Q&A: Tanisha Robinson, a YWCA Woman to Watch

  • Photo by Tim Johnson
By Columbus Alive
From the March 28, 2013 edition

This would be enough for Robinson to be honored as a Woman to Watch at this year’s 28th YWCA Women of Achievement event, but it’s not the only reason. After working as an advocate of women’s and human rights in the Middle East, Robinson wants to use her humanitarian skills to better Columbus.

My goal — and I’m totally unashamed of this — is to be immensely wealthy. When I think about the people I want to be like, and have the kind of impact they have specifically, it’s great philanthropists who have s--- piles of money. I want to build companies, empires so that I can spend the rest of my life figuring out how to give it away for a real impact. So yeah, I have a T-shirt company that sell shirts that say, “Sorry I’m white girl wasted right meow,” and, “This is my kegstand shirt,” but ultimately it’s a vehicle to make a difference.

It’s either [be immensely wealthy] or have the temperament of a saint, and I don’t have that. Mother Teresa didn’t have anything and she made a big difference, but I gotta go the Bill Gates route. I have a funny story, though. When I was in eighth grade we had to write our own obituary, and mine was that I’d done so much work for the poor and the needy that people called me Mother Tanisha instead of Mother Teresa.

Print Syndicate was our vision for the on-demand apparel industry. It functions at the intersection of design, technology, commerce and pop culture. We generate content to sell to Skreened.com, [other companies] and on our own site lookhuman.com. We’re looking to move on to CCAD’s campus so we have a direct pipeline into the amazing design talent in Columbus.

TicketFire is a mobile app that allows you to take a paper ticket of any vendor, scan it into your iPhone and render it into a beautiful digital form. Then you can use it, share it, resell it, transfer it, but you don’t have to worry about the physical footprint anymore. I was frustrated with having to keep track of this physical item. I’ve left tickets at home and brought the wrong credit card or bought some online and had to meet the creepy dude at Bob Evan’s.

I’m getting married in blue cowboy boots. If I’m dressed up, I’m in cowboy boots. I’m not really a dresses kind of gal. I knew for sure that I was going to marry the right woman when she said … “What color cowboy boots are you going to wear [for the wedding].”

I speak Arabic, Spanish, German and English. You know how some people can hear music and just sit down and play it. That’s how foreign languages are for me.

Woman of Achievement is an event held by the YWCA to honor successful women that have contributed a lot; the pillars or our community among women. This year they’re doing a new thing with the Women to Watch program, which they asked me to be one of. I’m super honored.