Lead On, Creatively: Kerrie Meister  


The Shaping the Arts series highlights TCU College of Fine Arts faculty and alums who are at the forefront of their field and Lead On creatively.

“My career has not taken a straight direct path,” said Kerrie Meister ’01. “I believe strongly that each twist and turn contributed to who I am today.”

We spoke to Meister about transforming “Meister Made” from a side hustle into a flourishing business specializing in hand-pulled screen printing, laser engraving and vinyl decals.

Early Beginnings & Entrepreneurial Spirt

Kerrie Meister ’01

Kerrie Meister ’01

Meister was exposed to the Horned Frog community early on and got a glimpse of campus life while visiting her older sister.

“I felt at home,” said Meister.

Arriving on campus, Meister filled her schedule with diverse courses to explore what subjects piqued her interest and determine a career path. She registered for a photography class and became intrigued with capturing her surroundings and creating a final image in the darkroom. Meister declared her major as Studio Art with a photography emphasis in her second year.

Meister later attended a seminar for an art profession class that left a lasting impression and provided valuable insights into creating an exhibition, collaborating with art galleries and building a business.

“I still have my notebook from that class and referenced it several times over the years,” said Meister.

She founded Meister Made in 2017 as a side hustle, and it expanded to a full-time business serving small enterprises and individuals.

Meister Made has expanded to a full-time business serving small enterprises and individuals.

After graduation, she pursued careers that strengthened her creative talents and entrepreneurial spirit, including becoming an adjunct professor in the TCU Bob Schieffer College of Communication and operating a photography business for 12 years, while working full-time at TCU in the Koehler Center as an instructional designer and eLearning manager. She also continued her artistic practice with featured exhibitions and curating local art shows.

“Having an art degree contributed directly to being hired for each job even when the position was not creative in nature,” said Meister.

She founded Meister Made in 2017 as a side hustle, and it expanded to a full-time business serving small enterprises and individuals.

Deep Dive with Kerrie Meister

Image of Meister's dog, Ollie.

Ollie, who is Meister’s “studio manager.”

How do you use social media to promote your business?
Meister: Social media is awesome because it is your space to share your business identity.

I want Meister Made to come across as authentic and very hands-on, so I share my favorite music in the background of videos and include content with my dog Ollie who is my “studio manager.” I also make good use of hashtags and tagging clients and products.

It’s easy to get sucked into social media, so find a rhythm of posting that works for you. Take breaks from social media for your mental health and to help determine what is important to share about your business.

What advice would you give to students pursuing a career in the fine arts?
Meister: Be open-minded. Be resourceful. Be organized with your finances.

Have fun and take chances. Don’t feel like you must stay within one medium. Don’t shy away from pursuing the commercial side of art.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an entrepreneur?
Meister: Find something you enjoy creating, put your unique spin on it and learn to do it well. Creating is a small percentage of running a business, so take the time to invest in learning things like accounting, taxes, customer service skills, website management and project management. I highly recommend building your business on the side to make taking chances a little easier.