biz ladiesinterviewsLife & Business

Biz Ladies Profile: Tina Roth Eisenberg of Swiss Miss

by Stephanie

Tina Roth Esienberg Photo by Julia Robbs

Today’s Biz Ladies Profile comes to us from consummate jackie-of-all-trades, Tina Roth Eisenberg of Swiss Miss. Beyond her wildly successful blog, Tina has gone on to launch several successful business, including, CreativeMornings, Tattly, and Studiomates. With a persistent approach and constant curiosity, Tina has paved the way for other creative entrepreneurs and today, she share he inspiring career journey with us. Thank you Tina for offering this glimpse into your business path! —Stephanie

Read the full interview after the jump…

Why did you decide to start your own business?

I always had the dream of running my own graphic design studio.  When I became pregnant with my first child I started to really evaluate what was important in my life. I realized then that the moment to start my design studio was here; now or never. It was my second pregnancy, with my now-three-year-old, Tilo, that made me realize that the moment was here to take my side projects (CreativeMornings, a lecture series; Tattly, my designy temporary tattoo company; and Studiomates, my Brooklyn co-working space) and turn them into their own functioning businesses.

tattly whale tattoo

When you first decided to start your own business, how did you define what your business would be?

When you work in graphic design and you work as a graphic designer, starting your own design studio seems to always be the next logical step. Eventually, however, that next step evolved into actual products, moving away from graphic design services. This was because I realized that, while having my own graphic design studio was liberating from working for somebody else, what I really wanted was to solve my own problems instead of solving client’s problems.

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting off?

Under promise, over deliver, always do your best work.

What was the most difficult part of starting your business?

Definitely the most difficult part was suddenly wearing all of the different hats of bringing in the business, running the business, scheduling my days, etc. When you start your own business, even if you have hired someone or a small team, you are always the face of your brand as well as the manager.

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running a business?

I’ve learned that you need to empower and trust the people that you work with. I’ve also learned that you need to be open-minded and willing to change and adapt; to prepare for success.

Can you name your greatest success in your business experiences?

Tattly is a physical example of following my personal rule of “don’t complain, make things better.” My daughter, Ella, came home from a birthday party one day and begged me to apply these horribly ugly temporary tattoos. They were so badly printed and poorly designed that I found myself complaining about them and couldn’t let it go. I looked into what it would take to get professionally designed tattoos printed, and Tattly was born. I’ve created myself a new niche market and learned that you should never shy away of challenging the status quo.

Swiss Miss Photo by Julia Robbs

What business books/resources (if any)  would you recommend to someone starting a creative business of their own?

Books: It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden and anything by Seth Godin

Resources: Freshbooks, HelpScout for support, Magic Text for emailing, TeuxDeux for organization of meetings, etc

In your opinion, what are the top three things someone should consider before starting their own business?

Make sure you’re thoroughly passionate about what you’re starting so that it doesn’t feel like work but more like play.

Make sure you work with equally smart and driven people.

Care to do the best work possible (whatever you are, be a good one).

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  • After watching Tina’s talk at SXSW she has become my new personal touchstone/talisman of how a creative life can be lived.

    I also feel like a kind of ‘freaky friday’ kindred spirit since she moved from Speicher, Switzerland to New York and I was born and bred in Los Angeles, and have made my home in Munich, Germany (not a small town, but smaller and in the DACH region – also where she studied design!)

    I really wanted to walk the NSS this year, but couldn’t swing it. Seeing her Tattly booth as I was browsing my Instagram feed this morning made me all the more committed to go next year so I can tell her what an inspiration she’s been (if I can get the courage up!)

    Thanks for featuring her!

  • Inspiring, but also very down to earth, especially the thought regarding “solving your own problems.” Usually, if it’s a problem for you, it’s a problem for someone else too. So you may as well try to build something from it! And ditto on “over-delivering.” Follow through seems to be a huge problem for a lot of people, and is a good way to distinguish yourself.

  • I love following Tina on Instagram. She’s one of the only people I follow who seems to be seamlessly on message without feeling gimmicky. Exciting to see so many projects going so well.

  • I am battling to keep the several strings to my bow all moving forward. This proves that it can be done, but I just want to know where does she get her superhuman powers from!!
    So good to hear positive stories from successful women WHO HAVE CHILDREN!!

  • I would like to add that getting into graphic design in Switzerland is no easy matter for a young person, so she already overcame many hurdles before she even got to NYC…!! So pleased to see this portrait – I came across her blog a few years ago and thought highly of it, glad she is having so much success :)

  • I got a chance to chat with Tine at NSS last week. We are creatives launching our own firm and she was so encouraging and REAL! No BS with that lady. We ended up talking about our kids, like most mums do. The pool of creative, driven people is a pleasure to swim in.

  • wonderful and inspiring interview! did not know Tina was behind Tattly – so awesome, they’re everywhere! when i first started my tiny cake business and began blogging about it in 2009, tina picked up one of my cakes (hungry caterpillar) and really helped me find readers who appreciated nice design. For this I will always hold a special place in my heart whenever I see Swiss Miss anywhere! xo PS LOVE this series! :)

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