Typically, the Burlington company Sticky Brand designs and produces decals and coasters to promote sports, restaurants, breweries, shops, musical acts and businesses that hand out freebies at conventions.
Those activities stopped suddenly with the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting social distancing and business shutdowns. “There was a very quick drop-off in sales,” said Nick D’Agostino, who founded Sticky Brand in his Burlington basement in 2007.
A few days after the state-ordered shutdowns began, Sticky Brand began making stickers for those few stores that remained open, grocery stores especially, to tell shoppers how far to stand behind customers in line or which way to go down one-way aisles.
D’Agostino began giving out decals to stores including City Market, Price Chopper and Lowe’s. Sticky Brand is now selling COVID-19-related stickers to groceries and other entities including the University of Vermont Medical Center and Vermont retail shops recently allowed to reopen with restrictions.
Business fell off so sharply that Sticky Brand’s usual seven to 10 employees were down to a skeleton crew. “It was stressful,” D’Agostino said. “If it had gone on much longer I would have been pretty bummed out.”
Now, D’Agostino said, business is up to the level of a soft month pre-pandemic. Nearly all of the staff is back at Sticky Brand’s Main Street office, where D’Agostino takes each employee’s temperature as they arrive to make sure they’re healthy.