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

Hi Tabia, how do you think about risk?
I believe risk-taking can either break or make someone depending on their perspective. Creating my own business was a very big risk but has allowed me to learn a plethora of knowledge and changed my perspective. Risks can be scary when one bases their judgment on how the risk went by if they succeeded or failed. Typically people don’t want to take risks because they are thinking that they will fail and view failing as a negative thing. I like to think that taking a risk is an opportunity to learn, whether it was a success or failure. If the risk resulted in succeeding, you now know the steps to recreate what you learned to produce a great outcome. Also, you have the ability to teach others and capitalize on that. Additionally, if it resulted in a failure, you now can learn from your mistakes and hit the ground running from an elevated perspective. It is clear on what not to do going forward. It will also open the mind up to thinking about new ideas because it will take a different strategy to be successful in an area of past failure. Taking risks has put me in rooms and places that I never thought I’d be. I was set on the traditional get a job and work for the next 40-years path until I took a risk on myself. If I would have never taken any risk I wouldn’t have my business or gained such an amazing friend group of creators, artists, and designers. I am so much closer to accomplishing my dream of being a famous fashion designer. Everyone’s dream is on the other side of their comfort zone. I am not where near where I want to be but it’s fulfilling to inch closer and learn new things every day.

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 started my clothing boutique in the summer of 2020. I was itching to start a business and get my feet wet in entrepreneurship. I had done an extensive amount of research on how to start one, what to expect, and how long it would take to start making revenue. I learned that most businesses fail before they reach their 5-year mark. I was up for the challenge to make mine surpass the norms. I started my business because I saw a lack of quality, affordable, unique yet fashionable shoes in the market. I love how shoes can change the whole feel of an outfit so drastically. It is truly all about the walk when choosing the perfect shoe. The way a shoe makes you feel when you take your own unique strut across this earth is what I cared about. That’s where the name Tembea came from. Tembea means “walk” in Swahili. It was chosen to share the same African uniqueness that I have with my name. I thought this would be the perfect idea to begin my road to becoming a famous fashion designer. It is indescribably fascinating how cool it is to see people wearing something that I created. I am excited that we have expanded since then to selling clothing items as well. We have created multiple custom pieces and just released our first hoodie which I created completely from scratch. It was difficult starting my business at first because I had no idea what I was doing, where to outsource inventory, how to start my LLC, and my family did not support me as much as I wanted. I overcame that by immersing myself in self-education through youtube, asking other entrepreneurs, and observing locals shops. I started to participate in pop up shops, follow other creators on social media, and really immerse myself in the fashion community. I gathered a basis of what I thought the Tembea Shop would look like and went to my best friend, Brandy’s house, and started everything in her living room. I’ve learned that you just have to take one step at a time and keep your faith in your creations. God gave each one of us a special vision that we are driven to achieve. No dream is too big or too outrageous if you break it down into bite-size pieces and conquer the day every day. The Tembea Shop prides itself in providing comfortable, affordable items that are hand-selected and tested for quality before reaching our customers’ hands. Our team takes the time to fully research what are upcoming fashion trends, fabrics, styles and aim to uphold our sleek and elegant vibe. I truly believe that our pieces will elevate every closet with class and give confidence to whoever wears them. I can’t wait to share our upcoming spring/summer collection.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would first get some great food for breakfast at Snooze Eatery or Dream Cafe. They have an amazing menu and mimosas. After breakfast, we would head to get our nails done at Aura Nail Spa in Uptown. I would then take her to downtown Dallas to see the scenery and have a picnic at Kylde Warren Park to catch up, get some snacks at the food trucks and enjoy the weather. After the park, we would probably go to my favorite place called Nerdvana. They have really good food/drinks and you can play any video game system at your table! We would probably conclude our night by going to Deep Ellum for some good vibes and drinks.

Saturday Morning we would wake up at breakfast at a local diner and then head to white rock lake to take a nice bike ride or stroll around the lake. After the lake, we would head to the king’s spa to cool down and relax our bodies. Once we are fully relaxed we are headed to Kitchen and Kocktails which is a black-owned business that sells everything good to eat! They also have frozen drinks. Once we are full from K+K we will continue our evening at the Paint and Jam studio. There you have 2h to be completely creative and paint on a guided stencil with a great DJ! If my friend wanted to still have fun but not go home quite yet. I would take her to a local movie theatre that shows old films to end the night.

Sunday Morning we of course have to go to Dallabasas. Where they have a brunch Buffett, mimosas, and a great DJ. After that, we would just chill at the house until it was time for them to head home.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give my friend, mentor, and director of an impactful nonprofit, BVCC (Black Venture Capital Consortium), that I have the pleasure of working with, a shout-out. When he first visited my university, I was a senior and thought I was going to cruise through my last semester of undergrad by not involving myself in anything outside of my classes. Malcolm was searching for what he called “superstar” students. This type of student was at the top of their class, possessed the curiosity to learn, and had the drive to make a difference in their community. He needed a group of these individuals to help bring his start-up idea to life. Malcolm hosted an introductory meeting to give context about why he wanted to start his nonprofit. The speech he gave explained how entrepreneurship is the key to wealth and about the unspoken wealth gap between black and white communities. This completely rocked my world and changed my view of the future. I had a couple of internships during my college career; As a result, I quickly learned that the cubicle/corporate lifestyle was not one I wanted to be a part of. I had been searching for a way to change my family legacy, help my community in a big way, and live out the boujee lifestyle that I truly desired but could never connect the dots on how. I have seen entrepreneurs growing up but always dismissed the idea. I was raised to get a job and live on the 401k plan because any other idea was too risky. I saw my father start his own barber business but never did I see the value or entertain the idea for myself. After Malcolm’s speech, I was convinced on helping Malcolm close the wealth gap and my idea to start a business was birthed! If it wasn’t for him I would have never done something outside of working for someone else. I am truly grateful for meeting Malcolm.

Website: thetembeshop.com

Instagram: thetembeashop

Facebook: thetembeashop

Image Credits
creative.angles, flicksbymali, Taylar Gomez

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