We had the good fortune of connecting with Mya Lillemoen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mya, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
If I was to tell myself two years ago what I envisioned my business to be, I would have never been able to guess. This is because my business started senior of high school year as a sticker shop on Redbubble. I was so excited for school spirit that I started creating my own stickers for the University of Colorado Boulder. And then one thing led to the next. From outlines of my hometown state of Minnesota to Ralphie jumping over colorado, my designs grew. In less than two months I had over 100 different designs. This was about the same time as quarantine and Tik tok trends were popping off. Social media platforms such as YouTube and Tik tok actually inspired me to expand my business. Soon my business shipped it from a sticker shop to a thrifted CU Boulder student apparel shop. And now I run a small embroidery shop (@dot.dot.dot.co). Throughout my business’s transformation I had one big thing in mind, I wanted my art and ideas to make others happy and smile. It brings me so much joy to see people at my campus walking around in my custom crewnecks or my stickers on their laptops.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The biggest thing that sets me apart is that my art is all digitally designed by me. Referring to back to what inspired me, tik tok and Instagram, I noticed a lot of small businesses use the same designs. And I noticed there was a clear lack of originality and creativity within them. As soon as I decided that I wanted to pursue the same type of shop (embroidery), I knew I wanted to do some thing more than just re-create others look. This is when I did research into digital design app such as procreate and started creating original pieces, but also relatable pieces. My biggest critique for sweatshirts that I’ve seen is that they’re always so busy. I’ve always liked the minimalistic look and I wanted to make my sweatshirt simple but relatable. This is the reason for choosing short puns (“send noods”) and cute animals (“herbivore”). Fun, simple designs marketed for any age.

Like many I also wanted to give customers the option to make custom designs. I have worked with a few of my clients on making custom T-shirts or hoodies from start to finish. I absolutely love working with them one on one to discuss the color choices, sizes, vision. Art means so much more to people when its personalized.

My start up definitely wasn’t easy. The biggest thing being: I was confused where to start. Nobody tells you how to start up in a business in high school. In fact I had many of my friends confused of an unsupportive because they didn’t understand my visions. But with the help of quarantine igniting a passion in me to find out more, and social media, I soon started finding out how this would become possible. I’ve learned a lot along the way. Especially skills within customer service, pricing, and organization. It certainly isn’t easy to understand what you need to be done but once you start it is so much fun…and quite addicting.

I remember many nights that I laid in bed brainstorming a design without even having an embroidery machine. My passion often kept me awake, but that’s when I knew that I wanted to pursue this as a hobby outside of my college education. I hope that once I’ve graduated, I can continue following my creative dreams through brand collabs and entrepreneurial expression.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
As an out-of-state student coming from Minnesota to Colorado I was very unfamiliar my first couple of months here. But now as I’ve spent almost a year and a half here, I have highlighted a few of my key spots.

A night drive up Flagstaff mountain is a must. It’s so gorgeous to look over and see the city lights of Denver and the lights of Boulder, Co.

I also would say to hit the local cuisine‘s of Boulder. Boulder has so many great restaurants in flavors to choose from. One of my favorites being Bar Taco.

I also think it’s a must to drive through Golden, Colorado just due to how cute the old time cowboy town is. This is also home at the Coors beer factory and that’s an exciting tour to explore if you haven’t already.

Lastly I would say to hit 16th St., Mall in Denver. Mainly this is due to me being such a huge city girl, but I do think 16th St. is a really fun place to see if you haven’t already

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to thank all the support i’ve gained from other contact creators and small business owners. If it wasn’t for me being inspired by others works I would have never started my own. In fact, I would have no idea where to begin. Some shops that I’d like to contribute my success to are @sydneynicolecloset and @vibehigh.co for giving me the inspiration to create clothing and start marketing on social media platforms such as Instagram.

Website: https://www.redbubble.com/people/Chuntao1/shop

Instagram: http://instagram.com/myachuntao

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mya-lillemoen-126938214

Other: My embroidery shop: http://instagram.com/dot.dot.dot.co My Victoria’s Secret PINK campus rep Instagram (content creator): http://instagram.com/pinkcuboulder

Image Credits
Bianca Roman

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.