Small Business Spotlight | Eleven Twelve Customs
Tell us about you and your company.
Eleven Twelve is a brand that specializes in custom statement tees, business branding apparel, and customized items like doormats, hoodies, cups, mugs, tumblers, yard flags, umbrellas, and more! After creating shirts and favors for family for every major event, I decided to branch out and create for others. During maternity leave, with a toddler and an infant, and during a global pandemic, I decided to start a small business. Some may call it crazy, but I stepped out on faith and have not looked back since. Friends and family have supported me, and the business has grown beyond what I could have ever imagined.
In addition to creating statement tees and other items, I have also been blessed to be a part of so many special moments, like birthdays, graduations, baby showers, pregnancy announcements, sports games, girls’ trips, family photos, and so much more. I love to have a hand in making those memories extra special with a custom touch.
We provide a unique avenue for self expression, statement making, and brand messaging. Eleven Twelve helps individuals and business owners express themselves boldly and uniquely by producing quality items with a unique design that reflects their statements and captures their passion. Clients use this unique avenue to highlight their brand, their passion and effectively become their own billboard for their business and/or message.
Here’s a little bit about me: I have been married to David Ward for nearly 10 years. I joke that he is my assistant because he helps me, encourages me, and supports me through everything. Without him, there would be no Eleven Twelve! He is the Worship Director and Leader at our church and a phenomenal Dad to our 3 kids, ages 5, 3, and 10 months, who are often my little models. I graduated from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!) TWICE! First with my Bachelors degree in Communication Disorders and then with my Masters in Exceptional Education. I am certified to teach Exceptional Student Education, English Speakers of Other Language, and Elementary Education. I also hold a Reading Endorsement and have worked in the field for nearly 16 years, now in the virtual setting! Fun fact, I’m also a licensed bartender! Although I have never used that license, I had a lot of fun learning something new. I am truly a forever student.
What inspired you to start your company?
A lot of people ask…..Why “Eleven Twelve”? Great question! The name was birthed, first of all, to honor my brother, who was born on November 12, 1980. David Keith Nisbett II was a big personality with a contagious smile and an infectious laugh. Unfortunately, his life was cut short at the age of 19, which continues to leave a huge void for all that knew him. Eleven Twelve was named to honor his legacy and keep his memory alive. Eleven Twelve was also named to honor my faith. Jeremiah 29:11-12 is one of my favorite scriptures and has become my mantra especially in times of uncertainty. Bonus…..it’s also my pastor’s birthday! There are many more reasons for the name, which you can read about on the website, but just know that the name has meaning, purpose, and passion behind it, just like the items we create.
Also, the logo was created by my 14 year old niece (then aged 11). She hand sketched two versions and we brought it to a vote. Each element has meaning, including the color scheme.
What was the biggest challenge you faced as a small business owner?
The global pandemic began during the peak of the foundation of the company, forcing me to deal with increased shipping times for supplies, minimal in-person events to market the brand, and tighter budgets as people navigated changes in income and priorities. It was a challenge, but making it through a global pandemic without losing my mind, has made me feel as if I can conquer the world!
What do you love about being a small business owner?
I love that I have freedom to be ME! I have full control over what I allow my company to take part in, turning down jobs that don’t fit the vision of the company and contradict my beliefs. I’m no preacher, but I can spread the gospel in a unique way. I can make statements and take part in special moments that will be forever memories. I truly love what I do!
What else would you like our subscribers to know about you and your business?
The brand represents my deep love for God, pride for culture and history, and passion for justice, morality, and equality. To me, these aren’t just shirts. They are affirmations, bold statements, and conversation starters. My hope is that you can see my heart in everything that I create.
What is your definition of self care?
Allowing my body to recharge from the demands placed on me all day every day as a wife, mom, business owner, teacher, friend, etc. Saying no to everything that is not necessary for survival and leaning into ME!
What do you do for self care?
I love to plan and organize. Travel and sleep. Spend time with family. Watch mindless tv. And when I really need to care for self, I do absolutely nothing!
How can people get to know more about what you’re doing and where can they find you?
Follow me on social media @eleven_twelve_customs. Visit the website www.eleventwelvecustoms.com and join the email list to stay up to date with events and other opportunities to meet me!
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