Student-run business for affordable UTSA merch

Sophomore psychology major, Anyssa Gutierrez, runs Instagram business

Gauri Raje, News Editor

Simply.nyssa is an Instagram-run business owned by Anyssa Gutierrez, a sophomore studying psychology at UTSA.

When simply.nyssa started after designing a UTSA shirt for a junior year high school event, Gutierrez had never predicted that it would become a business that served the UTSA community. Gutierrez started out by only taking custom orders, which included making products like college-themed merch as well as products for other events like birthdays. It was not until a couple of weeks ago that Gutierrez’s UTSA designs gained popularity among students. 

“I had no intention of it just being UTSA at all. It literally just happened two weeks ago,” Gutierrez said. “So, for the longest time, I only had 400 to 500 followers on Instagram and until two weeks ago, I started getting hundreds of followers every day. It was so crazy. I don’t know what happened … I had no intentions of it being this big.” 

Gutierrez explained that this sudden growth of the business has been overwhelming and does present a challenge in balancing school work and the business.

“I’m still trying to [find] that balance, but I think I’m doing a fairly good job right now,” Gutierrez said. “I try to set time aside from school to where I’m just focusing on the orders and messaging people back.”

A quick look at the business’ Instagram handle reveals all of the different UTSA gear the business has to offer, including t-shirts, tank tops and even bucket hats. One of Gutierrez’s goals is to be able to sell a variety of products at prices that are affordable to college students.

Despite this sudden growth in the business, Gutierrez still continues to run the business from home. For any products intended for sale, Gutierrez starts by designing them on Canva. The designs are then imported to Cricut, a software that prints out the design. Gutierrez then weeds out any excess parts of the print that are not a part of the design/image, before using a heat press to press the design over the products. 

“Usually I try to experiment first,” Gutierrez said. “So I make a shirt for myself or something I think people [might] like and then I’ll post it … based on how it’s doing, [whether people are messaging me or not], I will continue to make it or I [will] just delete the post [and make something new].

Running an online business comes with the challenge of finding innovative ways to connect with customers. One of the ways Gutierrez does this is by letting followers participate in polls, which help determine what customers and followers think of designs.

“I definitely love establishing relationships with people and meeting new people,” Gutierrez said. “That’s something I love to do, so I try to get my followers in on the stuff that I create. I post polls to see what kind of designs they like, what they’re not liking … I show them patterns for future designs, t-shirts … I ask them ‘What do you think about this?’ And then they can rate it on a scale of one to five on how they are feeling about certain designs. So in that way, I try to get them engaged as well, because when they feel like they’ve helped me make a shirt, that motivates them to [want to buy one even more].”

As a part of efforts to further engage with customers and spread the word about the business, Gutierrez plans on holding pop-up events, the first of which took place at Kung Fu Tea on Thursday, Sept. 22. 

Gutierrez concluded by explaining that creativity serves as a source of motivation for the business. Gutierrez also strives to make products as unique as possible in an effort to make them stand out.

“It really brings me a lot of joy, because being creative is something you can say I pride myself on,” Gutierrez said. “I love being creative and being unique is one of my biggest motivations. I want to forever stay unique and be true to myself and my ideas and, you know, just be out there and be different … I just love when I see people out there and they’re wearing my stuff and they got it from me. It’s just a great feeling … you see a big old crowd of people and then you’ll see that one shirt that’s like ‘Whoa, where did that shirt come from?’ And it came from me … that’s crazy to think about.”

For more information about the business, visit @simply.nyssa on Instagram.