BEYOND THE BOOTH: Niyama Design Studio
If you've been out to NeighborGood Market: Elk Grove, then chances are good that you've crossed paths with one of our favorite vendors, a family that's been with the market since the beginning — Niyama Design Studio!
Purveyors of pop-culture-inspired stickers, Niyama DS is the perfect example of what's good in the neighborhood, and we're thrilled to share their story for the first of many looks Beyond The Booth at NeighborGood Market...
Here we go!
What is Niyama Design Studio?
From curation and design to production and packaging, our mission is to make life extraordinary one sticker at a time by offering a wide variety of designs for every generation and personality. Niyama Design Studio is a family run business that makes waterproof stickers from our home office. Jenn Nidoy is a single mother that has raised four amazing individuals and, now that they are all grown up, has dedicated her time and energy into growing the family business.
Esa, the eldest, works in insurance during the day, but for Niyama DS she utilizes her warmth and openness as the face of the business. Mark works full-time for the family business as the production manager. There isn’t a sticker sold that Mark hasn’t had a hand in making. Andrew, often not present due to his job as an EMT, when on his free-time can be seen helping break down the booth at the end of markets. Luke, a honor roll junior in college, is in charge of packaging our stickers and is the equipment manager. Every colorful cardstock backing has been cut by him. He’s often up late in the night packaging and sealing the stickers.
Niyama Ds’ remote but very important family and staff member, Marina, was an active presence until she graduated Long Beach State University and now lives in the Bay Area where she works as a process chemist by day and by night runs the website and drives up to help out at markets whenever possible.
How did this all get started?
Prior to making waterproof stickers, we designed and sewed unique face masks. We knew someday we’d need to pivot to a less saturated and specific market to a product that reached a wider audience. During the Vice Presidential Debate we were asked to make a sticker of the then-candidate Kamala Harris. The finished product posted on social media. Soon people started asking where they could buy one. After attending our first popup at a small event, we were bit by the vendor-life bug. The first market we applied to was NeighborGood Markets. Once we got the permits and licensing in place, we were in!
On December 3, 2020 under an old and tattered gray canopy with second hand folding tables and used table cloths Niyama Design Studio opened with 70 sticker designs. No one could have anticipated the interest NGM customers would have in shopping our little sticker shop. On that first night we formed our first line of several customers waiting to pay for their new sticker finds.
“I was jumping up and down, several yards away from the booth. Dancing like a maniac when I saw people lining up.” Jenn said. “Who would have thought, ‘STICKERS?!?”
What's it been like starting a business with your family?
In the past, I’ve written a book, catered lumpia, and designed and sewn leather bound notebooks. My kids supported my wacky business adventures but we’re never really interested in participating. Stickers were the special sauce that brought all of us together. From the beginning there never was a feeling of hesitation from them. They were all in. Despite the anticipated stress that comes along with running a small family business, all in all, this family endeavor has brought us closer. It has taught us the value of healthy communication and how to support each other and reach individual goals while growing our store. Laughter is a main component while we work together. We binge watch movies while making and packaging our products. We’re singing broadway tunes while setting up the booth. Deep talks happen over dinner on ways to better improve our store. After two years of doing pop ups the store reflects our family’s personality: eclectic, funny, witty, and a tad nerdy.
How has your experience at NeighborGood Market been?
We work with several markets around the Greater Sacramento area, NGM is our weekly market. We see NGM market managers more than we see some of our family. In fact, Kristen and Nicole have become the family we chose! NeighborGood Market people are super caring individuals that sincerely care and want to help our business grow.
Tell us one of the most exciting things you've done because of your business.
In the beginning of the pandemic, our family, like most families, felt isolated. An open air market was the perfect place to safely escape the confines of our home. Being able to meet new people, form friendships, and build new business relationships has absolutely been the most exciting thing to happen to our small family run business. Feeling connected to people of all walks of life is the highlight of our day.
Where do you see Niyama DS headed in the future?
If you had asked me two years ago what our future would present itself to be, I would not have guessed we’d be where we’re at now. The future is too far a horizon to look for. Right now, we’re constantly trying to catch up sticker production with the demands of very happy customers. Where do I see our future? Wherever we find ourselves. Hopefully selling tons of stickers, seeing the happy smiles on our customers faces and making more lives extraordinary one sticker at a time.