We had the good fortune of connecting with Anita Quaye and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anita, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
This is an easy one to tackle. After having worked successfully for various firms, but never being acknowledged for my contributions above and beyond expectations, I decided it was time to take my expertise to a firm that would appreciate it; my own. I should have made the leap a long time ago, but as the saying goes, “better late than never”.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business offers custom design, embroidery, screen printing, sublimation, vinyl and crystal decorating for apparel including but not limited to; t-shirts, polos, hats, uniforms, masks, mugs, mousepads, and sportswear. Although my core clients are the school district and small businesses, I also cater to individuals. Getting here was no easy feat. Although I purchased an existing business, it wasn’t exactly profitable. Having previously worked in the high end industry for over 20 years, working with items of a lesser price point to begin with was a bit frustrating. I had to solicit new clients and provide them with better quality at either the same price or a slightly better price point than they were accustomed to regularly. This meant that I have to work twice as hard as the next person to flourish in this saturated industry. With time though, I learned to source better quality items well as to offer a truly customized item, compared to the mass products most decorators cater to in order to survive. I also extend the same high end customer service to my clients, regardless of the dollar value. In addition, a very quick turnaround is key to my success as I don’t keep traditional hours. Each client’s project is equally as important as the next, and they all receive expedited service and the same quality of attention. In my downtime, when there is some, I also dabble in paintings for a very select clientele, with the assistance of my very talented daughter. I am glad that I made the transition to sole proprietorship when I did, because it has allowed for such balance between my business and personal life. I am able to visit my daughter who is in college in another state, at the drop of a hat. I make it to all my middle son’s football games regularly, and like most other parents, I am also a teacher this year. Covid impacted my business without question and throw in homeschooling for my youngest, and it could have been the perfect storm for failure. I persisted and have come out the other end, ready to press forward. By the grace of God, I am still pressing thriving and look forward with much anticipation to the upcoming year.
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.
There are so many places to explore in Miami. Day activities would include visiting Wynwood which is an up and coming section of Miami. Then you have the Design District where you can shop and eat in a myriad places. Michael’s would be one of my favorite spots for lunch. You also have South Beach where you can do some serious damage in the retail section on multiple days. Then there is the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens that is a must visit if in Miami. One of my recent favorite spots to dine at night is Seaspice on NW North River Drive. The view and ambiance is unparalleled and the food is delectable. You also have the Heat’s arena as well as the Dolphins’ stadium close by to catch some exceptional games, depending on the seasons. Of course if you’re at the Hard Rock stadium for a game, it’s a must to stop in at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe and enjoy the various cuisines at their top rated restaurants. In a Miami minute, that is just scratching the surface on what can be done on any typical day in Miami.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have a silent partner whose financial contribution allowed me to quickly expand and grow within my first six months in business. Otherwise, I am also thankful to my dependable repeat clients who keep me busy throughout the year. Most importantly, I am grateful to my parents for having instilled me with work ethics that embrace but are not limited to the following principles: work as though the company is yours, always give more than is expected of you, anything worth doing is worth doing well, extend grace to those who do not measure up and do your best to bring them up to par, and finally, always forge ahead no matter how disappointing the past turned out. I am also grateful to have garnered wisdom from the various positions that I have held over the years, some that were enjoyable and others that were downright stressful. All experiences have shaped my present business mindset, and I would do nothing differently if presented with the opportunity.
Linkedin: Anita A Quaye