People to Watch: Aspiring philanthropist: Tanisha Robinson

By Andy Downing
From the August 1, 2013 edition

Tanisha Robinson developed her business acumen at an early age.

At just 12 years old, the current Bexley resident was already a budding entrepreneur, contracting neighborhood children to work for her lawn care service.

“I realized I could sell more grass-cutting jobs than I could do myself,” she said, and laughed. “So I got some kids in the neighborhood to cut grass and I paid them $8 an hour and charged my clients $12.”

These days, Robinson deals with much larger numbers as the creator of TicketFire, a mobile app that allows users to take a photo of a paper ticket and store it in his or her smart phone for future use, and the co-founder of Print Syndicate, a fast-growing company that designs, manufactures and sells T-shirts emblazoned with slogans like “I drink Haterade all day.”

Robinson developed her drive growing up one of seven children in a working class home in Liberty, Missouri.

“My family didn't have a lot of money, so whenever I wanted something I had to create those opportunities for myself,” she said. “I had to work for it.”

While many of Robinson's current goals are financial (“I'm very unabashed in my desire...to build an immense amount of wealth,” she said), her motivations are far more altruistic. In addition to an enviable work ethic, the businesswoman's parents also instilled her with a strong social conscious, and she hopes to build up a vast fortune so that she can, in her own words, “spend the rest of [her] life giving it away.”

“In 8th grade I wrote an obituary where I talked about how people called me Mother Tanisha rather than Mother Theresa because of all the work I did with the poor,” Robinson said. “I just always had this sense I could change the world, and if one has money one has the means to bring about change.”