Out of an upstairs room in her Novi home, Carly Dorogi is running a successful business. This mom of two, who has degree in education, never thought she’d be making a living creating and selling stickers, but that’s exactly what she’s doing.
She’s the founder and CEO of Sticky Bellies. Sticky bellies are stickers that give parents a simple way to document their baby’s growth in pictures, or to mark special occasions, like their first Christmas, the first time they sleep through the night, or their first steps. The stickers stick right to a baby or toddler’s onesie or other shirt.
“Even though we’re not designing apparel, it’s meant to look like it’s part of the shirt, so we want it to look fashionable and cute,” Dorogi explains.
How it was born
She’s a mom of two, but it was Dorogi’s own childhood that inspired her. Her mom always made special outfits to mark occasions or special birthdays, so after her daughter, Mila was born…
“I can’t even sew a button on a shirt, so making these elaborate shirts wasn’t an option,” she says. “I said to my husband I wish there was a way that it could be temporary, put it on her shirt and take it off… it’s just a two second picture. And he said ‘why don’t you do it?’”
Building a company
That challenge came four years ago. Today, she has some 300,000 customers, and 10 employees, including 6 sales reps across the country. It all began with one gender neutral pack. Now there are stickers designed for girls and boys, ones that mark special occasions, and even sticky bellies for the pregnant belly.
Her product’s been featured in Parents Magazine and US weekly. Her sales have doubled every year. 2 years into the business, she quit her job in a local school district to run the company full-time.
“I attribute the success of the product a little bit to the customer engagement,” she says. “When a customer emails me, first of all, I’m the only one that answers those emails. I want them to know they’re talking to the CEO, and that I’m a mom like them.”
“A mom who knows that while the time goes by fast, documenting it can help keep the memories alive for a lifetime.”
Buying Sticky Bellies
Sticky Bellies cost $10 for a pack of 13. They’re sold at Buy Buy Baby, Francesca’s, Destination Maternity, Motherhood and over 800 boutiques around the country, including Restyle Child in Birmingham, Bella Belli in Birmingham, Max & Izzy’s in Milford, and Modern Natural Baby in Ferndale.
You can also buy them on the Sticky Bellies website for $14 a pack.
This fall, Dorogi is extended the Sticky Bellies line to include 6 new styles and a new product that can be used by babies and children of any age.