‘Make It Your Way’: How These Entrepreneurs Are Transforming Their Small Businesses with Afterpay

May 02, 2022USA

In celebration of Small Business Month, Afterpay’s ‘Make It Your Way’ campaign highlights four unique stories of entrepreneurs building businesses their way.

National Small Business Week commences May 2-5 this year, recognizing the breadth and resiliency of the entrepreneurs and businesses that make up the backbone of the American economy. Instead of simply celebrating these small and medium businesses for one week only, Afterpay is launching the ‘Make It Your Way’ series – a month-long program dedicated to spotlighting the unique stories of four small businesses and how Afterpay has played a role in their journeys.  

We take an intimate look at these entrepreneurs and their motivations to create their businesses. Each one has undoubtedly faced unique challenges due to the ever-changing retail climate, but have even greater highlights to share on how they’ve paved their own path to success. 

Dazey LA

Founded by Danielle Nagel, Dazey is a sustainable clothing line known for its bold, colorful aesthetic. After years of experience working as a graphic designer for major US fashion labels, Nagel discovered the huge environmental impact of mass producing a product. Eventually, setting out to build a brand that not only matched her maximalist personality, but aligned with her values for a more sustainable future too. 

Since launching Dazey, Nagel has overcome highs and lows as a small business owner, but recognized “the biggest beast is often [the one] in your head” and loves the process of pushing the envelope since starting her entrepreneurial journey. With a customer-centric mindset, she brought on Afterpay due to high demand from her young customer base and claims, “it’s definitely a game-changer for small businesses.” 

Watch our full interview of the color queen who’s making style sustainable. 


Luxury heritage brand, Gladys Tamez Millinery handcrafts sculptural hats that blend traditional techniques with modern-day styles. The LA-based brand has produced beloved hats adorned by everyone from everyday fashion lovers to celebrities like Johnny Depp and Lady Gaga – who famously wore a pink Gladys Tamez hat on the cover of her 2016 album, Joanne.  

Tamez partnered with Afterpay after younger customers started asking for a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ (BNPL) platform. She views Afterpay as a tool to ensure her luxury products are available to a wider audience and said, “I want more people to see and appreciate these hats made by hand with the old techniques. I want to preserve those techniques and give them the respect it deserves.” 

Watch our full interview with Hollywood’s favorite hatmaker. 


Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung launched design and homeware brand Poketo nearly 20 years ago in 2003, with the mission to make art that brings joy to everyday life. Poketo started from the simple idea to help their creative friends sell their art. And since then, they’ve established a powerful community of fans all around the world by having a customer-first approach. The duo said, “our community is just so loyal and dedicated… and so that drives us to do better.” 

Eventually, the business brought on Afterpay to offer customers more payment options and the best experience possible. Vadakan said, “We love the idea that people can buy something right away but that it can still be easy on their pocketbook. It just gives our customers another option and it’s great for small business cash flow too.”

Watch our full interview with the creative couple who bring art to everyday living. 


Skincare brand Topicals was created by Olamide Olowe aimed at treating chronic skin conditions like eczema and hyperpigmentation. In the brand’s early days, Olowe faced skepticism to create a cool skincare brand and faced challenges to raise capital as a young African-American woman. However, she’s proved critics wrong on all fronts. Recently inducted into Forbes 30 under 30, Olowe has made Topicals a household name amongst Gen Z and Millennial Skintellectuals. 

Afterpay has been a critical part of Topicals’ brand strategy to reach younger consumers, with accessibility at the forefront. Olowe said, “Not having Buy Now Pay Later, is [similar to] not having credit card processing back in the day. As a business owner, you’re always trying to get customers to make that first purchase – and shop with you for the first time – and Afterpay helps with that because [it lowers the barriers to entry and] customers can break up payments.” 

Watch our full interview with the inclusive beauty brand that won Gen Z 

Shop Small with BNPL

Buy Now, Pay Later has enabled more young Americans to support small businesses, with almost two-thirds of all spending coming from Gen Z and Millennials. This powerful group of conscious consumers want to shop small and have a flexible payment option – helping them budget and manage their money. 

Afterpay is committed to empowering small businesses with both a budgeting tool for their customers and the resources they need to stay true to themselves. So whatever the dream, industry, ambition, Afterpay is here to help small businesses grow and connect with this next generation of shoppers, who’s retail spend is expected to jump 48% by 2030.¹ 

Support small and shop big on thousands of one-of-a-kind businesses in Afterpay’s Shop Small Biz page year round. 

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