Like a typical high school junior, Sierra Lore attends class and participates in sports. Unlike other high school juniors though, Sierra also runs a business and partners with a charity. Sierra is the founder of AllStickers.org, a website that sells popular laptop stickers. She began the business two years ago, when she was 14 years old and saw a demand for easily accessible and cool laptop stickers. An entrepreneurial move, but here’s what makes Sierra stand out from other teenage entrepreneurs: her business helps support millions of people.
It began with one person: Sierra’s sister, Sophia. When she was just 9 years old, Sophia was diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease whereby consumption of gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, damages the small intestine and nutrient absorption. Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. When Sophia went on such a diet, her irritableness and discomfort decreased, and her grades and sports performances improved. It was a great solution, but Sierra recognized a problem: only some people knew about the solution. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, around 3 million people in the world have celiac disease, but around 2.5 million go undiagnosed. Ever the creative entrepreneur, Sierra created a solution: she would use her business to spread awareness about celiac disease.
For every order on AllStickers.org, Sierra donates a dollar to the Celiac Disease Foundation, which supports those affected by the disease and funds research for a cure. Both Sierra and Sophia are student ambassadors for the foundation, raising awareness about celiac disease. This charitable work has taught Sierra about the “satisfaction [she] receives knowing that [she is] doing a small part to help others like [her] sister.” Sophia and the rest of Sierra’s family support her efforts, and they pitch in to help her run her business, selecting stickers, and sending orders. For the most part though, Sierra is responsible for the inception and operation of AllStickers.org. After realizing there was a niche for laptop stickers, Sierra researched trendy stickers, and expanded her inventory after receiving many orders. Currently, AllStickers.org has over one thousand products, and Sierra adds around 20 products per week. Her orders are rising as well, and are approaching 100 per month.
Another impressive number: 18,000. That’s the amount of visitors to AllStickers.org—organic traffic that Sierra has attracted through her own efforts. Instead of incurring advertising costs, Sierra learned to “be creative and use social media (Instagram and Pinterest).” Her site can be found on the first page in Google results with certain keywords, and her marketing efforts have paid off. In addition to advertising on her own, Sierra also built her business fairly inexpensively through Shopify, a site for building an online store, accepting payment, managing inventory, and viewing sales and traffic reports. Even with her drive and innovation, Sierra has faced challenges and Sierra overcomes them by remaining “patient and positive even when things aren’t working out.”
This optimistic attitude fuels Sierra’s advice to others looking to build a business. Even if their business fails, like Sierra’s first gluten-free bakery business, they can “learn so much and it is easy to start again.” If at first you don’t succeed…the old saying goes, and Sierra is a great example of the rewards of trying again. In addition, she encourages potential business owners to not “get caught up in trying to make everything perfect at the beginning. You can continue to improve the business as it grows.”
And business can grow. Sierra is expanding her business by striving to place her products on other channels and work with artists to design unique stickers. Though she’s only 16, she will only keep advancing along her entrepreneurial and charitable journey.
Contributor: Madelyn Chen