On Valentines Day, A Word from Our Sponsors

And now a word from our pretend sponsors.

It’s getting close to Valentine’s Day, you know the day when we are all supposed to profess our undying devotion to our partners and animals. Why we need one day to focus on this vs. doing this every day is beyond my comprehension. I tend to think Valentine’s Day inspires a higher degree of insincerity for the sole purpose of expressing love. Meaning, is it the holiday itself that is causing us to buy 40lbs of heart-shaped chocolate and a dozen triple-the-normal-price roses or is it our actual, real affection for the individual that is inspiring us to take action. And if it is both, is it real? Shouldn’t I want to want to write poetry and take out my spouse on any day, not just one particular day that marketing tells me to? Also, why isn’t craft beer a go-to part of a romantic dinner? “You know, a nice meal, candlelight, a little craft beer”.   I digress, I’m going to use the nearing of this fabricated holiday to talk about something real. Love.

Is it weird to fall in love with a SAAS company?   

Absolutely, but who cares.  To be clear, this isn’t an Edward Albee metaphor.  This is real love.

That happened to me about 11 years ago when I first encountered MailChimp. Their tone, their product, their customer service – all of it was top notch and it made me swoon like a platypus swimming in a pool filled with Cheetos. I was working for a different company at the time, and I had occasion to write MailChimp letters of affection, hoping they would see my passion and want to hire me on the spot. They never did, but that doesn’t mean I gave up on them. Yes, I reeked of desperation, but I didn’t care. In fact, I love them more today than I did when we first met.

This love confession isn’t about that company though.  I just wanted to get that off my chest.

No, this post is about a more recent one night stand that turned into something more than I ever imagined it would. I don’t think it’s cheating since MailChimp is a software company, and this company is a physical goods company focusing on adhesive backed vinyl products for decorating whatever the consumer’s heart desires. Yeah, you probably already figured it out – I’m talking about StickerMule.

Let me tell you how the love affair began. About 6 years ago, Iron Horse needed, or really to be more accurate, wanted, die cut stickers. I did what any good lover does when looking for a potential mate, I turned to Google, the Tinder of search hookups. After swiping left on a few non-matches, but still perfectly suitable for others, I ended up landing on StickerMule.

I knew it was going to be a good fit, but in order to be sure, I thought a first date was appropriate. Unfortunately, to secure a first date, I actually had to pay StickerMule something, which feels more like an escort service than a relationship, but whatevs.

Once we received our first set of stickers, I knew there could be no substitute. I found a life long match. They were the one. I found the one vendor who would produce high quality self adhering, die cut pieces of material that would help transport our brand to new heights.  No smuggling required.

After that first date – transaction, if you will – one thing led to another and pretty soon we converted 90% of our tap sticker needs over to StickerMule. I really didn’t intend to enter a monogamous relationship with a sticker vendor. I even tried another provider that allured me with their lower prices and weird minimums, but I always ended up going back to StickerMule because a quality relationship matters more than a quantity relationship. Although, I have this weird pit in my stomach that is telling me that StickerMule is not exclusive. I guess our relationship would read “it’s complicated” – but it’s really not. I adore you StickerMule.

Love,

Jared Vallejo

p.s.  Just joking, I actually only have enough room in my heart for one adult human – @edvidence

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