Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Terra Saunders brings Waitressville to CNBC's Crowd Rules

UPDATE (12:45pm)
I just got word that CNBC has shelved the remaining episodes of Crowd Rules and will relaunch the show later this Summer. Terra's episode will NOT be shown this evening. Boo!

Tonight, Dallas' own Terra Saunders brings Waitressville to America on a new show from CNBC called Crowd Rules. Crowd Rules features three small businesses each week who compete in front of an audience of 100. Their votes decide who wins a much-needed $50,000 prize. Entrepreneur and jewelry designer Kendra Scott, TV Newsman Pat Kiernan, along with a weekly guest industry expert, lead the examination of the small businesses in order to help a studio audience choose which company wins the $50,000. While the small business owners make their case to the panel of three, the real power lies in the hands of the audience whose votes will ultimately decide which business is most deserving of the investment. 

Waitressville is a new apparel company designed to give employees a look that will speak volumes about the brand they represent. “What you wear says everything about who you are and what you stand for,” says Waitressville founder and head designer Terra Saunders. For most establishments, outfitting their employees means handing them a T-shirt with the company logo on it or a golf shirt paired with chinos. Saunders seeks to combine fashion with function and bring a more discerning approach to restaurant brands with her designs. Whether you operate a restaurant, bar, bowling alley or other form of entertainment venue, your employees serve as representatives and their look speaks volumes about your brand to the consumer.

Might I interject here to say that life is random.

Case in point: I worked at the Dallas Observer for 12 years and in that time I saw hundreds of sales reps come and go. I'm not kidding. Hundreds. One of the many who crossed my path was Terra Watson (now Saunders). She was decidedly different from the rest because she was also a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader.  She always had glamorous stories of going on tour with the USO or fun celebrities she encountered. She was cool.  But, she too, was gone before too long and I sort of forgot about her. Flash forward about 10 years and Terra's back in my life - now as a client!  Here's what's happened since I saw her last:


Saunders has always had an obsession with uniforms. “A uniform means you belong to something, whether it’s the Girl Scouts or a sports team. It’s a status symbol of sorts and as a kid I just wanted to belong. I wanted a uniform,” muses Saunders. Her dream came true when she joined the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders in 1995. Her dance background and experience with the Cowboys gave her the confidence to start DallaswearUniforms.com in 1998, designing dance apparel for other Pro Cheerleader teams. Dallaswear currently outfits cheerleading and dance teams including the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Stars and Oklahoma City Thunder - just to name a few. 

In 2009, the owner of Twin Peaks Restaurant approached Saunders and asked her to design a “sexy lumberjack” uniform for his company. Based on that successful partnership, Breastaurant Uniforms was created and is the undisputed leader for this niche of the food service industry. Current clients include Double D Ranch (TN/LA), Whisky River (NC/FL), and Bone Daddy’s House of Smoke (TX). Not wanting to limit her creativity (or income potential) Saunders has just launched Waitressville to provide restaurant owners worldwide with a one-stop shopping portal to purchase more fashionable apparel for their team or the opportunity to design a look that’s completely unique for each brand. Restaurant owners and managers can easily customize uniform styles, colors and logos directly online.

And now she's about to bring her ideas to the world on Crowd Rules.  What will the crowd think of Saunders’ Waitressville concept? Tune in to CNBC at 8PM TONIGHT to find out!