The Mavs Enterprise Assist program launched to start with of the 2022-23 basketball season to assist 100 varied entrepreneurs and small enterprise homeowners who title North Texas home.
Proper right here on the Mavs, we moreover think about throughout the power of storytelling, and it’s our honor to showcase quite a few MBA members all 12 months lengthy to highlight their extraordinary accomplishments.
Every entrepreneur has a story to tell. That may be very true for minority and woman-owned firms, who usually need to leap via rather more hurdles to see their enterprise succeed. The Dallas Mavs are excited to amplify the voices of assorted minority entrepreneurs throughout the inaugural class of the Mavs Enterprise Assist program.
This week we share further about one woman who’s brightening the world for youngsters nationwide!
Founder and CEO of COOL CRAYATIONS
Tiffany Henry remembers the instances of sitting throughout the earlier Reunion Space and cheering on the Mavs legends of the game like Michael Finley and Jason Kidd. Now she’s in a cutting-edge program with the very same franchise known as Mavs Enterprise Assist.
Rising up in Desoto, Texas, Henry dreamed of reaching for the celebs — she merely not at all imagined that she’d actually create them in smart colors for children to utilize! Henry is the founder and CEO of Cool Crayations, a enterprise that reimagines a world splashed in vivid colors for youngsters.
Cool Crayations provides do-it-yourself, custom-made crayons and coloring sheets for tiny individuals (the fabulous time interval Henry makes use of for kiddos)! The thought was born in her kitchen, the place she decided to “create crayons with a objective.” As an aunt and godparent, she desired to make further important presents and toys for the kids in her family. Henry took a leap of faith in 2021 and opened an Etsy enterprise, making life so much brighter for homes worldwide. Cool Crayations has since exploded ever since, and Henry continues to empower and educate households “one crayon at a time.”
Cool Crayations is a woman-owned, black-owned enterprise, and this month Henry is launching a model new design to her “Black Historic previous Month” crayon creations.
“It’s a tutorial crayon area that features crayons to indicate youngsters Black historic previous information,” Henry talked about. “This particular area focuses on Black inventors and incorporates three mini flashcards that highlight three smart Black inventors. And related to each flashcard is a cool fashioned crayon (ready to be used for coloring!) that visually represents the Black inventor/invention.”
She talked about youngsters are seen learners, and they also desire a element of play when taught on account of it’s a recipe for achievement.
“So, aside from creating pleasant, cool-looking crayons, thought-about one in every of my agency’s targets is to create themed crayon containers that educate, empower and enrich the lives of children,” she shared. “And our Black historic previous area is the first step in that path; this area is all about educating youngsters about Black historic previous in a model new and fascinating strategy.”
The Dallas Mavericks simply recently had the prospect to go to with Tiffany Henry to check all about her fascinating life, what it’s want to be chosen for the Mavs Enterprise Assist program and the way in which she hopes to color the world eventually.
MAVS.COM: Firstly, congratulations in your enterprise endeavor and getting chosen for the Mavs Enterprise Assist program! Sooner than we deal with that, can you share with our followers further about your background? The place did you develop up, attend college and what led to this second?
TIFFANY: Thanks, Tamara! Sure, I’d wish to share a bit bit further about myself.
I’m a Texas gal – I grew up in DeSoto, Texas (a Dallas suburb)! I earned my bachelor’s diploma in enterprise promoting from the School of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and I preserve a grasp’s diploma in selling from The School of Texas at Austin.
I’m moreover an avid traveler, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and a day by day group volunteer. Furthermore, I actually like watching basketball, touring and writing.
Speaking of writing, I was a very creative little one rising up. Whether or not or not coloring, painting or writing novice fictional tales, I cherished one thing that allowed me to imagine exterior of the sphere and be creative!
I’ve moreover on a regular basis had an entrepreneurial spirit. Sooner than I hit double digits, I had a lemonade stand that may’ve made Merely Lemonade proud, and I had a worthwhile enterprise selling cross necklaces made out of beads after I used to be solely a preteen.
So, I think about that my early love for arts and crafts and being a creative thinker coupled with my entrepreneurial DNA lead me to this second! I really think about that 10-year-old Tiffany might be proud!
MAVS.COM: I’ve to admit that I’m notably intrigued by your enterprise on account of I’m moreover the cool aunt! And looking for the equivalent toys and crayons for youngsters isn’t as specific as getting their very personal creation. How did the thought to your enterprise spark?
