Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tamara Wynn, Owner of The WasteVase/T Wynn Ent. LLC, located in Sherman Oaks, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I manufacture designer waste bins for bathrooms and homes. My core customer is women 25-54.

Tell us about yourself

I conceptualized the WasteVase in combination with my work as a Realtor and my love of travel. As a Realtor, I have seen thousands of homes over the years. One thing they all have in common is boring, ugly trashcans – most filled with rubbish that no one really wants to see: dental floss, tissues, and worse – bathrooms are the biggest offenders and are usually the most visited rooms in the house. Most of my vacations involve a cruise ship – bathrooms on ships are notorious for being on the small side and have limited floor and counter space. Flowers, toilet paper, soaps, one's personal items, a small waste basket, towels, floor mat, etc., are ALL in one small area AND the ugly trash can!! I saw a need to consolidate the necessities while keeping things "pretty" and practical. I realized there was a simple, functional solution. After years of design, prototyping, focus groups, and patents, I started T Wynn Enterprises. I know I am not the only person who hates looking at ugly little trashcans in beautiful bathrooms. I've shown $10,000,000 houses with $10 trash cans - there is a more beautiful option now.

The different shapes easily fit into any bathroom or kitchen in your home – and now Cruise Ships, Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, and Luxury Retail can elevate the experience a guest has while visiting the most frequented room in "the house." The interchangeable Assorted Accessories give the flexibility to choose or mix and match the perfect accessory scenario that works for any room – Vase, Napkin Holder, TP Holder or leave it plain, and put whatever you want on the top – use the real estate on the lid – and still be able to toss the trash through the front portal! Simple, elegant, clean, and gorgeous. The WasteVase is the most beautiful receptacle on the market today.

What motivates me every day is the positive response I have gotten from every person who has seen the units. An "AHA" light goes off - the connection to the concept is immediate - "How do I get one? Where can I buy it?".

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I have no debt after nearly 2 years of start-up. I saved and socked away my "lady cash" until I knew I had enough to get my patents underway and the prototypes made.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

COST OF GOODS!! My bins are big; they are not small widget items easily or inexpensively manufactured or shipped, and the shipping cost per unit is more. I had to revise pricing based on the cost of the boxes and materials just to ship the units - postage was way more than I had anticipated.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Whatever budget you have in mind, double it.
  2. Have enough money to include China and Canada as additional countries where you want patent protection.
  3. is a terrific resource to get quick basic answers to top-line financial questions and understand acronyms that you have never heard of. 

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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