When Tia Berg was a little girl in Blue Springs, MO she wanted to be an orthodontist.  (It’s no wonder she has such a beautiful smile.)   But in 10th grade she met Ms. Schnakenberg, one of her high school teachers, a Chemical Engineer and Mizzou grad.  Tia took science classes from her for three years and discovered her love for engineering and made the choice to pursue the field at Mizzou where she graduated with a degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 2013.   ( I can’t even imagine the smarts that are in her brain…)

In 2012,while still at Mizzou, she started a small business called The Crafty Engineer which focused on creating trendy vinyl designs for apparel, accessories and everyday necessities like drink tumblers, coozies and coffee mugs.  

For 2 years post graduation she worked in the engineering field at Hubbell Power Systems in Centralia but continued her side business until 2014 when she realized she had found a niche with The Crafty Engineer, creating personalized gifts online.  So much so that she left her job at Hubbell in 2014 to further pursue growing her business full-time.  To date she’s closed over 17,000 sales on her Etsy site as well as sales on Amazon and on her own site,  

In April 2016, in search of a brick and mortar outlet for her products in Columbia, previously only available primarily through e-commerce, she joined Plume.   At that time she also added embroidery to her portfolio which allowed her to add hats, leather bags and other textiles to her product line that vinyl would not adhere to.

Tia is a licensed provider of Mizzou gear as well as many of the greek organizations here on Campus.  She has no shortage of new products in the queue but her greatest development in 2017 was her wedding to longtime sweetheart and fellow engineer, Marty Kays.   It was so fun to see all her bridal accessories and gifts put to use.  And I loved the collaboration from some of our other makers to help Tia pull off her dream wedding.

The Crafty Engineer produces a full line of glassware, apparel, embroidered robes, bags, purses and other accessories that make perfect bridesmaids gifts and bachelorette party favors.

Speaking of bachelorette parties…I have to share one of my favorite little candid pics of Tia from her bachelorette party in Herman.  Her girls gave her a blow-up Marty and she had to carry him around for the whole weekend.  (This reminds me of when you had to carry the egg around in highschool and pretend it was a baby and if you broke the egg you failed the parent project… good thing blow-up Marty survived the night).

I’m so thankful to have Tia at Plume.   She’s fun and smart and creative and business minded…she’s a hard worker and a team player.  I hope to keep her (and blow-up Marty) around for awhile.  I look forward to many more opportunities to collaborate with this Crafty Engineer.  Who knows what together we can think up next?   But for now…I leave you to go watch another bachelorette pick her hubby.   Anyone else with me?

Team Peter or Team Brian?

P.S. All of The Crafty Engineer products featured in this post + many more are available at Plume when we open back up Thursday at 10:00am.