Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sticker Junkie

Andrea Lake Story

At one time in her life, Andrea Lake tossed fiery sticks through the air at concerts to help her pay rent. Now she makes her living running several different businesses, but the balancing act is just as impressive. Delinquent Distribution, which she started in 1999, sells T-shirts and stickers printed with hip phrases in bulk to large retailers., started in early 2001, lets customers order small batches of stickers and T-shirts printed with any phrase they want. Between the two intentionally different business models, Lake covers all the bases and can ride through business upturns and downturns in style. alone is on track to sell more than 3 million stickers this year.

You’ve got to have a bit of your own ’tude to think of selling shirts that say “I’m not a stalker, I’m just persistent” and “I used to have superhuman powers, but my therapists took them away.” Lake hearkens back to her teenage years to explain her company’s hip edginess. “I was your typical suburban girl who was mad at the world for no good reason,” she says. Now in her early 30s, she’s happily settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s not the first town you’d think of as a hub of industry. “For my own personal quality of life, I wanted someplace cool and laid back but also very creative.”

You might recognize Lake from her appearance on Donald Trump’s The Apprentice earlier this year. She didn’t win, but that doesn’t bother her in the least. Says Lake, “It was the most fabulous experience for me in that I realized how lucky I am to be doing exactly what I’m doing.”

These days, Lake is hoping to get funding for her companies, including a new venture called Luxury Wedding Packages. With so much entrepreneurship going on, the best way to keep up with her is through “One day, Andrea Lake Enterprises will dominate the world!” she says, perhaps only half-jokingly. After all, she already makes $5 million a year.

How to Print T-Shirts for Fun and Profit!