Get to know the local Holly Tienken, creative mind behind the designs of her company, Design Grace, with this interview in our series entitled "Find the Unique." We are proud to support and sell the products of local talents at Hazel Baby & Kids!
This interview is the first in a series of interviews titled "Find the Unique: Locally Based Brands We Carry." Read on and get to know the people, vision, and stories behind the products on our shelves! ...And learn how you are supporting a neighbor's dream when you choose to shop small.
Holly Tienken is a design force in Jersey City. If you've lived here for any amount of time, you've probably seen her work -- without even knowing it! She captures the personality of the city in her aesthetic amazingly, and thus has worked with many awesome establishments in the neighborhood. We are proud to have worked with her to custom design the 'Jersey City' T's and baby gear we sell exclusively in our stores!
Name: Holly Tienken
Name of business/product: Design Grace
Items carried at Hazel: Jersey City themed Beanies, Onesies, T-Shirts
1. What inspired you to start your business? I come from a family of small business owners. When my great grandfather immigrated to United States from Sicily, he opened a cafe in Little Italy (NYC). After his death, my grandfather and his siblings continued to operate it for many years. My parents were also small business owners in New Jersey, my dad owned and operated several service stations and together my parents owned and operated a deli.
I had been working in the design field full time for about 10 years. During that time I had also completed my MFA at The School of Visual Arts, the program is called "Design As Author + Entrepreneur". During my last semester my thesis advisor, the late Martin Kace said to me "Holly it is in your blood, it is only a matter of time before you start your own business". At the time I thought nothing of it, I was so focused on completing my thesis and graduating and finally getting some sleep! But he was right, in 2006 I quit my full time job and stared Design Grace. I was introduced to Jelynne Jardiniano the owner of LITM, and she became my first client. Everything just snowballed from there. I have many clients outside of Jersey City, but my heart is here and I am incredibly grateful to be able to create work in the community which I live.
2. Where is your business located? I work out of ANDCO, the co-working space on Montgomery Street.
3. What do you love about Jersey City? The community of artists and business owners
4. What makes your product unique? For Hazel Baby I collaborated with Donovan and Elizabeth to create Jersey City themed onesies, beanies, and t-shirts. We tried to capture the feel of the city using primarily typography.
5. What age child is perfect for your product? 0-6 years
6. What do customers tend to like about your product? I think residents of Jersey City have a lot of pride for the city. It is natural to want to share that pride.
7. What can customers expect from your brand in the future? Anything exciting coming or news to share? Look out for new graphics in Spring 2018!