via | BlackBusiness.org
Preston Mitchell, a young entrepreneur based in Nashville, Tennessee, has found huge success with his company Tatpack™, which offers a new innovative way of capturing creativity and artistic expression on backpacks. The company creates original, hand-painted, and customized backpacks so that his customers can not only wear a piece of art, but a piece of history in the making! He charges $150 to $300 per bag.
How he got started
Preston says he got started as an artist while in high school. "I had an art teacher named Mr. Donelly (I will never forget) and he would always tell me I could really draw. One day he gave me some paint and a canvas, and I ended up making a painting that won a contest in my class. So, I basically just went from there," he said during an interview with Urbaanite.com.
But he didn't get the business off the ground until he was in college. He continues, "I was in my college dorm freshman year, and I spilled some white paint on a friend’s backpack. So, he was like now you got this paint on my bag, put your 'magic' to it in order to fix it back up. So, I basically created some artwork on his bag and everyone on campus started wanting me to make a bag for them and it just popped from there."
How he got 50,000+ Instagram followers
He says it's all about marketing, and making use of free promotion. "Basically, promote, promote, promote. Now, that we are in the age of free promotion, Instagram is a great place to put yourself out there and connect with other people and businesses that share the same core audience. I was also consistent with my artwork and the content I put out there," he says.
His advice to other artists
Preston's advice is simple: Get connected!
He comments, "Branch out into magazines, flyers, local event promotions and get connected to your local art scene. This will allow you to get out there, start getting projects and other opportunities to showcase your work."
Preston has also learned to be versatile because he's doing more than just backpacks. His artwork can also be seen on sneakers, sports jerseys, and canvases.