SkyIvyDesigns: An Iowa State student’s brand


In addition to her retail Etsy shop, Bundridge offers customers the option to buy custom stickers.

Ashlynn Kile

SkyIvyDesigns is a small business Etsy shop run by a student here at Iowa State, Skylar Bundridge. 

Bundridge is a sophomore at Iowa State majoring in event management and minoring in public relations. She started her small business in high school, but over quarantine this summer she started focusing more and expanded her business.

“I spent a lot of time at the beginning posting advertisements on my stories, posting on Instagram and doing giveaways,” Bundridge said. “I started my business sophomore year of high school, mostly selling to friends and doing it for fun. This summer over quarantine as I started picking up orders from people I knew, I decided to start the Etsy shop. I had a lot of time on my hands so I decided I might as well do it.” 

Her small business sells a variety of products such as stickers, T-shirts, cards, custom illustrations and more. Over the years she has expanded and added new products to her business.

“I started out with mostly stickers and then maybe one or two T-shirts. And now I have about 27 listings on my Etsy. I sell anything from greeting cards, happy birthday cards, T-shirts, hoodies, stickers as well as custom illustration stickers. I also now have a canvas that can be used as wall art,” Bundridge said.

As her business is expanding, her opportunities for new products are as well. She has new and upcoming ideas to add to her store.

“I definitely want to keep adding things to my account. I always find new ideas, I just have to have enough time to actually create the designs,” Bundridge said. “Right now I’m working on a digital planner that people can print off or use on a device like an iPad with Apple Pencils, which is what I use. So people can just download it and write on it and then just erase it each day or week.”  

An Etsy shop can be a full-time job for many people. On top of classes and being in college, it can be hard to have enough time to run a business. 

“My Etsy account is my main job. I was able to have that start up at home so when I came back to school, I had enough business,” Bundridge said. “Etsy definitely keeps me busy because it markets my products to so many people I would never have met. I would say 95-99 percent of my orders are people I don’t know. I get a lot of orders outside of the state or even outside of the country. I will stand by Etsy because they brought me all that business.” 

During quarantine this summer, Bundridge had a lot of time on her hands. Now being back at school, she has to create a schedule for herself to stay on top of all her responsibilities.

“It’s hard to go back and forth between break at home and school because on break I could wake up and immediately work on my shop, but here I have to work around class times and homework,” Bundridge said. “Honestly my work day for SkyIvyDesigns starts at 10 or 11 at night. I usually take things to the post office on my way back from class or something.”

Working for yourself can be great, because you don’t have to report to anyone for work. However, it can also be difficult because you have to find the motivation to get your work done and you have to be self-motivated.  

“The time I spend on my Etsy shop depends on the week because if I have a sale on a product, I have a lot more orders to fill. The orders aren’t super consistent. I spend anywhere from 10-20 hours a week on my shop. This includes reordering materials, making Instagram posts, etc,” Bundridge said. 

The aesthetic and packaging of a shop can have a lot of influence on how successful a person’s brand is. 

“My favorite thing about my brand is the packaging. I love to physically pack the orders. When someone opens a package I don’t want it to just be a product in a bag. I like to put a sticker with my logo on everything, fun tissue paper, little cards and promo cards,” Bundridge said. “My favorite part is making it all look cute. There’s a girl on TikTok that I followed and she would post about her packaging. I fed off people that had similar tools, like a Cricut, but then used my colors and my own theme. It was really just learning from others that had been successful.”

She wants to continue expanding the business as she gets older. Bundridge owns the business and works for herself, so she can always have it as a part-time job, or maybe even a full-time job.

“In the future I want to transition my business into a more adult business. I’m not gonna sell stickers forever,” Bundridge said. “I know that I can run this business while still in school, so I’m pretty confident I could run it with a job. I’m really interested in branding businesses for people, so I could see myself doing a job like that to teach me how to make my own branding business.”

This is just the start of SkyIvyDesigns. Bundridge hopes to continue this business throughout her life and have it evolve, just as she will. 

“I would hope that someday when I’m older, I’ll be able to only work for myself and be able to do orders at home,” Bundridge said. “People that are wanting to start their own business, make sure it’s something you’re passionate about and you’ll never get tired of. If it’s something you don’t love doing, it becomes a lot of stress and a lot of work and you don’t want to do it.”