TIFFANY: Properly hello there, my fellow cool aunt! Folks such as you’re who I had in ideas after I created my enterprise.
I started Cool Crayations on account of, reminiscent of you, as a result of the godmother and aunt to a lot of tiny individuals (the pleasant synonym I exploit for “youngsters”), I was tired of on a regular basis giving widespread toys as presents.
Plus, as of late, youngsters spend a ton of time on telephones, tablets and laptop techniques. So, I really wished to supply the kids in my life some sort of screen-free leisure. However, I needed it to be one factor that was distinctive, personalized and satisfying for them. Thus, I began keen about screen-free actions that almost all youngsters like. Nearly instantly, coloring with crayons popped in my head. Then I believed, what if I blended coloring with a lot of the problems that they’re already crazy about – like unicorns, automobiles and dinos – to create a novel screen-free experience that may really get them excited. Subsequently, the beginning of the pleasant fashioned crayon thought!
Personally, I believed it was a extraordinarily cool thought! However, it needed to be little one accredited. So, in 2020, I created and gave personalized crayon establish items to every my niece and nephew as thought-about one in every of their Christmas presents. As they opened their presents, I cherished seeing how excited they’d been to see their personalized names. And, instantly, I knew that I needed completely different youngsters all through the nation to experience that exact same pleasure and pleasure!
MAVS.COM: It seems to be as if your business on Etsy has a ton of success. How prolonged have you ever ever been in enterprise now and what has the recommendations been like? Did it shock you the way in which accepted and needed your “creations” have flip into?
TIFFANY: Positive, it’s been so thrilling seeing and experiencing the entire success and progress my enterprise has had on Etsy!
I started my enterprise solely a bit over a 12 months and a half prior to now, in 2021. After I first shared the thought for my enterprise with some household and mates, they cherished it. Nevertheless the thought-about actually launching my enterprise was a bit nerve-wracking because you not at all really know what kind of response you’re going to get from most of the people when you introduce a model new enterprise or carry a model new product to the market. However, I didn’t let that stop me. And after I launched it, I obtained a ton of assist and optimistic recommendations! And since our launch, all of our crayon shapes have been successfully obtained, nonetheless our dinosaur crayons, unicorn crayons and pastel custom crayon name set have flip into three of our purchaser favorites!
You see, a wide range of points that youngsters love and play with have superior over time – video video video games have gotten further superior, dolls have gotten further varied, and lots of others. However, crayons have nearly been within the equivalent typical kind for subsequently prolonged. It was time for someone to shake points up throughout the crayon world. So, really, I wasn’t really shocked that folk favored the pleasant fashioned crayon thought. It’s new. It’s pleasant. It’s distinctive. And whereas I wasn’t too shocked, I’m very grateful that our crayons have been so successfully obtained!
MAVS.COM: What have been a lot of the challenges as a minority enterprise proprietor after which a lot of the highlights for you? What retains you going?
TIFFANY: Starting a model new enterprise positively comes with its truthful proportion of challenges and hurdles. And I’d say that one in every of many prime challenges for minority-owned firms is funding. There seems to be a typical lack of funding for minority firms, and there are tons of stats that once more that up. And if a enterprise proprietor can’t get funding, then one’s enterprise, often, can solely develop and scale so much. So, that’s an issue, notably as a model new enterprise proprietor.
However, with positive funding, like grants, there are further alternate options opening up for minority firms than beforehand. Nevertheless, there could also be nonetheless work to be completed and progress to be made in relation to funding often.
As for what retains me going – little doubt it’s the enjoyment that our crayons carry to youngsters! After I do in particular person markets, I actually like seeing youngsters’ faces mild up as soon as they see our crayons and get to verify them out! And I moreover really love listening to tales about how so much youngsters love their pleasant fashioned crayons! One mum or dad knowledgeable me that her daughter really sleeps collectively along with her unicorn crayons; like, come on, you could’t inform me that doesn’t merely pull at your coronary coronary heart strings and produce a smile to your face! These are the reasons that I put my all into Cool Crayations and do what I do.
MAVS.COM: Ten years from now, what do you want to be doing? What generally is a dream state of affairs?
TIFFANY: Cool Crayations goes to totally shake up the crayon sport!
