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Meet Ellyse Espinoza of State Line Designs in Downtown Houston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ellyse Espinoza.

Ellyse, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Hello, my name is Ellyse Espinoza, owner and designer for State Line Designs and State Line mobile boutique. I started State Line, a local apparel company in 2014. My inspiration behind State Line was to create comfortable Houston inspired tees for both men and women. I am a huge Houston sports fan but wasn’t ever able to find any comfortable fitting tees that I could rock all year round. I started my Houston collection of tees and later broadened my designs to Texas. After about 8 months of designing and handcrafting, all my tees from my home, I was able to take my company full time. I took a leap of faith almost 4 years ago and invested in State Line. I started attending local pop up markets, festivals and rodeo events around town and getting my name out there. Along the way I met some amazing friends who owned fashion trucks and knew that was the next step for State Line. I wanted to design and build a mobile boutique to sell my own designs out of. After a year of planning, I put a down payment to begin my build out and had a trailer custom built to look like a mobile boutique that I can pull around Texas. 6 months after taking my boutique on wheels, I was offered the opportunity to co-own a collaborative pop-up boutique downtown with two amazing female entrepreneurs, one already being my best friend. Currently, we are operating State Line at our downtown boutique, mobile boutique and still pushing the limits to see whats next in store for State Line.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not at all. People behind the scenes always ask how I do so much and I never know the answer. It hasn’t been a smooth road at all, I have made plenty of mistakes and learned so many new ways to manage my business. Most of my designs, I hand print from home, and that is very time consuming. Running a business in itself is a full time job and I have a toddler at home so he also keeps me busy. One of the struggles was learning my seasons, everyone has seasons where shoppers are more eager to shop and when they aren’t. I do better in sales, when our sports teams do better because some of my tees are sports inspired. However, when our star quarterback gets injured, there goes the hopes of any sales for the year and we have to start planning our new collection for next season. As a small business owner, this is our only income, so its make it or make it. And as a parent, we have to make sure we can run our business, be successful and be able to provide for our family. There are a lot of hiccups in running a small business however I am doing what I love and love going to work everyday and that has to make up for the struggles along the way.

State Line Designs – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
State Line is a Houston based apparel company. We specialize in Houston and Texas inspired tees and cater to the sports fans of Houston. We design tees that are unique, one of a kind however during the sports season, change the colors of the tee so people can wear our tees to a baseball game or to brunch on any other day. As a company I am most proud of how far we have come. In almost four years in business, we have been featured as one of the top clothing brands in Houston, been featured on several media outlets and magazine around town, opened our mobile boutique and now our brick and mortar. I would have never guessed that we would have made it this far and have had so many amazing supporters behind me. One thing that sets me apart would be our social media. We tell our story and show on social media, how I started on the side of the road selling tees with one table, and now are able to do what I love. I have been able to build an organic following on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook and have been blessed to have people come out to see our new designs and what else we are working on. I use social media to show our production and the process and tell people where they can find us next. This shows the face of the brand and my followers want to see that.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I personally define success with happiness. I feel like people can correlate success with money and as great as that is. I believe success correlates with how happy you are as a person doing what you love. I set goals for myself and my company and have been successful at them. Of course, I still have many more goals to accomplish, but at the moment, I love that I can be successful working for myself and can help pave the way for other single moms who might want to start their business someday. Success is going home and relaxing, not stressed out about a meeting the next day and if you might have done something wrong and might get yelled at the next day. You can have the big corner office but if you aren’t happy and living to your fullest in that office, then you might have a different definition for success.

Pricing:

  • Tanks priced at $28
  • Tees priced at $30
  • Baseball / Long sleeve $35

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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