Detroit Mom’s Local Love series highlights local women and the businesses they have built. We love supporting small business! Today’s Local Love Spotlight belongs to Tasha Thrall, owner of Simpkins Studios!
We started by asking Tasha to share a few fun facts about herself:
- She has had 12 right ear surgeries, has no ear drum on her right side, and knows some sign language!
- She married her high school sweetheart and they had their two kids first before they got married in 2023. Also, they are building their house in their hometown of Michigan Center.
- All of her products are made with recycled items: recycled paper, old crayons, old books, and even Earth-friendly laminate sheets and binds.
We also asked Tasha to share a little bit more about her business with us. Get to know her and her business, Simpkins Studios, below!
How did you come up with the idea of your business, and how did you start?
“I wanted to come up with a unique graduation gift for my kids when they graduate. I wanted her teachers to sign something or leave a note, but I didn’t want them to ruin book pages from a book. So I did some research on how to rebind books. I tried hand binding, but I knew her graduation book [would] be too big to hand bind everything. I looked into metal binding. Now I am collecting a letter from each of my daughter’s teachers every year. And when she graduates, I will take apart Oh the Places You’ll Go! [by] Dr. Seuss and put all her teachers’ and principal’s letters in there.
“I started Simpkins Studios in 2020, but that time I was working on epoxy cups. I was doing good until I got pregnant with my son. During my pregnancy I got really sick and lost my passion [for] making cups. I started making coloring pages for my daughter, and printing out little ones, and started remelting crayons to go with the coloring pages. I didn’t start doing markets until after I had my son in 2022. Since then I [have] been growing my products and trying new things for my business. I’m so happy where my business is heading, and how much it has grown since then.”
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?
“I wish I [would have] waited a little longer to find what I was truly passionate about instead of jumping into something thinking it was just going to make me money.”
What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given?
“It’s okay to fail, and to stand back up and try again.”
Have you faced adversity in business due to being a woman? How did you navigate that?
“No I haven’t faced adversity being a woman. If I [do] come into that situation, I will walk away and go somewhere else that will accept my business.”
How do you persevere in challenging times?
“I think about my family, and remember I am doing something I am passionate about and showing my kids that they can follow their dreams [and] passions when they grow up.”
What impact do you want your business to have?
“To spread happiness and kindness while being Earth-friendly.”
What are the pros and cons of being a woman business owner in 2023?
“Women are accepted more. Women are empowering other women [and] encourage them when they have a small business. And, [they] understand they are multi-tasking with taking care of the family and working on their business.”
What knowledge would you share with someone who wants to become an entrepreneur?
“It’s hard but can be fun. It’s challenging, but it also can be rewarding.”
What do you do for personal and professional development?
“I attend Lean Rocket/MI Tribe. And [I] ask [for] advice from other woman-owned businesses and other mentors that I look up [to] and admire.”
What mantra or quote do you live by?
“Everything happens for a reason. Take a breath, everything is going to be okay.”
What’s your favorite place in Detroit or Michigan?
“Frankfort and Traverse City. A beautiful place to share with my mom and my family.”