Style & Shopping

Case Study

Local artist catches the attention of celebs.

While many companies strive to gain the attention of A-listers by
gifting the newest product, local self-taught graphic designer and
animator Tristan Herbert, pictured above, believes in just the opposite.
“I prefer to do it for your average everyday person. It was really the
celebs who targeted me,” says Herbert, whose line of custom-made
smartphone cases has caught the attention of Nicki Minaj, LeBron James,
and Kim Kardashian, just to name a few.

As a budding entrepreneur
(currently overseeing three separate operations: Tristan’s World,
Tristan Art Custom Cases, and Love Clothing), Herbert uses social-media
sites to get his designs in front of the public. “For Nicki Minaj,
someone in her camp saw what I do [on Instagram] and showed her. She
said, ‘I want something like that.’”

The cases, which cost $40,
range from portraits to favorite animals to cartoon characters. “I try
to design what people like and can’t get in stores,” Herbert says.

he has had some offers to sell his product in local Baltimore
boutiques, for now, he’s only offering the cases through his site,
“It wasn’t [a matter of], ‘Could I get them into stores?’ It’s more,
‘Does this makes sense?’ People get my stuff because they feel like they
can be exclusive. I try to control it and be strategic.”