We had the good fortune of connecting with Tomie Taiwo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tomie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My business started during the pandemic. I’ve always loved shades, you can throw them on, when it’s sunny , or on a day where you’re simply tired. In the height of the pandemic I realized now was the time to focus on my business. Every thing was shut down, I feel like I didn’t have an excuse! It was destiny! So it did it, I did my research and boom Shadesbytomietee was born.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a one woman show. I pride myself in being self made, I built this brand from nothing into something. Everything from picking out the shades, to the website design, social media, as well as shipping the shades is all me! I have days where I want to give up because I feel overwhelmed, but I’ll always remember “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. I have to keep grinding to make it to the top. I one day hope to have a SBTT storefront, I can’t stop now! I want everyone out there to remember if you want to start any type of business the first step is to start, just do it. There was a time where sales were slow, but people kept on asking if they could just buy shades from me so they can start their own business. Some people just wanted to start but didn’t have the resource. A lightbulb went off in my head, I realized I could start a wholesale program where I’d provide sunglasses in bulk as well as all the shipping supplies you’d need to start your business, all you’d have to do was ship to your customers!. The Shadesbytomietee wholesale program began. People were using little ol me to start their business. That’s when I knew it was meant to be I loved doing this ! This is destiny! I’ll tell you for free now that you are going to make mistakes along the way, but when you make those mistakes you learn from them and keep going ! Don’t give up & just do it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Dallas isn’t a touristy place but I’d take them to one of Texas’ most visited historic sites, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza . This is where former president John F Kennedy was assassinated. Next we would visit the Reunion Tower, an iconic Dallas landmark, which has a 360 degree view of the Dallas skyline, they have several restaurants in the tower as well as an observation deck. Bishop Arts district also has a Trendy cool vibe to it, with many restaurants, galleries and shops! There’s and coming are in trinity grove that I love also, they have many food trucks bars and restaurants as well! Lastly we’d probably go take a dip in the rooftop pool of the statler hotel.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to thank my mother and sister for always encouraging me and being there when I need them the most . Most importantly shoutout to the #sbttbabes (Shadesbytomietee babes) for spending their money on my small business, the support doesn’t go unnoticed.