Designs by Tenisha
Tell us about your business.During my first college semester I instantly fell in love with graphic design and wanted to learn more. I opted out of the traditional route of earning a degree and earned career certificates in each of the software programs. During that time I learned of an eye condition I have which made it hard to have a graphic design career. Luckily, through a friend, I heard about Etsy and knew this could be my chance. With hesitation, I realized I needed to prove I can have a successful career in the field I love. I spent countless hours researching items to sell & was ecstatic if I sold a few greeting cards. I soon realized the need for personalized items and used a cootie catcher invitation I designed in college as my starting point, which is the template for all of the ones in my shop. I’ve since expanded my Etsy shop and offer a variety of items: wine labels, favors, and custom art prints. From each of these I’m finding new ways to enhance & offer matching items to keep my store growing.
What makes your business stand out?The first item that instantly became a hit was my cootie catchers. I originally designed a couple of templates for a wedding favor and the feedback was amazing to hear. Customers loved this nostalgic game from their childhood and "had to have it" as a part of their wedding. From there I realized if it’s a hit for weddings why not other events? So now I customize them for baby showers, birthdays, holidays, or any event of your choice.
What's the best business advice you've received?After I found out about Etsy I knew it was what I wanted to be a part of and that it would be a great career path for me, but I spent months hesitating over it. I was afraid to take the leap and kept weighing out all of the pros and cons when my Mom told me to stop worrying and go for it! Well as we all know, mother knows best, and she was right. I soon realized that there were a lot more pros then cons and that I may not get an opportunity to start my own business on a platform like this so I took the leap. Then once I applied for my business license I never looked back.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.Nominate yourself
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 8, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.See the finalists
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
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