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Exploring Life & Business with Jenna Timphony of Yat Cat

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenna Timphony. 

Hi Jenna, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
While in school for graphic design, I taught myself how to screenprint so I could wear my own designs. After working at a small digital marketing agency for a short period, I started dreaming of owning my own business. My parents are small business owners so it was a tangible concept. I pieced together my skills and created Yat Cat. I started selling my tee shirts at art markets around New Orleans, where I’m from and started growing a local following. When the pandemic hit and art markets were closed, I adapted my business to have a strong online presence through social media. I was very lucky to grow an online following and create demand for my products. After working out of a spare bedroom for 2 years, I rented my first workspace in August 2020. In 2021, my boyfriend and I decided to move to Denver. I found a perfect little spot to work out of the back of and have a retail space in the front. We’re loving Denver and my business has been welcomed by the community which I’m very grateful for. I look forward to growing my business here! 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve had my business for about 3 years now and I still feel like I’m finding my footing. As a small business owner, you have to worry about every single aspect of the business. I’m in charge of design, production, packaging, marketing, photography, accounting, customer service, and the list goes on… so I think one of the biggest struggles is just balancing it all and not letting any part of the business fall behind. Creating a business from scratch is all about trial and error and for me, there was a looooot of error. One story that is a great metaphor for my whole journey is when I got my printing press and curing machine. The packages were delivered by freight (which I didn’t really know what that meant at the time) so the huge truck pulls up to my apartment and since I didn’t have a forklift, the delivery person left the pallet in my front yard. I had to unscrew the pallet for hours in the Louisiana summer heat and bring the machines inside in pieces. After hours of putting everything together, I go to plug in my conveyer dryer only to realize it’s a 220V machine in my 110V apartment. And being a small business owner, in my experience, is having a lot of days like that. 

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Yat Cat is a clothing store that offers hand-printed tees that are designed and silkscreened by me (Jenna, the owner), as well as vintage clothing and housewares, and other locally made gifts. I plan on expanding our collection and experimenting with other sustainable crafts such as upcycled clothing and accessories, recycled paper prints, and more to create an eco-conscious shop full of unique items. 

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
I’m very lucky to have my parents who I consider my mentors when it comes to owning a small business in general but I also learned a lot from my fellow small business owners that I met through doing art markets. By participating in art markets, you meet a lot of like-minded people who are usually very willing to share tips and tricks. 


  • Tees – $28

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