We had the good fortune of connecting with Tabassum A. Khan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tabassum, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
My entire small business started with taking a risk-

I had a very successful career at Southwest Airlines, where I started as a contractor, and quickly moved up. Within a five year span, I became a full-time employee, and a Senior Payroll Specialist– and in my personal life, I became a mom of two amazing kids who really define me as a person. I am very lucky to have an extremely supportive husband who never stopped me from making big decisions in my personal and professional life. Shabab and I worked opposite schedules, and we made it work for a long time… but after we had our second child, it didn’t make sense anymore. He is my rock, and we were slowly getting less time together with each other and were spread too thin with two kids, two full time careers and we were just two souls who just missed each other.

I remember the day I took the decision to quit my career… It was sort of spur of the moment, but I’d been thinking about it for a while… and I remember that on that particular day, I had a rough morning because I didn’t have the time to even brush my hair. I went to my manager and told him that I couldn’t do this anymore. He told me to think about it and to take some time… but I knew in my heart that I missed being with the love of my life, and I wasn’t living up to my full potential as a mom.

A few weeks after parting ways with Southwest, I took a leap of faith and started Desi Chai Designs, and never looked back. It was the most elevated experience of my life– to start my own small business… something I wouldn’t have ever imagined if it wasn’t for all the heartache and missed memories of experiencing life with my family.

Desi Chai Designs was launched in February of 2019, and a year later- in the middle of a pandemic, we launched our second small business- Craft Theory.

Both of these ventures were a huge risk at the time, but both materialized so beautifully. I’m a big believer that you get back 100% of what you put out into the universe. We have been so blessed to be able to work with the most amazing community, right here in Frisco, and have been lucky enough to reach clients internationally, just by word of mouth.

Taking a risk isn’t something to be apprehensive about– what’s the worst that can happen? Failure? No… failure is just a feeling of defeat. As long as you put your heart into what you’re doing, and are determined to succeed, failure can’t touch you.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I don’t think there is really anything that sets me apart from my colleagues who do similar work- we all have the same struggles and hustle… and we all love what we do. Personally, I couldn’t have been luckier to be part of a strong community of independent women entrepreneurs, and from my experiences with them, I’ve learned to be the business woman I am today.

The things you love in life never come easy. I’ve had my heart broken by many clients, but I’ve also been shown a lot of love by so many more… One of the things I love most about making custom apparel and hand stamped jewelry & keepsakes are the connections that I’m able to make with people. Every single thing that I make, whether it’s as mundane as a t-shirt, or as special as a memory ornament– they all have a story. A lot of my peers have online platforms such as Etsy or even have their own website where you just hop on and purchase without another thought… and that’s something I’ve tried to do as well, but I just didn’t find it to be satisfying with my soul. I love having a personal connection with clients. I love hearing their stories and talking with them one-on-one to not only take their order, but they tell me what it’s for… who it’s for… and their stories are always so full of love. The love that they give me goes right back into everything I make- and I think that’s what makes all of this so special.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ahh! I’ve been trying to get my best friend down here for the past six/seven years! As luck always has it, we’re always the ones to travel back home, to New York, and visit them.

When she does end up coming here, one of the first places I’d take her is to Bread Winners! The French Benedict… yummmm!!!! We don’t eat pork, so we always substitute for an extra croissant for our coffee- its a guilty pleasure and sooo worth the extra calories and butter!

My bestie and I love arts and the museum, and the Perot Museum would definitely be on out list of places to go. We’ve also been looking into the Van Gogh exhibit that’s in town for the summer and I think that alone would be the main factor in her coming here.

There are so many cool places in the DFW area that are hidden gems too- like Summer Moon Coffee, right here in Frisco. It’s perfectly situated in the heart of downtown Frisco, and there’s a cool gazebo where you can just hang out and people watch and talk for hours (something we used to do in New York). We would definitely go to Nerdvana for a fun game night! The arboretum is one of my favorite places in Dallas. It’s just so peaceful and scenic… and you could spend hours there, just being with the flowers.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are SO many people that I have to recognize as part of my success… every single person that I have had the opportunity to work with deserves recognition. If it weren’t for the clients I’ve served and the experiences that I’ve had, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I always describe my businesses as my little love story to the world, and everyone is part of it. My family, my clients, my vendors… everyone has contributed to my success, and they all deserve equal recognition.

I do, however, would love to give a special little shout-out to my husband, Shabab, and my kids, Nisa & Nayel. You guys give me the opportunity to be who I am, and love me unconditionally even on my worst days- there is no truer love than the love I have for you. Thank you for being part of me. Thank you for being my soulmates, and thank you for being my crazy little family.

Website: https://craftheoryfrisco.square.site

Instagram: @desichaidesigns ; @craftheoryfrisco

Facebook: Facebook.com/desichaidesigns ; Facebook.com/craftheoryfrisco

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