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Life & Work with Tanisha James

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tanisha James.

Hi Tanisha, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
My mother taught me how to sew when I was 13. In 2002, both my parents died. In 2005, I bought my first house and my brother moved in with my son and me.

In 2006, my brother got married leaving me with all the bills. My son was 5 and I was struggling. After praying to God about my situation. My prayers were answered when I used my sewing machine to make purses. It was quicker than making clothes.

I went from beauty shop to beauty shop praying to sell my items. It was successful and then I started doing vending booths and pop-up shops. My business is now 17 years old and is still thriving. My bags have graced the Nickelodeon Orange carpet by way of Kim Whitley.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
No, the road was very bumpy for quite a while. Once I made the bags, I had to figure out how to get rid of them.

Going in and out of beauty shops on Saturday mornings with my 5-year-old was difficult.

However, people liked the idea of someone making a purse and therefore, were interested in what else I had to offer.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
By day, I am a Speech Therapist with the MCSC school system. Once I get home, I start back sewing. I make one-of-a-kind bags. All the bags are different in some way.

I’m most proud of the beautiful son I’ve raised. He is a great young man who attends my Alma Mater, Tennessee State University in Nashville. he is working on his audio engineering and will obtain a degree in Commercial Music.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
I am grateful to God for blessing me with the talent by way of my mother.

I owe it to my mom for taking the time to teach me her craft. Since the death of my mother, my mentor is Bernice Humphrey, she’s one of my best friend’s moms. She has helped me in so many ways including giving me my walking foot sewing machine.

My biggest cheerleaders are my son, my friends, and my significant other. My business has thrived as long as it has because of my Dollz has supported me from the beginning, here in Memphis and across the U.S.

Contact Info:

  • Website: Dollbabybagz.com
  • Instagram: @Dollbabybagz
  • Facebook: Tanisha James/Dollbabybagz

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