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

Hi Emilee, why did you pursue a creative career?
I originally began my career with a Cricut vinyl machine with intentions on starting an arts and crafts business making shirts, earrings, stickers, etc. The Covid pandemic had just begun, I was a stay-at-home mom who was watching my husband drown in his 9-5 job, shouldering the bills alone. I wanted to do something to help bring in a substantial income but also wanted my potential career to be something that I enjoyed as well, that way I stayed motivated to keep going on the hard days. I then moved into sublimation, and if you don’t know what that is, it’s a type of t-shirt transfer similar to screen printing or vinyl in a way.

So many stay-at-home moms in the U.S. picked up sublimation during covid, because it was affordable to start up, easy to learn and is a simple business to run. I continued on into sublimation by starting my own online boutique. It was successful for two years and I enjoyed all of the custom t-shirts, tumblers and other products I was making. I then found out you could sell your custom graphic designs online to other businesses who make t-shirts, so I started listing my designs I was already creating for customers t-shirts as I went. I then realized, “Wow! I’m making more income off of designs than I am off of my boutique!”. I couldn’t believe how successful my passive income side hustle was. It was basically running itself!

I then decided to shut down my boutique to pursue my digital design business full-time and never looked back. I enjoy hand-drawing designs and letting my imagination flow. One day, I might wake up and decide to draw a bronc rider at a rodeo and throw a catchy cowboy quote with it. The next, I’m working on custom business logo for another small business. I pursued this career by accident almost. I’m blessed to be able to tap into a creative outlet daily and it’s something I look forward to doing every day. Not only that, but I am able to work with so many small business owners and I meet so many awesome people through my job.

I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. When you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I feel like what sets me apart from a lot of digital designers these days is that my art is actually hand-drawn. A lot of digital designers now throw a bunch of pre-made graphics together and call it their own, or create designs based on movies, songs, art and it’s copy-right material. A lot of designers will also see hand-drawn designs they like and try to copy it. It’s a tough business to not only set yourself apart in but to be successful in because even if your art is original, someone else is always going to copy it.

I take pride in my work. I take pride in it being original and coming from my imagination. My designs may not be the most popular out there, but I can guarantee they were made from honesty and love. I’m proud of choosing to stay original and honest. I’m proud of the quality of my work.

A fun fact about business, my business name is Barbed W Digital Designs. My logo includes mine and my husband’s ranch brand. We have previously owned our own cattle company. When I was naming my business and drawing my logo, I was thinking of my family and how much they support me. It only made sense to include them in my business, because it may be me drawing the designs and doing the work, but it’s them that keeps me going.

Another story behind my brand, as I was drawing my business logo, I was sitting next to my Daddy who was close to passing while on hospice. I was thinking of the things I loved most about our little ranch that I grew up on and my happiest childhood memories. I always loved cows and running through the bluebonnets on our land, so my logo includes a longhorn with my ranch brand, standing in a field of bluebonnets. As i finished up my logo, my Daddy took his last breath, peacefully. So now every time I see my logo, I smile at the thought of the both of us running through a field of bluebonnets.

As far as my story goes, I’m still writing it. I am excited to see how my business evolves over time and how it continues to grow! They say that things that receive love and care grow, I fully believe my business is backed by so much of those things, that it will grow as far as I am willing to go!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely take them to the Fort Worth Stockyards! Billy Bobs and the White Elephant are musts! I would then take them to our little local small-town barbecue joint, Masseys BBQ here in Alvarado, TX. They have the best BBQ hands down.
Trovato Street is the last on the list in historical downtown Cleburne, TX, for a root beer float!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
DeWayne Stone who owns Texas Elite Custom Printing (817) 849-5636

Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BarbedWDigitalDesign?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

Instagram: @barbedwdigitaldesigns

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1804479129716758

Other: Tik Tok: @barbedwdigitaldesigns

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.