Tula Pink (Jenny McLean) (‘02 Communication Arts)
As a surface designer who focuses on textiles for the quilting, fashion and home decor industries. I produce an average of 80 designs per year in two seasonal collections that are manufactured and distributed worldwide. I author books on textile design, sewing and quilting. I travel to venues internationally to educate students, designers, novice crafters and retailers on the techniques and philosophies of the art of modern quilting and textile design.
I saw a gap in the market that I knew I could fill. Having worked as an art director for six years, I also knew that I had the organizational and leadership skills that are paramount to running one’s own business. I saw an opportunity and I leaped.
Biggest reward: My successes are all my own which is incredibly rewarding. When the product is released and I know it’s great, and the consumer responds with excitement and anticipation, there is no better feeling.
Juggling so many responsibilities and not getting lost in the work alone. Talent is not enough. You have to be able to lead and inspire other people to invest in your vision whether they are employees helping to achieve that vision or the consumer that is literally buying into the vision. I like to say that running your own business is 50% talent and 50% hustle. The hustle is everything else, networking, marketing, image, social media, etc.
The biggest impact in the visibility of my brand was incorporating social media. Jumping into direct contact with the consumer made a huge difference. In today’s market, people want to know where their products come from; they want the story behind the brand.
Thank you, Otis!
At Otis the emphasis was focused on the thought process that goes into design. The ability to think creatively and communicate my ideas with clarity is crucial to being able to adapt as trends and technology change. I am confident in my process as a designer and that allows me to be fearless when approaching any project in any medium.