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Hidden Gems: Meet Ayanna Card

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ayanna Card.

Hi Ayanna, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I was always the “t-shirt girl” whether I realized it or not. Whether it was put to work for my family reunions, sewing letters on tees in college for the sororities and fraternities or working at the Greek store, t-shirt requests found me. I was an Apparel Technical Designer for about 17 years doing graphic design projects on the side when I had to make the hard decision to leave my job. Suddenly an entrepreneur out of necessity, I migrated towards what I knew best. As an introvert, I could relate to the desire to be expressive without having to be verbal. The right t-shirt allows this to happen. I like to put a “slant” on popular ideas so that the viewer has to figure out the true meaning of the design. This at a minimum makes the design memorable, at maximum an irresistible conversation starter. Needthattee.com was birthed out of making these types of t-shirts available, and as I made sales, I paid attention to what was being bought the most. It quickly became obvious that this strategy appealed to the members of my sorority the most so members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated became my niche customer.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Starting a business from scratch while learning what it means to be a business owner is not easy. I had lived my entire adult life as a salaried employee who had a paycheck waiting on me every pay period whether I went in everyday or not. Very quickly, I became “don’t work, don’t eat” self-employed. It’s not easy. It is a great feeling to build something that is your own and see the potential and eventually success in it, but it comes with more responsibility and sacrifice than I could ever have imagined. As the years have progressed and the business has scaled, solutions to keep up with demand are the new challenge. It’s excited to see the progress but juggling all of the moving pieces keeps me on my toes. Through our LLC, The Needgency (there is no “A” in the name on purpose) we offer select promotional items and graphic services so every egg in our basket needs nurturing.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
At needthattee.com, we strive to reimage the slogan tee. We are a made-to-order retail and custom t-shirt company focused on allowing our customers to celebrate what they love and represent their interests. Our slogan tees endeavor to honor self-love and magnify the power of self-expression. You will also find accessories, drinkware and unique gift ideas like puzzles in the store. What sets the store apart are our unique designs and our ability to customize almost all of our offerings for a specific customer. We offer bulk orders for family reunions, school spirit, anniversaries, as well as low quantity special occasions, or special message t-shirts. Select graphic designer services are also available.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
We encourage everyone to follow our social media accounts @theneedgency and check out our website. We partner with organizations for fundraising and will take a group order of any size with convenient ordering options.

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