IU freshman is top-selling artist on Redbubble


Abby Connelly stands against a wall March 10 at the Indiana Memorial Union. Connelly has sold over 125,000 items on Redbubble. Joy Burton

When IU freshman Abby Connelly uploaded her first design to Redbubble, she didn't expect to become one of the site’s best-selling artists.

Connelly, 18, has uploaded 200 designs to Redbubble since August 2017. Her account, @abbyconnellyy, has 125,000 sales, including stickers and T-shirts. On average, Connelly makes 50 cents per sticker. Recently, Connelly received an email from Redbubble which said she is one of their top-selling artists. 

Her most popular sticker says “yeet or be yeeted.” The quote is offered outlined in either yellow or blue. She’s sold 15,000 of those alone. Some of her other popular stickers include quotes from “The Office,” Croc-themed stickers and Tik Tok-themed stickers. 

“It started out as a little hobby,” Connelly said. “Now, it’s turned into what I’m passionate about.”

Her first design that became popular was a sticker of a globe that read “You Croc my world” surrounding a Croc.

“I uploaded my first couple of designs, and I started making sales,” Connelly said. “I was like, ‘oh my god, this actually works.’”

Even though she has slowed down with adding designs since starting college, Connelly still uploads about five new designs per month. Her designs have been favorited 377,200 times. 

“You can go to bed, and you’re making money in your sleep,” Connelly said.

Connelly said her success on Redbubble inspired her to major in finance. She likes the behind-the-scenes aspect of making sales. She uses Google Analytics to see where in the world her designs are selling, and she sets her prices based on what will sell the most.

Connelly said people tell her she should go down the graphic design path, but she prefers the business side of selling her artwork.

Connelly uses her iPad, an Apple Pencil, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to create her designs. 

About a month ago, Connelly was invited to work for Big Moods Stickers, which sells its stickers at Tilly’s. Connelly is being added to their team in the near future.

Connelly said she receives emails every couple of monthsrequesting custom work. A Tik Tok account with more than 1 million followers, @yodelinghaley, reached out to her to design a logo for merchandise. 

At first, Connelly said her parents thought Redbubble was a scam. Now, both her dad and sister have Redbubble accounts. When Joe Connelly, Abby’s dad, saw how successful Abby became on Redbubble, he made an account himself. He said he has tried to create stickers with older icons and logos that would’ve been popular when he was a teenager, such as Woodsy Owl.

Joe said the family often sees people in public that have Abby’s stickers. When Abby’s little sister, Lauren Connelly, goes to camp, she sees people with Abby’s stickers on their water bottles.

“It really excites her when she sees people across the country will have her stickers,” Joe said.

Abby’s friend Kathleen Kwiatkowski started a Redbubble account two months after Abby. 

Despite the friendly competition, University of Iowa freshman Kwiatkowski said she is proud of Abby and her accomplishments.

“I definitely supported her all the way,” Kwiatkowski said. “She is very good at what she does.”

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