Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tony Peralta >

Tony Peralta, Owner & Designer, The Peralta Project

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
You need an idea and the ability to take the risk to manifest your idea.

What did inspire you to start your business?
As an artist, I wanted to use another medium to showcase my work. A t- shirt is like a blank canvas and a lot more affordable, so I started my own t-shirt company as another way to showcase my artwork.

How did you finance it?
I financed my company with my own money. I worked full-time as a designer and used my money to produce shirts. Since I'm a graphic designer I don't have to pay anyone to design for me, my money just went towards production.

Being Hispanic… Does it have any influence on your business?
I think it does in a subconscious way. I live in a heavily populated Dominican community and there are a lot of Dominican-owned businesses here. My own parents are entrepreneurs: my father owned a bodega in NYC and my mom owns a small business in the Dominican Republic.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
I decide to keep going with my business because I feel it gives me purpose. I really can’t see myself doing anything else.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
My biggest problem with my business is growth. In order for me to grow, I need a partner; someone that can handle the logistics for me. Right now, I am the designer, marketing department and sales department of my business.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
I wouldn't change anything, just improve and grow.

What was your childhood ambition?
When I was a kid, I would daydream about being a famous artist.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
I admire Russell Simmons, Steve Jobs and my parents.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Lunch is the perfect time for me to have a business meeting. I have the perfect amount of energy at that time.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
I have not made any sacrifices; I really try to live a balanced life.

What is your favorite quote?
"Don't race against others, race against yourself".

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Being unconventional comes easy to me because that's how I've always been.

Biggest mistake made?
The first shirt I produced had a typo and I noticed it when I received my finished product. I couldn't use them. Having paid for production out of pocket, it really hurt me and was a lesson well learned.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
As far as my t-shirt business, I don’t because there are a million other t-shirt companies. I just try to deliver quality work.

About the company:
The Peralta Project is an independently owned t-shirt company that is a direct extension of my artwork and designs.

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