BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Waiting for acceptance into the program of his dreams, a Brownsville man picked up a hobby that would soon lead to a full-time small business.

Carlos De Leon Jr., 21, is the owner of TUFFSPACE, a small business focused on custom rug and coaster making.

Located in Brownsville, De Leon picked up the hobby as a way to distract himself as he awaits acceptance into a dental hygenist program at Texas State Technical College.

Inspired by a video on the social media platform TikTok, De Leon found himself intrigued by the art of rug making.

I really admire art and stuff that people create. I thought it would be something cool to tryout

Carlos De Leon Jr.

Originally launching his Instagram as a form to share his art, De Leon soon felt the overwhelming support of the community.

Filling a gap in the Rio Grande Valley small business circle, De Leon receives weekly custom orders.

As he did not have a mentor to guide him in the world of rug punching, De Leon told ValleyCentral his tufting technique was self-taught.

I learned myself in my house, it was self-taught. It was definitely trial and error… I picked up techniques while going at it and practicing.

Carlos De Leon Jr.

De Leon currently treats the small business as a full-time job, making most products in his bedroom.

Upon his acceptance into the TSTC program, De Leon plans to keep the business going as a sort of “side-hustle.”

However post-graduation, De Leon hopes to one day open a business in which he will teach the community the art of rug making.

I love art. Whenever you create something you are putting something into this world that carrys sentimental value to you. You know you did it, knowing that you did that makes you feel accomplished. I want people to feel that as well.

Carlos De Leon Jr.

To explore more on TUFFSPACE, individuals can visit the business Instagram HERE.