This is an interview done with Donia Surrano, the creator of the Mouth Off Design, read her story below! If you, or anyone you know, would like to be highlighted in The Zillennial Zine, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Instagram! We’d love to hear from you and love to receive ideas!
Q: Tell us your story! Who is behind Mouth Off Design?
A: The founder of Mouth Off Design is me. It’s been a long journey. The business started a couple of years ago as an Etsy shop but soon stalled after Covid hit, and before that, I was selling prints at Northern Arizona University. I started drawing to express my own feelings and kept it to myself for a long time. It wasn’t until later in high school that I saw people connect with my art. That’s when Mouth Off Design was born. I wanted to make my designs bold and unique but also affordable. That’s why I bought a heating press and made my shirts myself but, after a while. I realized I didn’t have the resources to source the product directly. It was difficult juggling my full-time job and three puppies especially when everyone is living in the same room. I then found another website that would produce and ship my products for me without being too expensive.
Q: What is it like to own a small business? Is it challenging at times? Is it rewarding?
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A: It is challenging, it’s hard to do it all, creating the product, marketing and managing the site. Even though there are bumps, it’s the most rewarding experience. It’s what gets me up in the morning even when it feels like I’m failing. The best advice I received was “you keep doing it because you love it and the money will come.” It’s important you follow what you love because if you never try you’ll never know.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone who is starting their own small business?
A: Keep your head up and market! Do your homework, and learn from others who have succeeded. This has been a great help to me.
Q: What are 3 of your favorite items in your shop? What type of items will you be introducing in the future?
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