Sticker Farmer’s Ben Pechetti Is One Solid Motherfucker

Sticker Farmer pushes uniqueness. The branding and marketing company doesn’t want to make a copy of a copy. Founder Ben Pechetti, who’s been smoking and making art since he was a teen, has always done things his own way; his journey and his company is nothing if not unique.

The artist and businessman’s career started with a school assignment and a High Times magazine. “My first weed brand I made, I made a collage from a High Times magazine when I was 16 years old,” he recalled. “I printed this on a t-shirt. I spelled out the words ‘gone crazy,’ ransom style. I built my first weed company in 1996 out of a High Times magazine. Yeah, the whole fucking brand off of it. It leads to where I’m at, which is doing over $5 million a year in weed branding and now moving into a whole other space with NFT.”

Courtesy of Sticker Farmer

Pechetti’s first product, the weed t-shirt, began as a school assignment. It wasn’t well-received by a teacher, but it was by everyone else. “I got the nastiest letter from my art teacher,” he shared. “The letter said, ‘If you’re going to choose to make this your focus, it’s going to be hard to be successful.’ The next assignment she gives us is a silkscreen shirt. Again, I came back with my weed project. I printed one shirt. I walked out of class that day, and everyone had to have that shirt. I already had a little crew of dudes I was running with, artists or rappers or little businessmen, hustlers. The t-shirt ends up evolving into a sweatshirt. I got 100 kids, parents writing me a $40 check to pre-order the hoodie.”

Courtesy of Sticker Farmer

For the next few years, Pechetti continued to make sales with his team of determined hustlers. “The group dissipated around 2000, but we made a lot of progress,” he added. “I co-founded another company called Chubby Greens at that time. Chubby Greens was based around nightlife promotions, art, and music. I was 20 years old. We had a building, a business logo, t-shirts and jackets for a whole new company.”

When the new business boomed, he met his wife-turned-business partner, Lesley Van Dalsem. It was another key building block in everything that led to Sticker Farmer. “I changed my focus, and I go learn the sign business,” he said. “I worked at Fast Signs, and I worked at Signarama. I work at these other independent graphic shops. I’m learning about these machines and their resources. At one point, I’m having a hard time with one of my employers, because I’ve always had that challenge, being a good employee.”

Courtesy of Sticker Farmer

Pechetti gives credit where credit is due with his success, such as his wife and his mother. “My mom comes to me and she says, ‘I know you’re having a hard time with that company,’” he recalled. “‘If you want to take a loan, I’ll help you get a loan to start a business.’ This is 2008. My mom puts up $14,000. She helps me get a business loan for $50,000. I buy two or three basic machines. These machines are capable of doing signs, graphics, banners, universal stuff. From 2008 until about 2015, I ran your average sign shop business [called Big League Printing]. I was living in a warehouse for five years with my wife, which is now Sticker Farmer’s headquarters.”

Big League Printing involved corporate gigs and another company, Hustleheads, which Ben started with artist Miguel Lopez. Ben finally returned to his roots, working with the street scene. “It was successful,” the self-described Bay Area guy told us. “I was dedicated to the Warriors and the Raiders. I’m making money in the parking lots. I told myself, I’m going to try for two years on Hustleheads. I killed it. I went to every Raiders game. We hand-cut the products until we could afford to get the machines to cut them. Through that process, I ended up getting myself into a lawsuit with one of the biggest companies in the world.”

Courtesy of Sticker Farmer

It wasn’t all bad news, though, as Ben had developed a strong following. Out of the ashes of his previous hustle, Sticker Farmer was born. “I had an Instagram for one year named Sticker Farmer that I didn’t use,” he said. “I made it in the middle of Hustleheads because I was starting to get weed customers. I looked at my wife that day, and I said, we’re gonna start doing Sticker Farmer. We already have a printing shop. We already had the branding. I already had the network. I activated Sticker Farmer, because everyone was like, this is the dude that did Hustleheads, right? It leads to where we are today. I went on a crazy run with Sticker Farmer, doing [designs for] Lemon Tree and Golden State Banana.”

Courtesy of Sticker Farmer

2017 was the year the company started rocking, making a name for itself and cannabis brands. It didn’t take long for Ben to leave his own personal stamp on the industry, either. “I cut a sticker and put it on a fucking 14 by 16 Mylar bag,” he said. “I made the pound bag with a sticker on it. I came up with that. It changed the game. Every fucking rap video right now. It was so fucking corny to me when I first did it. I now have 30 employees and have five locations in California. All of them are up and running and fucking successful. I’m evolving into this crypto NFT now.”

Throughout Sticker Farmer’s success, he has had the ideal partner in Lesley Van Dalsem. “She’s a big fucking deal,” he said. “Her and I are both graphic designers. We are together curating this entire NFT collection. She’s doing the most intricate details on this NFT project, the things that are going to separate us from other projects.”

Courtesy of Sticker Farmer

Together, the partners intend to build a community for artists to connect, sell, and grow their businesses. “I’m building a networking community, full of resources for people who want to build brands,” he said. “That’s specifically what it is, but it’s going to entail a lot more. There’s gonna be a bunch of people who own silkscreen shops, a bunch of people who are graphic designers. I’m doing an art contest right now. I’m giving away $10,000 to artists to basically participate in my art contests and put their art in my Discord. We’re giving out NFTs to artists for joining our art contests. I’m trying to pull this sick ass conglomerate of artists and dope people.”

For Pechetti, Sticker Farmer is about uniqueness, but the business is also about loyalty. The artist believes in his projects, like his first deep-dive into the world of NFT, because he knows his aim always has been and always will be true. “I keep it 100 all the time,” he concluded. “And that’s the reason that I’m still out here doing this is because I’m a solid motherfucker. If I was a fucking piece of shit, you can’t do business with the amount of motherfuckers that I do business with, and the type of people I do business with, unless you’re on fucking point.”

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