Hi #tassellovers, it’s Mimi here! I am so excited to celebrate our EIGHTH Tasselversary this month, and if you’re wondering what that means, you’re in the right place! I founded The Tiny Tassel in the summer of 2015 and every year since, we’ve celebrated our business anniversary because we love celebrating both the tiny and huge things here. Whether you’ve celebrated with us since the beginning or this is your first Tasselversary, I’m so happy that you’re here! I haven’t done this in a while so buckle up for a ride down memory lane.
Where it all began!
The Tiny Tassel started with a hot pink tassel earring and over the past eight years, it’s grown into so much more. What began as a creative outlet for me to make a little extra money and make something fun, has turned into a multi million dollar brand that has a greater mission to not only make life more joyfulwhile creating beautiful products, but also creating a healthy and sustainable workplace for others. We currently employ ten incredibly smart women, including my mom, Keiko, as our lead designer + my sister, Aiko, as our CFOO. It’s taken quite a bit of tiny moves to get here, and I’ll be honest I would’ve never imagined that I’d work alongside my family, but here we are! It’s still super surreal some days that I get to do what I love AND they are here to support my dream. Along with Keiko & Aiko, we’ve grown a team that embodies the TTT mission, appreciates the tiny things, and shows up to create the best experience for our customers and community. Our team is diverse in our thinking and I love seeing each team member grow in some way every single day. Seriously, wow. I never knew that we’d be able to make such an impact from what started as “just a tiny tassel”.
Okay, I don’t know about you but I love hearing from others’ experiences and I don’t take it lightly that TTT has become a platform to share ours. Since we’re celebrating our eighth Tasselversary, here’s eight things that brought me joy over the years:
1. Friendships & Community– I never would have guessed that starting a business would bring me some of my best friends! From connecting with so many other incredible makers and business owners at pop-ups and events, to spending just about every day during the height of the pandemic with some of my closest friends, it’s truly remarkable to reflect on the friendships that have formed from a tiny tassel. TTT has also allowed me to connect with so many of you online and through different spaces. I've met some of my best friends through social media, and it’s such a sweet reminder of all the good that’s come out of the world wide web!
2. Finding security in God– We hear the phrase all the time, I’ve even said it: “Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart.” And while sitting here writing this, it makes me think, how in the world have I made it to this point, owning and operating two businesses over the past eight years, and not completely losing my mind. My simple and plain answer is God, he is so good. My faith in God has grown so much in so many ways over the past eight years and my relationship with him is constantly encouraging me to keep going. This is not to say that I never doubt or lose faith, but instead when I do, I get to come back to God and share my story with others in hopes of encouraging them too. Through the busyness and productivity traps that I’ve fallen into over the years, I can always find clarity and rest in Him. That always reassures me that right here, right now, this is exactly where I’m supposed to be in life and how I should be using my God given gifts right now. Over the years I’ve found security in so many things other than God like relationships, money, success. I now have so much peace knowing that my security lies with Him. When entrepreneurship takes me on the ups and downs, I still choose it because I know that even during times of uncertainty, slower revenue seasons, and everything else in between, God is so faithful and I’m able to not just hope, but expect Him to always be that.
3. Financial Impact– I can’t talk about celebrating this business without talking about the impact that it’s made on not only my life but others lives too. The wealth gap is real, if you aren’t familiar, please look it up. In the beginning I started this company to make more money. I was living paycheck to paycheck and couldn’t see a way out of my student loans and debt, and let’s be real, life in Charleston is expensive! Over the years as TTT has increased its revenue, one of the main driving factors for me has been to become more generous. Whether it’s donating to a local organization in need, giving to school supplies drives, and most importantly paying our employees fairly and offering various benefits, it is so important to me that we’re able to become more and more generous as we make more money. *If me mentioning money made you squirm, let’s chat! I believe in everyone having a voice and showing up humbly yet confidently when it comes to money. I didn’t always feel this way, it’s taken lots of mindset shifts and practice, but I’m here to say it’s so possible for you too!
P.S. I also can’t talk about money without mentioning the fact that it is soooo important to support your local and small businesses, they make life so much better and we truly feel the impact and don’t take a single order for granted.
Also another P.S./shoutout to my sister Aiko for giving me my first “Line Of Credit” back in 2017. I remember back in 2017 when I was debating between beginning to buy supplies in larger quantities at better prices (aka scaling my business) or continuing to buy one offs and spend unnecessary money. Aiko entrusted me with one of her credit cards, with a $500 limit, to grow my business. The stats on women accessing any type of capital are infuriating and confusing but having someone in my corner that said “here I believe in what you’re doing” pushed me along to where we are today. She saw the vision and value in what TTT would become long before I truly did. Honestly, big sisters are the real MVP.
