We had the good fortune of connecting with Linda Tietje and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Linda, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
From a young age, I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for stories and storytelling. Real-life stories are especially fascinating to me. In the end, our life is about the moments we share with those we love. Our most precious memories… After losing the opportunity to capture my grandmother’s life story, I wanted to find a way to help others preserve their stories. But it took COVID-19 to make this dream a reality. Like many people around the world, I was devastated by the pandemic and coped with it by leaning into those close to me. I was reminded about the importance of preserving and sharing our special memories with those we love. So, in the fall of 2020, I teamed up with my cousin Anika and we co-founded Storyna.
What should our readers know about your business?
Storyna, and especially our brand new “Tell me about your Life ,Grandma” Kids Activity Box is truly a ‘heart project’ for me. We wanted to find a way to help preserve as many family stories as possible because we know they matter. The family recipes we cherish, the photos we hold dear, the Holiday traditions we pass on and the stories we share… They all give us a sense of belonging, a deeper connection to our roots, and bring a smile to our face. The Kids Activity Box helps families preserve some of those special memories in a way that engages our children and brings deeper connection to families.
At this stage in our journey, our main goal is to spread the word about Storyna far and wide. We’re fortunate to have some truly loyal fans and have recently been featured by Kara Sewell on WFAA for her #UpwithHer series on DFW women entrepreneurs. But we also know that it will ultimately be moms, and first and foremost DFW moms, who will help us grow. So to our fellow moms out there: Join us, message us with questions, give feedback on our Facebook page, pass our info along! We’d love to hear from you and help you preserve your family’s stories.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh, we love having friends or family come visit! I love to show them my hometown of Coppell. I’ve been a longtime resident and have loved getting to know the many fantastic offerings in the city. I would start our trip with grabbing coffee and breakfast at the George Coffee + Provisions in Old Town Coppell, which offers an intimate setting in a converted house design with great outdoor seating. On the way, I would stop by the tiny, family-owned Jacaranda Gift Shop before heading to the Coppell Farmers Market. Here, people can not only can buy fresh locally-grown produce, but can also sample a variety of baked goods, tamales and other special treats from local businesses. As a true book-lover, I also always enjoy a stop at the Coppell library to browse through its aisles. After a relaxing day in Coppell, I love taking friends to the hustle and bustle of Dallas, and grab dinner and drinks at Taverna restaurant before heading to a Mavs game.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are really too many people I would love to thank here. On the business side, it was leaders like Prof. Dr. Gabriele Rosenthal in Germany, Ken Schaefer at Schaefer Advertising and Sean Scogin at Vari (formerly VariDesk) who shaped my professional perspective. But the true shoutout belongs to my family – My dad who always encouraged me to follow my passion, my mom who will forever be my biggest cheerleader, my husband who will push me beyond my comfort zone to help me step into my true potential, my children who tirelessly brainstorm every new product idea with me – and of course my grandmother, whose strength, determination and love inspired Storyna. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs allowed me to launch my own ventures early on in my career, and without their unwavering support, I would not have been able to pursue my passion for storytelling, move across the globe from Germany to live in the U.S., or build a career in the communications industry.
Kelly Garsee Photography