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Hidden Gems: Meet Rebecka Cook of MHBDesignCo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebecka Cook.

Hi Rebecka, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’m the Owner and Founder of MHBDesignCo. WE are a small business that specializes in handmade custom apparel and gifts. If you can dream it, we can make it a reality. In the Spring of 2022, I suffered a stroke taking me out of my long-time career as a Paramedic. Naturally, with my career choice I’m known for being a busy body and don’t do well with just sitting still, this made recovering from a neurological event difficult. I suffered right-sided deficits (permanent side effects) from my stroke, and while thankfully they were not near as bad as they could have been, they led to a long road of recovery. I have always loved crafting and art, and in my downtime had often made customized t-shirts, bags, cups, tumblers, and other apparel and accessories for friends and family. I had always felt I was decent at it, and my friends and family started to agree. I began to get multiple suggestions to start selling my designs and pieces.

I initially thought everyone was crazy, but now faced with months of rehab and the potential to have to choose a new career path, I thought to myself “why not just go for it”. So, I did. I took what savings I had and the support of my husband and we created a brand, built inventory, and I opened up shop. I was so excited when I got my first sale. I had built my career in the medical field, so I knew next to nothing about how to run a business. So, I did what I always do when I don’t know something, I threw myself into videos and textbooks. I listened to audiobooks and taught myself about taxes and business licenses etc. Next thing I knew, I owned a company! I had a brand! I was actually making a profit! I’m able to support my family, and I love every minute of what I do. I even started a blog to follow the whole story as everything unfolds in real life. I owe so much to my husband, Brandon, and my best friends, Jim, Katie and Dallas. They really pushed me to start this business and have been some of my biggest supporters. This would not exist, and I would not be doing this interview if it wasn’t for the four of them

I hope people can take away from my story that anyone can do anything. I never saw myself as a business owner when I started out in life, but here I am, I took a huge curve ball that life threw at me and decided to find the positive in it. It’s never too late to start, and it might just pay off!

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?
The road has not always been smooth. Navigating the waters of sales tax licensure, LLC paperwork, regulations, where you need to be registered, what you do and don’t need, etc. is extremely difficult; and expensive. Those aren’t necessarily expenses you think of when you decide to start a business. It’s not as simple as just putting some inventory up and a sign. Yeah, you know you’ll have startup costs and some state fees, but the list is a lot longer than you’d initially think… and I’m still learning! I’m sure more roadblocks will pop up along the way. But we will learn and adapt with things as they come.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about MHBDesignCo?
MHBDesignCo specializes in handmade custom apparel and gifts. We make everything from t-shirts, bags, hats, mugs, tumblers, and coasters to wooden wall decor. We believe anything is possible. If you can imagine a design, we do everything we can to make it a reality. We specialize in apparel and tumblers; however, like we say, anything is possible, and we are always open to ideas and suggestions. We are most known for our Tattoo themed line and our twists on popular pop-culture icons. What sets us apart from others is our expanded range of sizes in our inventory. We believe all bodies are beautiful and everyone should be able to enjoy our products. What I personally am the proudest of brand-wise is the love people have shown for our products. We’ve received nothing but great feedback and positive reviews and I’m proud to be putting quality products out into the community.

I want readers to know we are always open and willing to discuss products or ideas. If they see a design they like on a mug but would rather have it in a t-shirt, or different colors perhaps, we can make that happen! We do custom orders and are more than willing to work with customers to make sure they have a product they love.

As far as our local readers go, they can find us at the local vendor shows. We love to participate in these events. We will be at Handmade in Colorado at skyline park on September 17th, where we will offer exclusive designs to that event only. We will also be at the Makers Market event in Monument on October 22nd and 23rd, with different exclusive designs to that event, We will be taking custom orders at the vendor shows as well.

We also love our first responders! All first responders receive a discount on all our products.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
If you focus on success, you’ll have stress. If you pursue excellence, success will be guaranteed.

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