Having 'Fun' With Culture and Design

We’re highlighting small businesses from around the country as nominated by you, our readers. If your favorite small business is using Twitter to communicate with customers, let us know about it @fbsmallbiz with the hashtag #mysbc, and it may be featured as an upcoming Small Business of the Day.

Small Business of the Day: Rotem Gear

Who: Jean Roth, 56, @jrotem

What: Ethnic and pop culture T-shirts and artisan scarves

When: 2003

How:  Roth, who has a masters' in Japanese, said her career changed lanes on account of the Internet and new technology. She was forced to learn the ins and outs of layout and graphic design and a new passion was sparked.

"I had a feeling for it and loved it—my background in Japanese really informs how I approach graphic design," she said.  "I was able to have my fun side show."

After being laid off from UCLA, where she was working as a public information officer for International Relations, she decided to develop a freelance business in 2003. Rotem Gear was born, and her new t-shirts and scarves evolved naturally from her graphic design work, Roth said.

Where: Los Angeles

Biggest lesson learned from customers: "I have learned that as a business owner, you have to sometimes take a leap of faith. This is a challenging lesson that I am learning," Roth said. "I have to believe in my own work like my customers do, and pay attention to what they want."

To view more Small Businesses of the Day, click our interactive map.