Audio engineering major Kate Tary is among the new freshmen faces at Webster University, and one to look out for. On Aug. 18, Tary placed third in the Made in Missouri State Entrepreneurship Competition, earning a $1,000 prize to be invested in her label, Nanner Designs. The money from the competition will be used to buy a silkscreen press. Her business creates banana designs which she prints on T-shirts. Her banana designs vary and some come with sayings, such as “Don’t flip.”
The application process for the competition started in May when her entrepreneurship class teacher, Joanne Williams, handed her an application. After submitting the online application, she waited until July to learn she had made it into the second round. The next step was to come up with a nine-section business plan, which included the history of her business along with future business steps. To help her along the process, Tary reached out to the Small Business Administration for advice.
“I probably spent half the summer working on just the business aspect of it,” Tary said.
Though the competition ended last week, Tary has been thinking about bananas as a graphic design for a while now. It all started in eighth grade during a home economics class. After making a design that was too intricate to be used, she decided to draw bananas. This was also the time in which her label’s name, Nanner Designs, came about.
“I just really like bananas,” Tary said.
Her passion for bananas and design didn’t die in eighth grade. While at Northwest High School in Jefferson County, she continued producing designs. Immediately she had hundreds of designs to work on. Soon she began wearing some of her creations to school and getting compliments from her peers. In high school she took several art classes, including ceramics and advanced art.
Along with working on Nanner Designs, Tary has kept herself busy with other activities. She sculpts, plays a variety of instruments and has “even recorded some of her own music”. Growing up in a musical family with her father from a marching band background, Tary has been exposed to music for a long time.
“I picked up the guitar when I was five,” Tary said.
Other instruments she plays include the piano, flute and the Ellesmere guitar.
Tary is currently the only local artist displaying sculptures at Cheese-ology, a restaurant located at the Soulard Art Market.Tthe piece displayed at Cheese-ology is made of wire.
“She always comes up with her own ideas. When she see’s something that interests her, she figures out a way,” Katherine Tary, Kate Tary’s mother, said.
For this upcoming year, Kate Tary hopes to focus her time on Nanner Designs and her studies as an audio engineering major.