Notably, I envision Cool Crayations revamping the coloring experience. I see us partnering with the NBA to provide youngsters with pleasant crayon presents and souvenirs. I moreover envision our crayons being on Oprah’s itemizing of favorite points and on the cupboards of fundamental retailers all through the nation like Nordstroms and Purpose.
I moreover visualize Cool Crayations having its private storefront location in Dallas, and doubtless even embarking on a nationwide roadshow the place youngsters (or adults too; no judgment proper right here!) can participate in an infinite coloring block get collectively!
I’m moreover an avid traveler. So, 10 years from now, further worldwide touring will definitely be part of the dream state of affairs. And it may even be really cool to have our crayons be worldwide. So, once I’m visiting a neighborhood cafe in Paris, I’d wish to look out the window of the cafe and see our crayons in a toy retailer all through the highway. Or, as I’m procuring alongside Corso Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, I’d like to walk by a flowery boutique retailer and see thought-about one in every of our purse and extreme heel crayon items displayed throughout the window.
Function for the celebs, correct?
MAVS.COM: What is the workflow like for you? Do you’ll have one different job or are you able to do Cool Crayations full time?
TIFFANY: I was throughout the firm world for a decade, nonetheless in 2021 I took a leap of faith and completely stepped into the entrepreneurial world! And, presently, I’m blessed to have the power to cope with rising and scaling my enterprise full time.
And, really, my workflow varies counting on the day. However, the one fastened issue is how I start my day. I on a regular basis kick off my day with scorching tea with lemon, a lighted candle and meditation sooner than I get into the hustle and bustle of the day. After that, I resolve if the day goes to be focused on fulfilling orders, promoting, operations or market prep.
And every crayon that we promote is handcrafted and made with love. So, a wide range of my days embody creating the exact crayons, packaging and transport out orders.
MAVS.COM: Why did you establish to affix Mavs Enterprise Assist? What have been some highlights or moments/points which have stood out or helped you?
TIFFANY: Properly, first, as a Dallas native, I’m an infinite Mavs fan! Rising up, I keep in mind the instances of going to Reunion Space to look at Michael Finley and Jason Kidd play (as you could inform, this Dallas native has been rocking with the Mavs for a few years)! So, after I spotted regarding the different to be part of a program that blended two points that I actually like and am passionate about – the Mavs and rising my enterprise – it was a no brainer for me. I knew that I wanted to be a part of this program!
Together with that, I joined to embody myself and my enterprise with like minded entrepreneurs, specialists and thought leaders and members of a company that I like and wished to check from. Moreover, I seen it as a risk to be part of a supportive group that understood and might be passionate regarding the entrepreneurial journey.
For me, one in every of many highlights has been our in particular person courses. From progress strategies to administration advice, we’ve coated an expansion of varied issues all through the courses which had been really helpful. And I’ve moreover really cherished the networking alternate options – every networking with my fellow entrepreneurs and as well as executives from completely completely different organizations.
Speaking of, one in every of many points that’s really specific about this program is the distinctive entry to and connection alternate options with completely different producers and organizations that it has provided us. As an example, one in every of many highlights for me was when the Mavs Enterprise Assist program simply recently prepare an entire night time for us to connect with executives from Coca-Cola and the Dallas Mavericks. From the VP of Promoting and advertising and marketing to the Director of Operations, there was a big selection of executives that we obtained a possibility to neighborhood with, ask inquiries to and search advice from. This program has opened up doorways and created alternate options, like this, that you just merely wouldn’t be succesful to experience by your self – I suggest, who do you personally know that may title up dozens of executives from one in every of many largest producers on this planet and spend an evening of their free time selecting their thoughts and asking their advice? That’s one factor distinctive to this program and it’s a severe perk of being a part of Mavs Enterprise Assist!
I moreover really love how the workforce that’s overseeing the Mavs Enterprise Assist program ceaselessly asks for our recommendations. They genuinely want to know and try to include what we want to see and might be most likely probably the most supportive to us, and I really admire that about this program!
Whole, I’m extraordinarily appreciative and grateful to be part of the inaugural cohort of this excellent program, and I’d extraordinarily recommend this program to any entrepreneur throughout the DFW house!
MAVS.COM: Do you’ll have any upcoming designs our followers ought to search out out about? Any likelihood we’ll get a Mavs-inspired crayon set with little basketballs? Moreover, I do know that Valentine’s is right throughout the nook, so proper right here’s your likelihood to share some ideas for parents!
