Editor’s note: Trevor Schmidt  of Hutchison PLLC is the host of the Founder Shares podcast where we share stories of what it’s like to be just crazy enough to meet the challenges of entrepreneurship. Founder Shares blogs are a regular part of WRAL TechWire’s Startup Monday lineup.


RALEIGH – Tina Tang’s career trajectory didn’t always involve entrepreneurship. In fact, she initially saw her future as a climb up the corporate ladder in IT Consulting. However, as she progressed in her career, she realized that her true passion laid elsewhere.

“As soon as I made the decision,” Tina said, “as soon as I made the leap and started graduate school, I just felt like the world opened up. Even just from then, I had no regrets.”

The allure of the startup world beckoned to her, offering a ladder with endless possibilities. This realization marked a pivotal moment that set Tina on a path to becoming an entrepreneur and led her to creating Bristles, a startup that has developed a mobile app for designing home DIY projects.

Tina’s journey to entrepreneurship was influenced by her early interests in art and math. As a child, she found solace in expressing herself through drawing and painting, using art as a means of communication.

“My dad’s from Vietnam, and my mom is from a farming village in China,” Tina said. “They both spoke Cantonese at home, no English. So, when I started public school in kindergarten, I didn’t speak a word of English, and it was very scary learning the language and just saying anything out loud, so I preferred drawing to communicate and to share my ideas.”

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However, her aptitude for math led her to pursue a career in engineering. Nevertheless, the creative spark within her never dimmed, and it resurfaced later in her entrepreneurial endeavors.

“Training machine learning models, I was very fascinated by computer vision,” Tina said. “And then the artistic side of me came out again.”

Tina’s experience in IT Consulting played a vital role in shaping her approach to entrepreneurship. While technical problem-solving skills were valuable, she discovered a deep satisfaction in understanding her clients’ pain points and solving them through technology. This skill set translated seamlessly into her role as a startup founder, where empathy, problem-solving, and client interaction are integral parts of the journey.

“I think my experience there and learning, kind of getting addicted to that process, has helped me in the startup journey for sure,” Tina said.

The inception of Bristles came from Tina’s desire to bridge the gap between technology and creativity. She recognized the transformative power of AI and its potential to enhance artistic expression. By leveraging machine learning and computer vision, Bristles aims to empower users to bring their creative visions to life. The idea struck a chord with people, resonating with their own struggles and aspirations in home design.

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Tina’s deep understanding of AI and machine learning has been a driving force behind Bristles’ success. While AI may be a buzzword in today’s tech landscape, Tina’s early recognition of its potential set her apart. The evolving conversation around AI has made it easier for Tina to communicate the value proposition of her product to investors and partners. It has become clear that generative AI is a powerful technology, enabling Bristles to turn simple 2D images into dynamic design objects.

“We want to help people dream up ideas, design ideas, and then eventually also do the doing part of it,” Tina said.

Tina Tang’s journey from climbing the corporate ladder to becoming a startup founder is an inspiring tale of following one’s passions and embracing the unknown.

So, whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a startup enthusiast, or simply curious about the stories behind successful businesses, the Founder Shares Podcast offers a wealth of insights and inspiration. Tune in to the latest episode featuring Tina Tang and discover the incredible fusion of art, available wherever you listen to podcasts.

(C) Hutchison PLLC