Tell us about yourself?
I am a single mother with three kids, three jobs, and am starting up my dream business! I have been building this business for about five months now.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
It’s easy and it doesn’t cost you any money! Everyone has different experiences when it comes to starting your own business, but for someone like me, it isn’t as easy or as straightforward as that.
I am learning all the computer jargon terms you use when talking to vendors, advertising, and posting on social media daily. Every experience is different, so never expect your experience to be like someone else. Stay on the path and, eventually, you will get where you need to be for your own success.
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
If you are in a position to quit your 9-5 job and focus totally on your business, do so. I believe if I would have taken advantage of not working but still being able to maintain my household, I would be a lot further than I am.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
Not sure if I stand out, but I would say being able to work multiple jobs and still being able to maintain my personal business.
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
The best is consistency for me. My mother has always taught me the value of being consistent. It shows people can depend on you to be there. Then next would be creating a routine. A routine is important because if you have multiple things going on, the routine helps keep everything fit into the day as it should.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
I started talking about opening up a T-shirt business about three years ago. I have been somewhat shy all my life, so the fact that you can put words on a shirt to express yourself is an awesome thing to me!
When the pandemic hit, I was laid off. That’s when I was seeing various things online about starting a t-shirt business using print-on-demand printing. I figured this was my opportunity to do what I have talked about doing all these years. I love my culture, my urban slang, sayings, and quotes.
In 2021 you can be free to say pretty much anything and people not be offended, that’s why my slogan is “Wear It Like You Mean It”
Where do you see your business in five years?
I see my business in the next five years growing and expanding into a brick-and-mortar. The t-shirt business is thriving right now you have a lot of freedom with what you can say that’s not offensive, people are a lot more relatable nowadays. With you having the freedom to put pretty much anything you can think of on apparel, the potential to what I can grow is endless.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
The biggest challenge for me will be time. I have multiple jobs along with helping out other people, finding the time to solely focus on my own business has really been one of my greatest challenges. Time waits for no one is what I believe, so even though the t-shirt business is really booming if I don’t take charge of my time I will miss my opportunity.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
My biggest success so far has been taking my vision from being something that’s just talked about to an actual thing. Three years ago, I went from talking about owning my own business to actually taking the steps, registering my name, getting my website creating some sort of social media buzz, and word-of-mouth marketing. I have some local clients that I deal with on a face-to-face basis, but I would like to build my clientele through my online store by this time next year.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
People can find me by visiting my online store Shanateesandthings.com. I’m also on Facebook and Instagram as well. I’m not really much of a salesperson, but I am learning that I need be proactive with selling my products online. Being shy doesn’t help so I have to come from behind the scenes to be at the forefront, and that in itself has been a lesson for me.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
One tip that I would give is to find someone that does what you’re wanting to do and see if you can get them to mentor you. Because not everyone learns by just looking at videos or going to webinars; some people need that one-on-one conversation, especially if it’s something that they don’t understand.
Once again my shyness sometimes has kept me from asking questions to people that are in the same business, so some things that maybe I could get from others I am learning on my ow. Don’t make it hard for yourself if there’s somebody that you can reach out to take advantage of their knowledge and experience.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
Personally, I am looking for the future to bring me financial freedom so that I can have more time to spend with my family.
On a business level, I absolutely love creating and designing shirts, so I just hope that the future enables me to do just that something I absolutely love. The creating part of making shirt, learning about printing, the relationship I have with my local customers I enjoy so very much.