Designs by Tenisha

American Made Since 2011

Tenisha Proctor

Rohnert Park, California
I launched Designs by Tenisha on Etsy in 2011. Since opening with selling cards, I’ve expanded to include: art prints, favors, & wine labels.

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

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

    Nominate yourself
  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    See the finalists
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

    Buy tickets now

More Nominees

  • 2014 Style Finalist


    Jenelle Montilone
    Not all t-shirts are created equal. One of kind boys clothing made using 100% reclaimed or recycled materials diverting 40 tons from landfills
    Style, Fashion
  • 2014 Design Finalist

    Odette Williams

    Odette Williams
    Kids classics beautifully reimagined. Brooklyn, New York.
    Design, Textiles
  • Bayou prints

    Monica Gleason
    Using or wearing any of my colorful screen printed kitchen/table linen, pillows or t-shirts will brighten your day & maybe want to share.
    Crafts, Fiber Crafts
  • We specialize in designing and making bridal, custom and proprietary jewelry -- creating original, elegant pieces for the stylish woman.
    Style, Jewelry