TIFFANY: I like one of the best ways you assume 🙂
I do have a basketball-inspired crayon area that is coming out. And, in actuality, I’d wish to work with the Mavs to customize it to be a Mavs-themed basketball crayon area! I imagine it might be one factor that my fellow Mavs followers would really love.
I even have two crayon containers that could be on the market shortly that I’d wish to share with you!
The first is a model new, enhanced mannequin of our “Black historic previous crayon area”!
It’s a tutorial crayon area that features crayons to indicate youngsters Black historic previous information. This particular area focuses on Black inventors and incorporates three mini flashcards taking part in playing cards that highlight three smart Black inventors. And related to each flashcard is a cool fashioned crayon (ready to be used for coloring!) that visually represents the Black inventor/invention.
So, aside from creating pleasant, cool making an attempt crayons, thought-about one in every of my agency’s targets is to create themed crayon containers that educate, empower and enrich the lives of children. And our Black historic previous area is the first step in that path; this area is all about educating youngsters about Black historic previous in a model new and fascinating strategy.
Youngsters are seen learners. You could’t merely converse at them and anticipate them to check points, however alone cope with what’s being taught. However, for individuals who add a element of play (on this case, crayons) when instructing them, I really think about that’s a recipe for achievement.
This area could be on the market in our retailer to start with of February!
The second product is unquestionably two completely completely different Valentine’s Day crayon items. For the kids, we created a set of heart crayons with pleasant facial choices on them. Among the many faces even have cute little eyelashes. We moreover created a pleasant, non-edible fruit affiliation – our chocolate coated strawberry crayons. Positive, you be taught correct; we created a strawberry crayon that seems desire it was dipped in chocolate!
And what I really love, and I’m optimistic so many mom and father will love, about every of these containers is that they are a pleasant Valentine’s Day varied to standard candy and sweets. The heart crayons are presently on our website, and the chocolate coated strawberry crayons are a restricted model merchandise that could be on the market starting January thirty first. So, to ensure that you each area sooner than Valentine’s Day, it’s best to positively order asap!
MAVS.COM: I think about it’s very important to honor our mentors and performance fashions who paved one of the best ways for us and taught us to dream. Who’re some of us in your private life who deserve a personal achievement award from you and the way in which have they impacted your life? Proper right here’s your likelihood to supply them a shoutout!
TIFFANY: Utterly! I think about in surrounding myself with a gaggle of supportive individuals and people who will encourage me and offers me actual recommendations. There are a selection of people who’ve had a severe have an effect on on me and my journey. However, one specific one who has significantly impacted my life and been an instrumental part of my entrepreneurial journey is my father, Norman Henry.
In precise reality, he’s an entrepreneur himself! He was the Authorities Director of a nonprofit known as Builders of Hope that constructed fairly priced housing in lower earnings areas of Dallas and he has given once more tremendously and in so some methods to the Dallas group.
And personally, he’s given me a ton of invaluable advice. He’s been my sounding board, an advice giver, thought-about one in every of my biggest supporters, my in particular person market companion and as well as an unimaginable father! He’s moreover a Dallas Mavs fan, so I do know he’s going to get an precise kick out of being talked about in a Dallas Mavs interview!
MAVS.COM: Shoutout to your father, Norman! He looks like an unimaginable man and we’re so honored to check further about him! Properly, closing question proper right here, is there something you want our followers to search out out about you or your enterprise?
TIFFANY: One in all many points that I really love about our merchandise is that we really current youngsters with a bodily instrument that unlocks their creativity and creativeness!
Our crayons current youngsters with a novel coloring experience that blends a lot of the problems that they really love (like dino crayons for dino lovers and rocket ship crayons for youngsters obsessive about home) right into a model new form of coloring experience for them.
Our crayons can be utilized as a pleasant, finding out helpful useful resource – as an illustration, our insect crayon area could be paired with finding out actions that educate youngsters about completely completely different bugs and bugs. And our crayon establish items can current a pleasant, seen element that helps youngsters with finding out and writing their names, and even finding out vowels or the alphabet. Our crayons may even help youngsters with their fantastic motor experience, color recognition, kind recognition and hand-eye coordination.
Honestly, the chances and benefits are numerous. And that’s what I really love about my agency’s merchandise; they’re not merely pretty to check out, as well as they’ve precise objective!
And, in the long run, we’re focused on spreading pleasure to youngsters all through the nation, one crayon at a time!