Unlike many other entrepreneurs my business did not grow from a perfectly written business plan. I started Top Notch by Design, offering hand-made bags and accessories when a friend gave me her old sewing machine. Thanks to YouTube tutorials, I learned how to sew and created my first tote bag. My co-worker loved it so much that she bought the bag off my shoulder the next day, leaving me with a plastic bag to carry my items in.
That was 4 years ago, when I only sewed once a week. Now, to keep up with demand, I sew every day, I launched an e-commerce website and began working with a manufacture to expand my line.
Last year, I participating in the Start Something Challenge, which helped me evolve from being an artist into a small business owner. After winning the first place prize of $10,000, I purchased a generator for my mobile storefront—the Bus n’ Boutique—which allows me to legally participate in fairs and festivals all over New Jersey.
Rising Tide Capital has been extremely helpful, giving me the tools and support needed to grow a successful business. So helpful, that I decided to continue my business journey with them by taking the CBA this semester.
The last few months have been life changing! I am excited to see what the future holds for Top Notch by Design
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Browns Mills, NJ
Business Launch date:
Artist and entrepreneur Ninotchka Johnson offers handmade bags and accessories with unique designs
through her business Top Notch by Design. Ninotchka has a passionate legion of customers who purchase items through her website, www.TopNotchByDesign.com, and from her
mobile storefront, the Bus n’ Boutique. She is located in Browns Mills, NJ, but her bus allows her to host ‘bag parties’and reach a wider audience with her unique products.
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