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Rising Stars: Meet Doretta Ellsworth

Today we’d like to introduce you to Doretta Ellsworth.

Hi Doretta, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I have a 20+ year career in Customer Service and Operations Management; and have always had the desire to own and operate my own business. In 2018, while on a work hiatus from the corporate world, I became more active in serving at church and was baptized again (the first time as a child). Being an introvert, I began asking God how someone like me could share his word with others. In 2019, he gave me my first design in a dream. I woke up and sketched out a cross, with slips of paper nailed to it. On the slips were words like doubt, fear, anxiety, depression, addiction, etc…I saw that when Jesus got off the cross, those things stayed there. That’s how my first design came about, He Suffered, so I don’t have to. I never considered myself to be an artist or creative designer, so I had to ask God again, what does this mean? What do I do with this? He gave me the idea to put the graphic on a t-shirt and that’s how Wear the Promise (trademark pending) came to be…when you can’t speak the word, wear the word!

I officially launched my online T-shirt shop, Wear the Promise, in July 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, which is crazy because everything that people began to feel God had shown me in my first design. I started selling t-shirts online through a 3rd party printing/drop-shipping fulfillment service but took over full operations in Dec. 2020 because I was less than pleased with the quality of product they were producing. Now I have full control over my entire operation.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road, but God has definitely been aligning me with the right people to help point me in the right direction. I’m not always very vocal and I never considered myself to be a salesperson. Running my business, I have had to learn what’s in season, stay up-to-date with what’s on trend, learn all about advertising & marketing, taxes and a host of other things. In the corporate world, I always had team to consult. When running your own business, you are your team and it’s up to you to learn and or outsource as needed. Thank God for the like-minded business community he led me to. I have learned so much in terms of content marketing, business bookkeeping and finances, vendor management, and website design. Everyday it gets a little easier, I definitely still feel as if I have a lot to learn!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
When I am not working my day job, I am the owner/founder and lead designer of Wear the Promise, where my goal is to help others share the word of God in style! I do that by creating faith-inspired graphic tees. Every t-shirt is based on scripture. While I’m in Bible study, worship, having conversations or just in my day-to-day life, I am inspired and take note of anything that could be turned into a wearable design. I then take my thoughts to the Word and pair them with scripture.

I am most proud of the way that I have found such a creative way to step outside of my comfort zone and share the word with others. My designs offer a way to engage others in conversation about faith. My tees are conversation starters. What sets Wear the Promise apart from others is we don’t make it until you order it! A lot of what we carry in the shop can be customized and/or personalized. Everyone’s walk with God is different. As such, we give our shoppers the freedom to choose color combos that will best represent their personal style.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Communication and transparency are key to succeeding in business. Do not take on more than you can handle as a small business owner. When you’re just starting out, you want to say yes to every order and you’re excited that sales are up. However, if you are not meeting your stated shipping times or your product lacks quality, you will not keep many repeat customers. I totally believe in quality over quantity. I set realistic turnaround times and if a request is above my skill set, I am completely honest with the customer and will refer them elsewhere to someone who is better suited to serve their needs.

Pricing:

  • $10 sale items
  • $20 t-shirts
  • $30 long-sleeve tees
  • $40 hoodies
  • $15 faith-inspired mugs

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Doretta Ellsworth

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