Did you know you can visit a sticker factory in the Bay Area? I was delighted to discover Mrs. Grossman‘s on Twitter the other day. Seeing her name sent me spiraling down memory lane.
Those of us that were children in the 70s and 80s were of the generation when stickers become the craze! Did you have a sticker collection? Was the collection in an album? I did! My favorite stickers were Mrs. Grossman’s because hers were the best quality and there were so many choices. I remember saving up my money, going to the mall with my friend and buying the stickers one at a time off the roll, they were .5 – .10 cents each. Then my friend and I would go home add them to our sticker albums and be armed and ready to go to school to show off our new treasures and to do some serious trading.
Since I no longer own my sticker album 🙁 I did a Google search and found this blog about stickers. This woman was a serious sticker collector!
After discovering Mrs. Grossman’s on Twitter I followed her and found out you can visit their factory for a tour and discovered the factory is right here in the Bay Area! Mrs. Grossman lives right here and her stickers are made here in the Bay Area! How cool is that?! I immediately arranged for a tour.
Andrea Grossman started her home-based design business in 1979 from her dining room table in Woodacre, CA. Today Mrs. Grossman’s is housed in an 110,000 square ft. corporate headquarters with it’s own printing plant. The company has designed more than 2,200 different stickers and sells their products throughout the United States, Canada and Japan. –www.mrsgrossmans.com
When I arrived for the tour I was greeted by a friendly woman who gave me some stickers and walked me in to the room with the rest of the tour (I was a few minutes late). I joined the group and sat and watched a video about the history of Mrs. Grossman’s. I learned Mrs. Grossman has a dog named Angus who is the customer service representative of Mrs. Grossman’s. The first sticker ever made for individual sale was the big red heart. Mrs. Grossman’s favorite words are “I love my job” and everyone that worked there seemed to really love their job.
Mr’s Grossman is celebrating her 30th anniversary in the sticker business this year. The first sticker was made in 1979 and sold in a little store in Sausalito (right here in Marin County) called Pine Street Papery. I just checked and they are still selling Mrs. Grossman’s stickers! Their Website says they carry every single Mrs. Grossman’s sticker made. I think I might be stopping by there for a future blog post. 😉
Mrs. Grossman’s recycles their waste paper and were certified green in 2009. She has also donated millions of stickers to childrens hospitals throughout the years. She allows employees to bring their dogs to work. The factory is located on a beautiful piece of land overlooking the water and hills. I almost asked for a job while I was there. 🙂
Mrs. Grossman’s son Jason who is now the president of Mrs. Grossman’s. He launched Pargaon Labels (a division of Mrs. Grossman’s) in 1988, it is one of the most successful wine and food label printing businesses in the County. It was also Jason who began the tour idea. The sticker factory tour attracts more than 30,000 visitors a year. If you live in the Bay Area or are visiting and have small children this is a super fun thing to do. Actually, you don’t even have to have small children, if you are a kid at heart or just want a walk down memory lane I highly recommend going for a sticker factory tour at Mrs. Grossman’s.
On Friday Nov 6 Mrs. Grossman’s heart stickers will star in “How It’s Made” on the Science Channel!
After the tour I met with Barbara Morino, the PR gal at Mrs. Grossman’s. She was delightful and shared many storiesabout Mrs. Grossman’s stickers saying, “Mrs. Grossman’s is like the Tiffany’s of the sticker”. I even found out that Princess Diana bought stickers for William in the 80s. Even the Gosselin kids love Mrs. Grossman’s stickers (you know Jon and Kate’s kids).
As you can see, I’m very excited about my visit to the sticker factory. I could go on and on about how fabulous my experience is but this is something I think you should try for yourself. The tour is free, your kids (and you) will come home with some cool stickers, you will get to see all sorts of neat machines that do amazing things and you will meet lots of happy people who love their job.
I’m off to go play with my new stickers.
I learned that stickers aren’t just for kids and are not just for collection. You can make some very sophisticated things with stickers (cards, gift bags, etc). You can decorate office supplies, drinking glasses and so much more.
I took so many pictures I uploaded them to Flickr so you can see all of them. Mrs. Grossman’s has a wall of fame showing all the stickers ever made from 1979 until now. You can see photos of the wall of fame here.
Mrs. Grossman’s is located in Petaluma. Check their Website for tour dates and times.
I’d love to hear about your memories of stickers. I’ve noticed that almost everyone woman I told about my visit to the sticker factory got nostalgic and shared some great stories with me. Do you want some Mrs. Grossman’s stickers? Post a comment below about a memory you have about stickers and I will send you some Mrs. Grossman’s stickers. To get the stickers you must post the comment before 10/31/09 and email me your mailing address (please write stickers in the subject). Be sure to tweet about your sticker comment too!
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