Tennis star, entrepreneur and technology visionary—Kit Carson really does have it all. Not to mention, she has it all in a city she loves—Dallas. Carson moved to Big D from Florida, and after earning two degrees from SMU, she remained in the city and launched a company called Tantrum Street, which develops mobile and cloud-based app technology in the heart of Deep Ellum. Whether she’s on the court, in the office or in front of a boardroom of investors, Carson feels at home. We sat down for a quick Q&A to find out what made her choose Dallas as her place of residence.
Q. Why did you choose to attend SMU when your family lived in Florida?
I originally decided to get my undergrad education at SMU because they offered me a full tennis scholarship, and I was also impressed with their business program. Once I was there, deciding to continue at SMU for my MBA was an easy decision. I came to Dallas to lead a tennis team; I stayed because I love the city and all that it has to offer.
Q. What appealed to you about Deep Ellum as a home for your company, Tantrum Street?
Well, availability of a large space that we could grow into over time was the initial idea, but what we love about Deep Ellum actually goes much deeper. We want to be an integral part of the historic neighborhood’s resurgence. Deep Ellum fosters creativity and a sense of community—not only in the art industry, but in the business and technology realm, too. And that’s where we fit in. The neighborhood is no longer known just for its nightlife, it’s now an emerging hub for creative enterprises. With startups like Tantrum Street, and the availability of the blazing-fast Ellum.net fiber optic service running throughout the neighborhood, we believe that Deep Ellum’s success will only continue to thrive—both during the day and at night.
Q. What kinds of products and services does Tantrum Street provide?
We recently launched our first two apps on the Apple App Store, which are aimed at simplifying and improving the retail experience, for both businesses and consumers. Our free Cartwheel Register app helps merchants and small businesses use the mobile devices they already own—their smartphones and tablets—to run their businesses and accept payments. They don’t need expensive technology like point-of-sale systems. They don’t even need a credit card reader attachment like some mobile apps require. It’s that simple.
Our Skip Wallet app is a free digital wallet for consumers. Users can load all of their credit, debit and gift cards into the app, which securely stores that info in the cloud. The consumer can then just use their Skip Wallet Payname and PIN to conduct cardless, and even phone-less, transactions at participating locations. And with each Skip Wallet purchase, users make a small contribution to Good Returns, which creates jobs and improves communities around the world. So you can make a difference in a person’s life each time you shop.
Q. Tell us about the free transactions you’re providing to Deep Ellum merchants.
We’re offering merchants in the Deep Ellum neighborhood a chance to really benefit from using Tantrum Street’s apps. Any business in Deep Ellum that uses our Cartwheel Register app is eligible to receive a 0% transaction rate, as long as 25% of their transactions come through our Skip Wallet app. We want to give something back to the neighborhood that we call home. Offering our software with no transaction fee can save them literally thousands of dollars, and we’re more than happy to be able to do that for our neighbors. For those merchants not in Deep Ellum, we provide a single transaction rate of 2.6% + $0.24 for each and every transaction made through Cartwheel Register—with no asterisks and no long-term contracts. Merchants can visit our Howdy Deep Ellum website to learn more.
Q. What do you like most about living in Dallas?
Dallas started off as a great place to go to school, and ended up being the perfect place to stay and develop a business. This city has so many opportunities and so much positive economic activity. And more importantly, Dallas just has a great environment. It has that small-town southern charm in a big city environment.