We had the good fortune of connecting with Trista Kutcher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Trista, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
A few years ago I was at my local library and they have a room with sewing machines in it. I thought “that is so cool” and it remind me of my friend Craig Conover from Bravo’s Southern Charm show. Craig sews pillows. And it reminds me my grammy is really good at sewing too. So I think of a great idea that I can learn to sew and start my own company.
What should our readers know about your business?
I officially started my business in winter of 2019. I sewed dog bandanas, gift bags, and ornaments. I loved to sew and would sew all day and really late at night. People loved my items so I came up with more and more ideas. I started sewing tote bags, scrunchies, baby burp cloths, zipper pouches, and lots of other things. In 2020 I sewed A LOT of headbands with buttons to donate to the nurses and doctors so their ears don’t hurt from wearing masks. It is so much fun to have Trista’s Sunshine Company and to spread happiness to my Charleston community and to people all over the United States! Michael’s Craft Stores named me Difference Maker of 2020 because I was sewing buttons on the headbands to help healthcare workers wearing masks. I did a lot of interviews across the country for them and it was so fun to spread good news during the pandemic.
2021 was a wonderful year for my company. I made a goal to sew and sell 1,000 items. It was a big goal but I worked very hard and I met it! It was so awesome! I remember my Sunshine Squad (that’s what I call my employees) called me to give me the news. I was so in shock! I tracked my items with hearts that I colored in. I loved to color in the heart and know my product was in a new home making someone happy! I shipped my products to 15 different states in 2021. How cool is that?
For 2022 I made another big goal. This year I want to ship my products to 30 different states! I have a map in my sewing company room to keep track. I think it would be so amazing to be able to ship some of my big carry~y’all’s bags to someone in Hawaii so they can have an awesome bag from me to take to the beach there!
It is a lot of work to own a company. I am so lucky to have an amazing fellow boss babe named Cindy Eckert to look up to. She is a super smart business woman and I learn so much from her. She inspires me to make my company better and better! It is not always easy to own a company. Sometimes I sew so many hours my fingers hurt, but I love to spread happiness and so I keep working hard. I learned how to stick with challenges because I was an athlete growing up. I learned all about working hard to meet my dreams. In fact, I won 2 gold medals for gymnastics at the Special Olympics World Games in Dublin, Ireland in 2003 when I was 13. That taught me that I can do whatever I work hard at. Don’t give up and have fun with it!
I love to be my own boss and my favorite thing about my company is to spread happiness. My mom says even when I was a very little girl I always found ways to brighten people’s days. The most important thing I want my customers and Instagram followers to remember is to “be someone’s sunshine” and spread happiness to others!
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.
Everyone should definitely go to visit Joy House in Estes Park. It is an amazing store! They have so many cool products. It is a great place to go for one-of-a-kind gifts! You can look for Trista’s Sunshine Company items while you are there too.
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 want to give a special shoutout to my family, my Sunshine Squad, my sewing teacher, my fellow CEO Boss Babe Cindy Eckert, and my friends from Southern Charm Cam, Miss Patricia, Craig, and Austin who help share my @TristatheBarista Instagram to people. Everyone helped me and inspired me a lot and I love them so much.
Instagram: @tristathebarista @tristasunshinecompany