LU senior sticks with homegrown business

In the fall of 2021, Jason Chambliss is expected to graduate from Lamar University with a double degree in computer science and computer game development. However, instead of seeking employment in either discipline, Chambliss will stick with a business he started when he was 14.

Chambliss’ business venture all began with an old arcade machine someone gave him and his dad to
Jason Chambliss
Jason Chambliss with LU stickers
refurbish. At the time, Chambliss was a Buna Junior High student who enjoyed tinkering with video games with his dad, Jeff Chambliss, to get the machines up and running. As part of their effort, they also worked to make the video games and pinball machines look nice again by replacing the art on the side of the machine’s cabinets.

“We bought a vinyl cutter, like a Cricket machine but bigger, and we would cut out little stencils and then we would just spray paint the new side art on with the stencils,” said Chambliss. “I took the vinyl cutter and made some stickers out of it in the shape of our school mascot, which was a Cougar. I gave it to some friends at school, and everybody wanted one, so I started selling them.”

Chambliss sold his Cougar stickers for $5 per sticker, and his business grew in popularity. Everyone wanted his stickers “because they were cool.” Although still a fun hobby that brought in some extra spending dollars for Chambliss, the sticker business grew so significantly that he was required to get permission from the principal to sell goods at school.

Meanwhile, Chambliss and his dad continued to refurbish arcade machines and purchased a vinyl printer to print out playfields, the art on the inside of a pinball machine. The printer also allowed Chambliss to design and print his own stickers. He expanded his inventory and started carrying his sticker selection around in a binder for customers to select what they wanted to purchase.

It wasn’t until Chambliss made a U.S. flag sticker that the potential for a larger sticker business emerged.

At the age of 14, and too young for his own eBay account, Jeff created an eBay account for Chambliss to sell his U.S. Flag stickers.

“It sold. I sold one single product on eBay. That was just cool by itself. So, I listed some others. I made a Canadian flag. I just started making flags because those are easy and I didn’t need royalties to make them.”

Chambliss just made more and more products from funny mustache stickers to cute penguins and all kinds of designs that didn’t require royalties. The business took off.

Today, StickerTalk®, incorporated in 2012, has 15,000 unique products - stickers and magnets. Each is individually numbered and barcoded and searchable, as you would expect from an entrepreneur with a computer science background. Products sell on all internet marketplaces including eBay, Amazon, Sears, Wal-Mart, Etsy and Wish, to name a few. The company ships its products, the average price of $5.99, which includes shipping, all over the world.

“We’re out of the video game business; now we just play them. We have a whole shop next to our house with two industrial 64-inch printers, several laminating machines and vinyl cutters.”  

StickerTalk® employs eight people, including Chambliss’ mom, Karen, who retired from teaching after more than 20 years and is the company’s manager and designer. Chambliss’ 17-year-old sister, Kadie fills orders and helps make stickers, and Jeff, is an engineer at Jasper Newton Electric in Kirbyville but has served as StickerTalkÒ’s CEO while Chambliss finishes school.

“Really I started a business that now my whole family works at,” said Chambliss. “It’s a full-on operation, and I’d like to see it continue to grow. We’ve never had a down year. We’ve been profitable since the very first year we started, including this year.”

The sticker business is highly competitive, but StickerTalk®  thrives in the space by offering great customer service as well as top-of-the-line stickers.

“Our stickers have unique qualities. They are weather and waterproof, don’t fade in the sun because they are laminated with UV resistant coating. They don’t crack and when you want to take them off, you just peel them off in one piece and there is no sticky residue left behind. They are designed for car bumpers but can really go anywhere. We have all kinds of products, business stickers and now Lamar University stickers.”

The U.S. flag is still one of the company’s top sellers, but StickerTalk® has also developed Camera Dots,™  a covering to place over lenses of devices to ensure no one is watching the person using the device through the internal camera.

“A lot of companies don’t take the same care and time that we do. I want to make sure customers are completely happy, and we have thousands of reviews online; they are all positive.”

StickerTalk® is now an official licensee of Lamar University and can sell LU products.