Tingalls Blog - Marketing Tips & Tricks

An Interview with the Owner of Tingalls Graphic Design

By Addison Ingalls, 8th Grade (Tara’s Daughter)

What would you do if you were bored, working at an insurance firm? Would you quit? Find a different job? Stay there and wish for the best? Staying in this job isn’t very appealing to my mom. That’s why she decided to do something about it.

Tara Ingalls was sick and tired of working such a boring job. She wanted to use her knowledge and start her own business. She also wanted to start a family and she wanted more flexibility and income. “My best advice is to find something you really love doing and find a way to make money at it because I feel like I get to go to my office every day and work with cool people and draw,” Tara said.

She owns Tingalls Graphic Design and makes logos, brochures, and websites. She meets with all the clients and sells all the business. She majored in Journalism and Communications from UW-Madison, where she learned about the history of advertising and promotions. She never took any graphic design courses. She is self-taught!

Tingalls started in 1999, when she was 26 years old. My dad’s father paid for all of her software, computer, printer, and other stuff she needed to start the business. He supported my mom even though she wasn’t married to my dad yet. Tara’s mom was also a role model because she, too, had her own business as a wallpaperer and interior designer. There were also many women who she worked with who inspired her to pursue her dreams.

She said not many challenges came up when she started her business. She says that sometimes people are not kind to her and don’t pay her the full price of what her work is worth. Human resources is another challenge when starting her business. She says hiring and managing employees and making sure she can bring in enough business to pay the bills is sometimes stressful. One of her biggest challenges today is finding a new office space because her current lease is up.

The best part of her job is working with organizations that are supporting the homeless, food pantries, and even giving babies diapers. “I love working with nonprofits. It’s very rewarding,” she said. She says helping people is the best part of her work.

tingalls team playing spoons card gamePlaying spoons with her team has been really fun in the office. Every once in a while, they have a spoons tournament and invite clients and friends to come play with them. Another great part of her job is the job security. No one can fire her, no one can close her business, and no one can tell her how to run her business.

Some of my mom’s core values are honesty, compassion, communication, and creativity. She says she is always transparent about how long things take and how much they cost. She said, “When you lead with honesty, you don’t have to remember what you lied about.”

She says she wants to be a role model for her three daughters so they know they can do anything and that having their own business is available for them if they want to take it. Tara said, “It’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s so rewarding to know something I started 25 years ago continues to grow.”

As you can see, starting your own business has some ups and downs. My mom overcame many challenges, but she has pushed through and found a way to live a happy life owning Tingalls. She loves getting up every day and helping people. So, if you want to chase your dreams and start something of your own, go for it just like she did!