Lily Beeson-Norwitz ’23 has been creating and designing stickers since the summer of 2020, when she was unable to find a job because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That first summer, Beeson-Nortwitz sold about $100 worth of stickers through her personal Instagram account, but she decided to take a break after returning to Kenyon for her sophomore year.
Now, a year later, Beeson-Norwitz sits at the table near the entrance of Peirce Dining Hall with her stickers laid out and ready to sell. The table has a sign that reads, “Help me go abroad,” which references why she is raising money: to pay for her spring semester overseas at the University of Oxford. Although most fees are covered by Kenyon tuition, she still needs to cover airfare, a meal plan and housing for a month while Oxford is not in session. Since the start of the semester, she has sold about 200 of them — for three to four dollars each — and will continue to do so until the semester ends.
Beeson-Norwitz has been drawing since high school, and takes inspiration from the natural world, especially from backpacking and hiking experiences. However, when designing products to sell at Kenyon, she decided to create stickers based on student preferences. Beeson-Norwitz has included classic Kenyon references such as Moxie, Old Kenyon, the Gates of Hell and a raccoon, among others. She created her first designs on paper, but now she uses ProCreate, a drawing app that she downloaded on her mom’s iPad, to make her designs. She also uses Sticker Mule, a custom printing company that prints and ships the stickers.
The medium of stickers appealed to Beeson-Norwitz because of their practicality and size. “I like the idea of people enjoying something very small that they can take anywhere,” she said. Additionally, she found that using stickers to personalize belongings has helped her keep track of them. “I’m one to lose my water bottle, so if my water bottle has my own personalized designs or designs from other artists I really like then … if I lose it I can find it easily,” she said.
Beeson-Norwitz also enjoys the social elements of the creative process. If she likes a professor, she will let them pick out a few stickers to keep. Beeson-Norwitz also has the privilege of interacting with the Kenyon community while selling stickers, which she finds rewarding. “I like sitting in Peirce. It can be a little intimidating, but it helps me step out of my comfort zone,” she said.