ROANOKE, Va. – A Roanoke business owner is working to take her unique brand of hand-crafted jewelry to a national audience. A local business competition could help her win the money needed to expand.
Tamara Dennis is the owner Priss E. Nerd. She is the designer and creator of her tiny works of art that have grown quite popular across the Roanoke Valley. The majority of her pieces are cute, quirky earrings she designs to catch the attention of our inner nerd and everything we fan-girl about.
“We firmly believe that everyone has a little bit of nerd inside of them,” Dennis said.
While there isn’t a Priss E. Nerd storefront yet, there are local boutiques that carry her designs like Unique Gifts & More in Ridgeway. Dennis also frequently holds pop-up shopping events at local festivals, craft shows and events. Her table is normally packed full of customers awing over her earrings.
Priss E. Nerd was started 8 years ago, and in recent years it has become Dennis’ sole-income business. This year, Dennis is one of more than 100 entrepreneurs participating in the Gauntlet Business Competition held by the Advancement Foundation.
“The Gauntlet has been an amazing experience,” Dennis said. “It’s such a supportive group of people that are getting your business off on a firm, practiced-base business foundation. We joined the Gauntlet because we wanted to position ourselves into the online real and into wholesaling and we wanted to get some advice on how to do that,” Dennis said.