New in Town

Family-owned, Lansing-made

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Anna Escobedo, the owner of Better than Ur’s, is a proud product of Lansing. The born-and-raised resident has been crafting and creating products for over 20 years — from hair bows and kids’ Halloween costumes to custom-made quilts.  

That passion and creativity has been passed down in her family too.  

Her daughter, a.k.a. Sketchatunes!, drew a picture of her mother in April 2020, and it became the catalyst for the entire business. That portrait inspired Escobedo to take one of her side gigs, making t-shirts, more seriously.  

Escobedo, 38, did pop-up shops and shows in the state before opening a store in Jackson in June 2022. After parting ways with her former business partner, Escobedo opened up the store’s first Lansing brick-and-mortar spot at 602 Elmwood Road, Suite B in Lansing.  

High rent prices led her to take up shop with a fellow entrepreneur Reyna Barravino-Cisne in a new space, at Rey of Light Hair Studio & Co. in August 2022. “The environment there is peaceful and light,” Escobedo said. “It’s like going into another world.” 

Escobedo said Better than Ur’s has steadily evolved, thanks in part to Rey of Light’s support. Her children, Caiden and Arianna, also have been helpful, and both have jobs within the company, such as helping with the setup and ensuring things run smoothly.  

“We originally started with T-shirts, and people started asking us to make other items,” Escobedo said. So, our list extended to over 170 items we customize.”   

Better than Ur’s Designs’ is stocked with a vast collection of exclusive goods, such as resin art, drink tumblers and cups, apparel and accessories, makeup bags, car coasters, games, hookah tips and rolling trays. Their stock is also available for mail orders via their online store at betterthanursdesignstore.com. 

Much like the namesake, Escobedo strives for her small business to have the highest standards of integrity while partnering with other entrepreneurs needing personalized goods.  

“We ourselves aren’t better — we are a network of other businesses that strive to be the best we can be,” she said. “We help small businesses with their branding. The majority of our clientele is small businesses that need their logo put on a variety of items.” 

Keeping it even more local, the business prides itself on processing its products here in Lansing. 

“We are completely family-operated,” Escobedo said. “No products are shipped out or processed by another company. We touch every product.” 

This business owner encourages Lansing to travel to the south side and support two locally owned businesses in one space. “If you are looking for a small business that operates on love and integrity, come shop with us,” she said.  

The store hosts weekly moonlit markets 6 to 11 Friday nights, inviting business vendors to participate. They’re also hosting a family-friendly Day of the Dead pop-up shop 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 28 with a photo booth, costume contest, food trucks, and more.  

This is a lot to juggle for a mother of three who’s working three jobs and running a business. But looking ahead, Escobedo said she hopes to ultimately devote all of her time to the store and scale back on her other jobs.  

“My goal for the store is to be self-sustaining,” she said.  

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