The stories behind the stickers

The usual “New Year, New Me” always surprises me.

Even though I don’t like to admit it, there is something about a new year that gives me a rush of inspiration to make some changes in my life. I know a lot of people feel this way, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing either. Sometimes we all need that motivational kick!


I already outlined my goals this year on my previous blog post here. But along with these goals, I did something else drastic to “ring in” the new decade…

I removed all the stickers from my laptop. 😳

My Macbook Pro - Rachel - without any stickers
My Macbook Pro – Rachel – without any stickers
My Macbook Pro - Rachel - without any stickers
A clean slate!

This might not be a huge deal, but for someone who has been collecting it these stickers over the past couple of years… it was a pretty bold move. These stickers carry with them lots of wonderful memories.

When I finally made the decision to remove them all and start with a clean slate again, I took a few minutes to take a final look at my collection. Dramatic, I know… I guess that’s why I’m writing this blog post. 😂


Today, I wanted to keep a copy of my sticker collection alive (even if it’s just online!) So here it is, the story and memories behind all my stickers.

My Macbook Pro - Rachel - with any stickers
My Macbook Pro – Rachel – with any stickers

Code First: Girls: Y’all know how much I love Code First: Girls. ICYMI – check out love for it here. It is pretty much where everything started for me. Code First: Girls laid out the foundations for not only my career, but also my overall personal development. It gave me the confidence to be unapologetically myself and embrace my hobby with pride.

HackSheffield: This one makes me smile. HackSheffield brought Matt and I together! It was a bit of a weird story, because I had heard of HS before I met Matt – when they were running their first event. I actually couldn’t make the first event even though I had planned to – the first sticker is from the first event that I almost attended (Matt gave me the sticker after we met.) After that, I went to the third one and loved it (the diamond sticker) I still find this story a bit weird, like when I think back and think about “what could have been?” Like – what would’ve happened if I did go to the first one? If I met Matt then before meeting him later on? 🤔

HackMed / MedTech: After attending my first HackMed Hackathon as well as a few MedTech events, I organised the second HackMed Hackathon the year after. I look back to that time fondly – although stressful – appreciating the efforts Hackathon organisers go through to run a truly inclusive event that is beneficial to everyone that gets involved.

MLH: Major League Hacking where I made some pretty awesome friends.

GitHub Octocat as Lady of Liberty: pretty much says it all really. 😂 I had to have that one on my laptop to remind me about how much I’ve picked up on git and how much I freaking love New York.

Endorse me on LinkedIn: Reminder to anyone looking at my laptop… to y’know, endorse me on LinkedIn.

Sheffield Alumni: Because I’m a proud one. I loved my time at University, despite the ups and downs. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Sisters in Science, female leaders (top left hand corner) and diversity in Wikipedia (bottom left hand corner): There are so many incredible women in STEM and beyond, don’t forget that.

The Future is Female: to match a shirt I wore on International Women’s Day 2018 (and other IWDs since) as I excessively shared on social media how awesome women are.

SHFWIT: Sheffield Women in Tech. This one is from the first event which was launched just as I was leaving the city. 😭 The events that I did end up going to made me feel hopeful on the future of Sheffield’s approach to diversity.

A closer look at the stickers on a dbrand skin
A closer look at the stickers on a dbrand skin

Inspire WiT / purple wit: Inspire Women in Tech conference in Nottingham – by far, one of my favourite conferences. It was the one of the first that I attended, and left feeling inspired to take action on my career decisions. I also met so many fantastic people there! In the second edition of the event, I ended up delivering one of my favourite talks (the best one yet, I have to admit 😉)

Reframe WIT: Manchester conference 2019. I spoke on a panel about Career Confidence alongside some experts in their field – I remember feeling my imposter syndrome really take over my body that day. But I received some fantastic feedback and left inspiring people to make their move in tech… there’s no better feeling knowing that you’ve impacted someone.

Digital Voices: I gave my first remote talk to the DWP Digital Voices on my 23rd birthday! It was a lot of fun. 💜

Slack: The day we finally moved to Slack at work. A good day. 🤪

More stickers!
More stickers!

Empowering Women with Tech: The most supportive, welcoming community that I have ever been a part of. They really welcomed me into Leeds with open arms. 💜

It’s A Beautiful Day to be Alive: Gymshark sent me this sticker to celebrate Whitney Simmons’ gym wear launch 🥳 I love Whitney after watching her for a while on YouTube, and then meeting her in London in 2017 – she’s as humble and just wonderful in real life!

Teecaake and Pawlean: I’ve written about Tahira before as part of my Inspiring Figures column. She is the artist behind the Pawlean artwork that you see all over social media! I’m so grateful to have worked with Tahira on my blog and “brand”. We’ve created something pretty special. This sticker was also shipped across the world and now have found home on other people’s laptops!

Pawlean logo 🐾💪🏼: Matt created this for me to replace my old favicon and logo. The simplicity made me fall in love with it! It also makes me smile because emojis are my second language. 😉 I didn’t think that I would find an identity from emojis, but I found it with this combination ~full of meaning~


As you can see – they’re pretty special. I’m going to miss them, but it’s time for a fresh slate and to simplify with one sticker…

Let’s see how long this lasts, but I’m determined to keep it like this. 🤪

4 responses to “The stories behind the stickers”

  1. It looks so bare now! I don’t put stickers on mine, but I do have a book of stickers I collect. Now I’m tempted to share that on my blog.

    Did you keep any of the stickers after removing them?

    1. I couldn’t peel them off I’m afraid 😬 I took loads of photos though!

  2. I loved this post! Enjoyed hearing the story on each one of your stickers. I’m sure it’s nice having a clean slate. I have a shell on my Mac that clips on so it’s definitely an interesting idea.

    1. Thanks Brandy 💜 I’m planning to get a new purple shell on mine because I have to clean my Macbook so many times since it became super bare.

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