We had the good fortune of connecting with Donesha Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Donesha, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking

I feel that we are natural born risk takers, but as we grow older we are taught to become more risk adverse. The youngest of children constantly take risks because they have no fear. I remember watching a young boy climb to the top of the play set at my neighborhood  park with no fear of falling well over ten feet. All the while his mother attempted to control her fear while calmly telling him to get down. When a child takes a risk that can be harmful they are told to stop and they eventually learn to analyze the risk vs. the reward. Learning to be strategic in your risk taking is a good thing, but sometimes we can overanalyze a risk which can lead to being overly risk adverse. This is where I found myself while contemplating starting a small business for many years. I spent a lot of time over analyzing the risk of doing so. This in turn lead to lots of excuses for why it wasn’t the right time to take that risk, especially with small children. You have to find a healthy balance in risk taking that is right for you.

I finally decided last year in the midst of the pandemic that I was worthy to take a risk on myself. So, on my 40th birthday opened my Etsy shop, D. Desiree Designs. Because of my love of sewing I started off making making face masks and small leather goods with the intent of having a shop that sold items I sewed. Then, one day while scrolling through Pinterest I discovered polymer clay earrings, and that lead to my first major risk as a small business owner. Without thinking about it I jumped in head first. I purchased all the supplies I needed and taught myself how to work with polymer clay to make beautiful handcrafted earrings. Taking that risk was like climbing to the top of the play set for me. Even though I had never heard of polymer clay prior to seeing it on Pinterest I didn’t fear working with it. I just knew I wanted to do it. Now my earrings are my shop’s best sellers!

I may not be as liberal with my risks as I was as a young child, but I am grateful that I am able to reconnect with my inner natural born risk taker.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?

What excites me the most about my Etsy shop is that I have no limits on my creativity. When I first started researching how to start an Etsy shop a lot of what I found recommend that you should keep your shop shop niche focused, so that was what I planned to do. I started my shop making face masks and small leather goods with plans to keep my shop in the niche of sewing, but once I discovered polymer clay jewelry I realized there was no need to restrict my shop to a single niche. I really love being a maker and trying new things, and as I grow and learn more I want that to be reflective in my shop. If I had restricted myself to just one niche my shop wouldn’t be where it is now. I would have stifled my creativity instead of enhancing it.

I want people to visit my shop knowing they will find something that speaks to them personally whether it be a pair of earrings, a clutch, key chain, etc. The love, time and effort I put into making my products is meant to enhance the beauty my customers already have within themselves. I want that beauty to make my pieces beautiful not the other way around.

Starting D. Desiree Designs was the easy part. Growing it is the hard part, and it is a challenge I welcome with open arms. I’m proud of how far my business has come and I’m excited to see how far it goes.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since I’m such a homebody I would have to plan a get to know your city tour that highlights all the artistic and creative spots you can find in Dallas. I would first plan to visit as many of the murals that have been painted around Dallas that we can. Once we’ve had our fill of Dallas’ wall art we  would visit the Sweet Tooth Hotel to see whatever awe inspiring exhibit they are showcasing. Of course no creative tour of Dallas is complete without a visit to Bishop Arts District to browse the unique shops, galleries, and indulge in the yummy goodness at Dude, Sweet Chocolate. We would finish our tour in Deep Ellum by having dinner at Deep Sushi and heading over to Upstairs Circus to do some amazing DIYs and cocktails.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

I would first dedicate my shoutout to my husband and kids. I couldn’t have done it without them. My husband and I regularly talk about building a legacy for our children and in doing so we are both focused on building our businesses to be a part of that legacy. I love that when my kids see what I’m working on they will tell me that it’s pretty or they like it. That is all the encouragement I need.

My friends and family also deserve a shoutout. Their belief in me and encouragement never faltered. I loved making things for them before I even began my business and I continue to love doing so. I want to thank them for being my product testers and giving me honest feedback.

Finally I want to shoutout all of my clients who have trusted me to make custom designs for them for special occasions or if they just needed the perfect pairing for an outfit. Knowing I earned their trust is a blessing. Also, shoutout to everyone who has visited and purchased from my shop. Without you there would be no D. Desiree Designs!

Website: www.ddesireedesigns.etsy.com

Instagram: @d.desireedesigns

Facebook: @d.desireedesigns

Image Credits
Melissa Mcgaughey & Tiffany Wilson

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.