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Conversations with Alyssa Ferraro

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyssa Ferraro. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
As a former participant of the Disney College Program and a former Cast Member” to “As someone who grew up in a family with love for the Orlando theme parks and the stories they brought to life, I found myself wanting to be surrounded by the magic in anyway I could. Now as an adult,” and then have it go into the line “I have always loved creating things for myself and my family inspired by my love for the parks. During the pandemic, my boyfriend suggested I try to sell some of my creations that my friends and family loved so much. He saw my passion and an opportunity for me to share it with others and from there Made With Magic Designs was born. My shirts were originally designed using an app called Sketchbook on a general tablet device and created using a Cricut machine. I am did not like how these designs would not be enjoyed for longer periods of time, so I started doing research and found a print provider that would screen print them for me. Not only did this allow me to expand my product variety, but it allowed me to give more detail and colors to each design I drew. In just under a year and a half, I went from simple line work vinyl shirt designs to colorful, multi-layered designs that are being offered on shirts, hoodies, tank tops, fanny packs, hats, blankets, towels, mugs, and more! 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Over the last year and a half, there have been many good things but also some struggles. I am the sole owner of the business. This means I am not only the one who designs the items but also handle the finances, marketing, customer service, and social media aspects of the business. The biggest struggle along the way was investing a lot of my personal finances into the business before seeing the business start to grow. People don’t realize that when you run a business, you don’t always break even in your first year. Other struggles were seeing designs do so well on social media that did not translate over to an increase in sales. I had to learn a lot of things on my own in regard to what people wanted to see on social media and how that could be capitalized into sales. The first year was a lot of trial and error and taking time to invest in courses to better understand how to run a successful business. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a small business that specializes in magically-inspired, made-to-order apparel and products. I am most proud of my shirt designs. They have brought so much joy to the customers who wear them both in the parks and every day. What sets me apart from others is you will never see something in my shop that I would not wear or own myself. I will never force a product or design just because other shops are releasing something for said holiday, event, etc. 

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
In the next 5-10 years, I am hoping to bring the printing process in-house. Right now, I am unable to do so, given the limitations of both finances and space. Also, I hope that I can run the business solely full-time instead of working a full-time job to support my small business. 

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