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Check Out Brea & Melissa Todd’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brea & Melissa Todd. Them and their team share their story with us below:

In 2020 as the world was reeling from COVID our family was reeling with a tough health diagnosis. Melissa was diagnosed with Lupus. Shortly after her diagnosis, she fell and sustained some serious injuries that needed a lot of daily care. The family needed to make some tough decisions.

Brea was approaching her senior year in high school. She felt led to continue the course of homeschooling and stepped in as a caregiver for Melissa during the day while the rest of the family was at work.

One of Brea’s classes for school that year was an entrepreneurial business class. She was tasked to create a business and a business plan, and present how she would run her business. Brea was always happiest when she was creating something. Art had always been part of her DNA, so it made perfect sense that her business would revolve around her desire to create. By September of her senior year, she had completed her project and presented the plan for Winks Design Studio. On October 8, 2021, WDS officially hung its shingle by opening an Etsy shop. In November, Brea and Melissa signed partnership paperwork to establish the company. The business ended up being the perfect thing to help both of them focus on something outside of healing and recovery.

Brea continued to finish her senior year responsibilities, and completed dual enrollment to get her graphic design certification from CALARTS; all while acting as a full-time caregiver for mom and running WDS. This shop is a dream come true for us. We can’t believe that we get to spend our days together; creating and bringing joy to our customers.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I would say that it truly has been a relatively smooth road. We think that having been together as a homeschooling family long before we were business partners has a lot to do with that. We know each other’s rhythms-when to pull back, call the person out if needed, or even play off of each other’s strengths in our designs. We tell everyone that we are better together.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
WDS is a family-run, women-owned boutique that specializes in handmade-hand drawn designs. We create cute, comfy tees, bags, custom logo gear, and so much more.

We don’t buy any of our designs! No SVGs here. Brea starts each design either in her sketchbook or on her iPad (occasionally even a random napkin has been used) and then we fine-tune each design and pattern until we think it is just right. Almost all of our products are created by us in our NC-based workshop.

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
Brea’s: Our family has always been big on traditions and routines. One of those routines was Saturday morning breakfast. Every Saturday morning, our whole family would tackle cleaning the house from top to bottom.

As we got close to being done, my dad and I would go to the store and buy bagels and pastries for everyone. Of course, we’d need to taste them right out of the bag while we sat in the parking lot. Then we’d go back to our house and the whole family would make a full breakfast together and we would eat it picnic style on the living room floor while watching old TV shows. (McGiver, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and Due South where some of our favorites.)

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