Friday, December 22, 2017

The DD Women's Series - Part 1: Everything Entrepreneurial With Tina Stanaitis


Running your own business is hard enough in today’s economy. Extra credit goes toward women who start their own company, and even more points are given to those who try to make a living starting a business in the disc golf industry. Add to that the ability to tour full-time while growing a successful company - you must think we’re talking about Wonder Woman.

Instead, we’re actually referring to Tina Stanaitis, the owner of WhaleSacs, professional disc golfer, and member of the DD team. Tina’s taken a hobby and turned it into a way to fund her passion for playing competitively, and we wanted to glean some insights from her regarding her business, honing her game, and the challenges she’s faced as a female on the road.

In Part 1 of this DD Women’s Series, we’re going to uncover some of the history behind WhaleSacs and how it’s helped to make her dream a reality.

It’s In Her Blood

“Being an entrepreneur comes from my dad. He owns a small business so I kinda got to see a lot of what that looked like at home when I was young. I wasn’t aware that I had this passion inside of me to be a business owner until I started doing it and it was so fulfilling. [I thought] ‘Yep this makes sense, my dad did this and I love it, it makes sense.’” Tina explained.

Starting a company wasn’t always on Tina’s radar when it came to her career goals, yet the growth of WhaleSacs happened pretty naturally. It started as a hobby and a fun way to be crafty, and only really felt like a business once she purchased the domain for her website. Soon after, she started shipping products to states like Michigan and Texas - places Tina herself had never even visited!

“Once I decided that I wanted to be on tour and go play disc golf for a living, that’s when it hit me that I really needed this business. That’s what was going to pave the way,” she said. Getting inspiration from other female entrepreneurs, specifically Jenny San Filippo at Ladies First Disc Golf, Tina ramped up her business efforts and soon found success.

Girl Power On And Off The Course

Owning her own business is what’s helped to get Tina on the road and keep her there. She certainly sees the difference it’s made by having a company as she talked about her trajectory and that of fiance Eric Oakley: “I have WhaleSacs and Eric doesn’t, but he does lessons and he sells discs online every day. Eventually, that’s going to get better and better as we get better and don’t have to make as much outside of winnings. It’s weird and hard work and unconventional.”

As unconventional as it might be, we’d guess that Tina wouldn’t have it any other way. As cheesy as it might sound, girl power is real, and Tina does it right. She’s able to play exceptionally well, grow her game, and travel the country because she took the risk of starting a business. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series when we take a look at some of the challenges she’s faced as a female touring disc golfer.
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