Each month, Capitol Post interviews a business operating out of its coworking space or a member of the Bunker Labs DC Accelerator. This month, we spoke with Denise McCann, BLDC Spring ’16 Cohort Member, and Founder of Designer Tributes, a startup that believes in making a difference in the lives of those who seek to honor their most important relationships.
Name: Denise McCann
Where did you grow up? Atlanta, GA
School(s): Stratford University (M.S., Entrepreneurship Management), Central Michigan University (M.S.A, Gen Admin), Brenau University (B.S., Business Administration)
Military Branch & Specialty: Enlisted as an Admin Specialist, Officer- Transportation Basic, Adjutant General Advance (Army AGR); Force MGT/ORSA
Favorite DC-Area Restaurant: McCormick & Schmick’s
Favorite Local Activity: Wolf Trap concerts
Go-To Pump Up Music: Aretha Franklin
Tell Us About Your Family: My husband and I are retired Army; from California and Georgia; both are ISTJs, no children, love dogs, conservative, wise stewards of each other and make a great team!
Little Known Fact About You: Pentagon 9/11 Survivor
Brief Business Description: DesignerTributes offer and design a one-of-a-kind 3D tribute assemblage. Through our proven design process we, with our clients, collaboratively create the best gift they could ever give to the most important people in their life. We design a custom-made family heirloom gift for your most important relationships and occasions as a lifetime that keeps on giving.
Briefly tell us how you decided to become an entrepreneur. After years of various considerations, I decided to step out in faith that this is what I’m called to do; there is strong interest from like-minded communities and my coming through the recent grief process with my Dad’s death and knowing the power of designing a tribute of honor, compels me to share it with others.
What is something you learned during your service (or as a military spouse)? How does it benefit your organization today? Know your priorities & values because they will often be tested. This will give the necessary structure and alignment for success.
Who has influenced you the most in your career or organization and why? It’s difficult to narrow it down — I’ve had several influencers, but I follow strong female leaders and faith-based leaders.
What have you accomplished that you’re most proud of? I broke out of my comfort zone in Georgia and was blessed with a successful military career.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to another startup or entrepreneur? Get clarity.
Where would you like to see your organization in ten years? Still growing and making a difference.