Student start-up: Tyler’s Custom Tables

Tyler’s table design for a firefighting company.

While quarantine and online school offered challenges for many students nationwide, it also provided the opportunity to explore new things. Sixth Former Tyler Zimmer took advantage of this unique time, starting another business of his own, Tyler’s Custom Tables. Zimmer’s new hobby finds him designing foldable tables to his customers’ specifications. 

A satisfied customer – courtesy of Tyler Zimmer ’21

     “After seeing quite bland, simple party tables go viral on social media platforms like TikTok, I knew I could do better,” Zimmer said. “After getting 600,000 views on my 76ers table and realizing people would pay for them, I started brainstorming a business strategy.”

     This 76ers table, one of his original designs, proved to be the turning point for his small business. Once his TikTok went viral, Zimmer started receiving requests from clients nationwide. However, he took a different route in his business path.

     “Unlike a normal business that attempts to scale up, I actually went a different direction. After shipping tables to Seattle, Dallas, and El Paso, I realized shipping tables across the country cost me a good chunk of profit. Therefore, I decided to scale down, only taking business locally,” Zimmer said.

     Despite the joy he finds in the business, it was not easy for Zimmer to get things going with his busy schedule. 

     “It’s very time consuming, and the most work I could do in a week was two tables,” Zimmer said. “This limited how many customers I could take on at a given time. Rather than seeing it as work, I enjoyed making the tables because it’s just art to me.”

     Art has been an integral part of Zimmer’s high school journey thus far. He credits much of his artistic ability to the teachers he encountered during his upper school years. 

Zimmer looks to continue his table business while also maintaining a healthy balance of everyday life.

     “Mr. Fox had a huge influence on the startup. He told me during quarantine to stay busy with art even if it didn’t follow his usual curriculum. He wanted me to stay active during a time where it’s really easy to get lazy, so I focused myself on combining my design skill and business mindset. 

     Moving forward, Zimmer looks to continue his table business while also maintaining a healthy balance of everyday life.

    Zimmer said, “I’m excited to see where this takes me. Right now I’m just enjoying it as a hobby, but who knows what it will end up being one day.”