Rising senior Miranda Springer is no stranger to creativity. She’s been painting all her life, even before it was a trending quarantine activity on Tiktok. Friendly and talkative, she spoke with VALLEY all about the trials and tribulations of transforming what she once considered only a hobby into her very own business: Fire Custom Designs.
“It can be intimidating,” Miranda says about starting a social media business. In a world where everything is overly saturated and face tuned to perfection, it can be tricky to find your own unique voice. She mentioned how relying on others’ opinions for validation got in the way of her enjoying making money from her passion.
What initially began as a means for some pocket change for Miranda has quickly developed into a full-blown business. Fire Custom Designs has its own Instagram page and Etsy shop. After doing research and making business plans, she used all the money she had to purchase a few pairs of Nike Air Force sneakers to get started on some designs to post. And after posting them on Instagram, she soon saw that people loved the designed shoes as much as she did.
Being the owner of a business as a college student was not always something Miranda anticipated doing. An education major, she often felt the pressures many college students do about choosing a career path: pick one—only one—and follow that. Any other roads you take could be a detour or a distraction. Despite this, the desire for creative expression and a side hustle slowly turned to expand Miranda’s love for creating art that people love.
Springer thought of the name for the business while on a hike with some friends. Not wanting to limit herself to a business name that revolved around sneakers, she and her friends began to think of phrases people would say when admiring a customized pair of sneakers. “That’s so fire,” was a phrase that inspired Miranda and thus became Fire Custom Designs.
Her love for the arts stemmed from the positive female role models she had growing up, one being her grandmother. “My grandma lives in a 21-year-old’s body,” Springer told VALLEY with a laugh. “She inspires me not only as a business owner but as a person.”
And how could she not? Springer’s iconic grandmother put her creativity to work when she owned her clothing store called ‘Lady Di’s’ in the Chicago suburbs while simultaneously raising 4 (yes, four) children.
“At the time, that wasn’t really the norm,” Springer said of her grandmother’s occupation. But the norm seemed too limiting for her grandmother, who was known to wear fur coats to church and express herself through her fashion.
If you still need more convincing to start a side hustle? “Now is the time!” Springer says in regard to the recent quarantine. The extra time on our hands could all lead us to start businesses that have taken off like Miranda’s.
Miranda advises those aspiring to create their own business to not get in their own way. Second-guessing herself was one of the most challenging obstacles that she personally overcame. “Be confident in yourself and what you bring to the table.”
“Go for it,” she says. “Even if you fail, it’s all a part of the learning process.” And if you doubt your abilities because you aren’t technically studying business?
“Don’t second guess yourself,” she says. “I know that for me, my business does its best when I believe in it the most.”
Tweet us @VALLEYmag and be sure to follow @fire_custom_designs on Instagram!