Marcus McNeal

Finance professional opens Etsy business after losing his job to COVID

Mat Shaw | Contributing Writer

Between encouraging friends to make investments for the future, 29-year-old Dallas resident Marcus McNeal decided over the summer to follow his own advice and open an Etsy t-shirt business.
No stranger to the world of finance, the adaptable young professional conceived the idea after being let go from his day job as an account manager for Centrada Solutions LLC due to COVID-19.

“All the jobs I’ve had have really been in finance, and so that’s very analytical and one side of the brain. But I do have a very creative side,” McNeal said.

His new business, Cypress 39 Tees, launched in May and offers 26 items for sale that include shirts, a hat and three baby onesies that say, “Future Artist,” “Future Doctor” and “Future Engineer” — all inspired by his pregnant sister.
His items also have a political message encouraging voting and denouncing racism. In fact, he said his most popular item is a red tank top with a simple message: Vote.

“A lot of my shirts do just say, ‘Vote,’” McNeal said. “Whether you’re on the right or left side of the aisle, you need to go vote.”

The business has already started making sales, even though it isn’t actually officially opening. And the business’s Facebook page, @Cypress39Tees, is already getting likes.

“Any time anyone starts any sort of business, they want it to be very successful,” McNeal said. “Because my niche is very focused on political t-shirts and protest t-shirts and the like, hopefully with this being an election year that will sort of jump start the growth and the store.”

Besides working in finance, McNeal has been a singing member of Turtle Creek Chorale since 2017. But since the coronavirus pandemic began, he has been unable to work or sing, so he has spent much of his time recording daily “Lunch Lessons” advice videos on finance and investments.

Cypress 39 is McNeal’s latest investment, and he hopes it will eventually make up to $1,000 in revenue each month. With that kind of revenue, he said, he would hire a designer because, he admitted, his designing skills are limited.

“What you would see in the store right now, I designed it all,” he proclaimed. “You never know what might catch on with people.”