Mimi Striplin, founder of The Tiny Tassel, posing in her shop.
Mimi Striplin, founder of accessories brand The Tiny Tassel, got her entrepreneurial inspiration from the vibrance and joy of her city, Charleston, South Carolina. — The Tiny Tassel

Mimi Striplin, founder of The Tiny Tassel, wanted to create products that would make her customers feel as vibrant and joyful as her favorite city makes her feel. So, with a big dream and a lot of motivation, she successfully created a business designing products at her flagship store in Charleston, South Carolina.

Striplin has learned many lessons while working as a small business owner, but her No. 1 piece of advice for fellow small business owners is this: Create your business based on your lifestyle goal.

The growth of a simple idea through local inspiration

The Tiny Tassel was founded in 2015 with the Signature Tassel Earring, which Striplin creates by hand. What originated as Striplin’s summertime creative outlet has since transformed into an entire brand, including statement piece earrings, handmade garments, and a curated collection of jewelry, accessories and party goods. Striplin’s products are specially designed to evoke the feelings of sunshine and summertime.

“I wanted to create something that brought joy and color to the world … and started with a collection of handmade tassel earrings,” explained Striplin.

Inspired by the vibrant colors of Charleston, Striplin uses her surroundings to design and hand make each of her products, along with help from her family. Her mom helps design and sew many of the garments in the store, and her sister designs and works with the brand's Curated Collection. Each one of Striplin’s pieces is named after a street or special place in Charleston.

[Read: 5 Ways to Achieve Better Work-Life Balance Even Though Your Business Never Stops]

Create your business based on your lifestyle goal, whether that's devoted time to spend with your family, or time to decompress and ensure that your mental health is in a good space.

Mimi Striplin, founder of The Tiny Tassel

Spreading happiness during the pandemic

With happiness as the core value of The Tiny Tassel, Striplin understands the importance of prioritizing yourself and your well-being while running a business.

“Create your business based on your lifestyle goal,” said Striplin, “whether that's devoted time to spend with your family, or time to decompress and ensure that your mental health is in a good space.”

During the pandemic, this has been an important piece of advice for Striplin to hold on to. While it’s been a challenging year for businesses and individuals around the world, Striplin has been using this new age of digital advertising and marketplaces to step back from her business and reevaluate where her team should be putting their efforts.

“The pandemic allowed us to work more intentionally and see where we needed to make changes within our business,” said Striplin.

While times have been tough, Striplin’s customers have been there to support her and her work.

[Read: 4 Ways to Rebuild Customer Loyalty After COVID-19]

“It allowed our customers to show support for our business in a way we had never seen before,” she said.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published October 12, 2021