken over my garage, basement, back room, and living room. My house can’t hold it anymore.”
Between Big Girl Stickers, Rocky’s full-time job as assistant director for the Chatfield Ambulance Service, Melissa’s part-time job as administrator for the Chatfield Community Television service, and raising their three children, ages 15, 12, and 12, the Burnetts are busy, but they’re ready to turn Big Girl Stickers into a full-time venture.
“We never thought it would go this far when we first started it,” Melissa explained. For several years now, she and Rocky had been talking about expanding Big Girl Stickers into a storefront and have even looked at a few different buildings as possibilities. “We hadn’t found one that we fell in love with, or that we liked the location of,” she said. Instead, they planned to build onto their house and garage and keep the business home-based, but then the former Four Tier Jewelry building became available after sitting vacant for many years. “We didn’t really ever think that we would do this (buy a storefront), but it kind of all fell into place,” said Melissa.
Since purchasing the building, Melissa and Rocky have done a lot of work with renovations, which included renovating apartments upstairs to be rented out. During that time, they’ve continued to accept and fulfill orders and run a booth for the business at Thursdays on First on Rochester. Their grand opening will be on July 28, and the couple is excited to be able to provide their local customers with a place to come and shop. They will also continue to run the website and offer custom designs and orders. “We’ll be open full-time at the store,” Melissa noted, adding that it will continue to be a family affair with both Rocky and Melissa working together and including their kids. “We’d just like to have more of a visibility so that people are aware of what we do.”
Melissa’s mom, Cindy McManimon will work at the store, offering flower arrangements. Melissa pointed out that currently, Chatfield does not have a floral shop so this will help meet that need. Clothing from Seven Clothing Company, of which Melissa is a part-owner, will also be available at the Big Girl Stickers storefront.
An open house for Big Girl Stickers will be held on July 28 from 10-4.
Bick n Berry and Adorn, two other shops nearby in Chatfield, will also be open during that time and the Burnetts would like to encourage shoppers to stop at all three stores to check them out.
You can find more information at biggirlstickers.com and by following Big Girl Stickers on Facebook.