Stickers are making a comeback thanks to Syd Deriggs. Not only are they a way for Syd to share her art with the world but they’re also the perfect accessory. That’s where My Teenage Diary comes in and it’s exactly what it sounds like. What’s more is Syd pulls inspiration from her peers and subtly nods to vintage Japanese fashion.
Here Syd discusses her start on TikTok, behind the scenes of My Teenage Diary and all about her personal style.
Hey Syd! Starting off, what would your dream career be?
I get that question asked so much and my answer is I have no idea. I’d love to study fashion abroad in Milan. It’s the capital of fashion in Europe so I think it would be so cool. I have no idea what I want to do in the fashion field but it’s a big part of my everyday life.
You definitely have a great sense of style, what inspires it?
I’ve been into the 90s Japanese streetwear. I’m obsessed with it. I really like Enya, she was a former Viner and also Elisa! She has a Depop where she sells really high quality, 90s vintage Japanese brands. I’ve been so inspired by that, the photography and the overall aesthetic is so amazing. I want to get more into it.
What’s something you always consider when coming up with an outfit?
I usually have an idea in mind, then I’ll go on Depop, Pinterest or my friends Instagrams.
Where do you like to shop?
Thrift stores are so bad here so I hardly go thrift shopping, I usually just use Depop. Sometimes I’ll find things on eBay and Poshmark if I want. But it’s all second hand. I really love Hysteric Glamour, they’re one of my favourite brands.
Do you ever feel insecure?
Definitely. There are periods where I hate certain parts of my body or where I don’t like how something looks. But in those moments, I take a step back and it’s really important. When I started modelling, I became way more comfortable in front of the camera.
What made you want to start My Teenage Diary and start with stickers?
I was on TikTok and I saw a bunch of art, I thought it was really cool and I wanted to start my own! I have this really cool 90s Steve Madden poster in my room and he was advertising his new shoes. It was a picture of a girl with a really small frame and massive shoes, I really wanted to recreate that. I looked at so many art videos and I thought stickers were such an easy and convenient way to carry my art around. I thought it would be a good starting point but I want to eventually branch off onto prints.
I love the name, how did you come up with it?
The naming part is so hard! My friend Syd has her own brand, World Of My Own, and she helped me. She told me to jot things down that I liked and I really liked diaries because you put stickers onto your diary. And it’s also for doodles. Also I’m a teenager, I want to advertise my brand onto Gen Z, we’re changing the world and we’re so powerful.
What’s been a challenge since starting My Teenage Diary?
Planning everything out. Trying to get the stickers here on time, planning restock dates, sending out PR, designing the stickers. It’s all so time consuming. This whole week I’ve been trying to sketch new ideas and get them out as quickly as possible so I can get everything shipped to me and then do PR. PR has to go out before the drop for the girls to promo it and so the drop is a little more smoother. So now I’m planning two drops in advance.
How do you decide what stickers go into a drop?
I do a couple of revisions so I can add things, remove things, tweak things. I have a certain theme in mind and I’ll pull from different areas so that I can incorporate everything into the drawing. If I stay up all night, it probably takes me 2-3 hours. There’s so much sketching and detail that goes into it. I get a lot of inspiration from magazines, catalogues and my friends.
What messages do you want your stickers to portray?
Definitely to express your individuality. Right now, people are all the same and I want there to be more diversity. I feel like there are a lot of companies that are catered towards one specific bias of what they want, like the tall skinny white girl. That’s not something I want to project onto my followers. I want them to be themselves, have crazy style and do whatever they want. Express yourself however you want.
What has social media given you that you’re grateful for?
Just putting out my content and it’s been a big help with making new friends and new experiences. It’s helped me get out of my comfort zone and meet new people I never thought I would meet.
I’ve also become a lot more confident in my style since starting social media. My style in freshman year was absolutely horrible. I feel like since I’ve found my style and surrounding myself with my friends that have good style, I’ve become way more confident.
How did you get your start on TikTok?
I promo’d my stuff on TikTok so much, I feel like that’s how a lot of brands got started on TikTok. If I’m honest, there’s a lot of pressure to please everyone and put out videos. That’s kind of why I don’t want to start a YouTube Channel, my life is already all on display and it’d be even more on display. I enjoy having my privacy. I love the platform, there have been so many creative people that I’ve met and I get a lot of inspiration from the app. I definitely think there’s a lot of pressure to put out new content though. I love connecting with my followers as well, I try to respond to all my DMs a couple times a day. For comments, I try to answer general comments.
With your large following, how do you keep sane and motivated?
Coffee! No but seriously, with the pressure I have kind of learned how to handle it. When I have homework, all I’ll do is focus on it and stay off my phone when I’m doing it. Also taking breaks a lot is really important. It can get so toxic sometimes, it affects your mental health. I think with my business, I’m super focused on it. I’m always responding to emails and it’s so much more fun to me. There are stressful aspects but I love making art and it’s so enjoyable to me.
I stay motivated by my followers. It means so much to me when someone tells me they love my art and it keeps me going. Sometimes I’ll lose interest in things but right now I’ve been so motivated to do this brand. Seeing people love and share your work is so heartwarming. I was so happy when I sold out and the fact that it blew out was completely insane to me.
What was something you didn’t realize before starting your own business?
There’s a lot of things. I’ve talked to my friends who have their own businesses a lot. I think the main one is do not get discouraged if you put more money into it than you’re getting. Especially when you’re starting out. The biggest thing is promo. It’s all about promo. Okay, I had a slime business when I was younger and I sent slime to so many people. That’s how my account got 54k followers. I was popping off. I had so many followers and I promo’d my business so much.
I can already tell you have an entrepreneurial drive, where did that stem from?
My dad. He owns his own business, it’s a construction company. And I think that’s where it started. He’s always taking phone calls and making emails. Especially when there’s something you love and you want to do it, I think it makes you want to put out everything and get it done.
Do you have any other role models that you look up to?
This is going to be so cliche but my friend Olivia, she owns 4UOnlyUSA. SHe has been a huge inspiration. I always talk to her about work ethic and she helps me plan everything out. You can really see how hard she works, it’s insane. She didn’t go out for a month when she started her business, I can really see her effort and the work she puts into it.
Finally, what’s your biggest piece of advice?
My dad told me this and I agree with it 100%: no one is looking at you. Everyone’s worrying about themselves so worry about yourself and not what others think of you. If you’re doing your own thing, that’s all that matters.