4. A Fresh Perspective– Everyday brings a new challenge, way of thinking, and just thoughts. We can let those take hold of us in a negative way, or choose to learn. TTT has taught me to show up, choose to learn from everything, literally E V E R Y T H I N G, and always find joy no matter what the situation is at hand. I don’t always learn right away or choose a positive perspective each time, but whether it’s two hours or two months later, I can truly think back and say wow I learned how to communicate differently, how to be more compassionate, how to lead well, how to embrace others for who they are, how to create cute products without losing myself to consumerism. So many things. The work has not been easy, it’s truly a muscle that I have to practice every single day, but the outcome is so worth it. To live at peace, take offense to less things, and know that if I don’t get it now, someday I might, is so special to me.
5. Living Lightly– This ties into all of the above. I used to be the straight A student, type A person, who strived for perfection instead of peace. I just grew up this way and didn’t know any better until a few years ago when I realized I was never at rest with how my life was spanning out. There would never be “the right time” or “the perfect place” for things to happen. I now try to live lightly. I get to trust that what God has for me will be for me, and I work diligently to show up everyday believing that. I also live lightly in a way that involves wearing a rainbow and rhinestone striped statement earring with a fun printed dress because why not?! When I find myself taking life too seriously, it’s always a reminder for me to rest in the fact that I get to live lightly here. Even as the leader of a growing company, I get to go at my own pace and delight in the little things that make up life. P.S.: My word of the year for 2023 is Delight.If you follow my social media accounts, I talk a lot about finding joy. A few years ago, while on vacation, my friend asked if I was enjoying my birthday and having the best day. At that moment I realized that my “regular life” and “vacation life” had collided in the best way possible. I no longer felt like I needed to vacate my life in order to enjoy it or rest. My goal every day is to wake up and channel #VacayMimi. She is well-rested, more kind, happier, peaceful, carefree, and lighter. I want to challenge you to think about yourself on vacation & channel that person if you want to. We hear that life is so short all the time, but I recently heard someone say “Life is so long so don’t rush it” and this reminds me that it’s okay to take the extra minute in the morning to eat my breakfast, or call a friend, or whatever it may be that doesn’t seem like a top priority and I hope that you’ll find peace in doing the same.
6. Channeling Creativity– I grew up thinking that I wasn’t artistic. I sometimes laugh at the fact that I now dream up and create things as my full time job. I think back to eight years ago when I started a jewelry company without ever making jewelry before, and it is such a testament that we all have so much creativity inside of us. Whether it’s creative thinking, drawing, putting together a fun outfit, I think we thrive when we realize that we can all channel our creativity. Over the years I’ve been grateful enough to wear all the hats of entrepreneurship, but even more grateful to see what I really enjoyed and fueled creativity in me, and what I should entrust someone else with. Take designing our clothing, I would have so much imposter syndrome kick in if someone told me that they wanted me to design a piece of clothing for them. It’s not my wheelhouse, but instead it’s Keikos. I am so grateful that I get to lean into places where I feel most creative, and also allow others to do the same. If you ever visit our Flagship in Charleston, you’ll see right next door is The Tiny Tassel Creative Office. We could've totally just slapped plain old “Office” on the door, but claiming it as our Creative Office, was so much more special. It reminds us that once we step through the door we get to be as creative as we want to. I love that it always sparks a conversation too, we hear others walk past everyday and say “Hmm creative office? I wonder what that is.” and I think that in itself is sparking imagination and creativity in that stranger.
7. Home away from home– In 2017 I opened my first brick and mortar store called Cannonborough Collective. I co-owned it and created a space for local artists and small business owners to find a home for their brands and also tell their stories. Fast forward to 2021, our team opened our Flagship store a block away from my old shop and created a space that we could call home and also continue to support BIPOC & female founded brands while telling their story and sharing their products. I do not take it lightly that in a place like downtown Charleston, there’s just a handful of Black & Asian owned businesses, let alone boutiques. When we opened the Flagship I knew that I wanted to highlight other brands and share the space so that we could make an even greater impact in our community. TTT will forever be my home away from home. We’ve spent countless hours there, made it feel so inviting and warm, and have also had some hard conversations and met some really incredible people there. I’ll forever be grateful for the TTT flagship.
8. You– Yes you! Honestly this journey of entrepreneurship would be nothing without each and every one of you that has supported TTT over the past eight years. Whether you’ve shopped with us, share our shop with a coworker, or cheered us on, we are so thankful. We’re not a business that stands by “the customer is always right” motto, but over the years we’ve grown into a business that asks “how can we make it right?” Whether it’s helping with a lost package, adjusting our clothing designs to be even more inclusive, showing up in our community, we choose to learn and grow through every situation. We have the most kind, joyful, and colorful customers, and building a community that shares about us all around the world is still so surreal. I am so glad that TTT gets to be a part of your lives and I hope that through every interaction with our brand, you leave feeling even more joyful.
Thank you for being here & supporting TTT over the past eight years. It leaves me speechless at times and can be hard to put into words how much it means to me. To know that through this brand we are creating new opportunities, freedom, and breaking so many barriers, WOW. Thank you for being a part of our community and continuing to choose joy with us.
We're so excited to partner with Charleston Legal Access for the 2nd year! We believe in equal opportunity for everyone and that's why we designed a Scales of Justice Earring and Clutch! 15% of the proceeds will be donated to CLA to provide affordable legal services to families and individuals in need.