Sophomore Audrey Yang works on an art commission. She uses a tablet and digital pen for most of her pieces.
Sophomore Audrey Yang works on an art commission. She uses a tablet and digital pen for most of her pieces.
Madison Barnes

Making Their Own Way

Students Start Their Own Businesses

One idea is all it took–one simple concept that bloomed into a garden of opportunities.

A number of students across campus have established self-made jobs that supply both goods and services in their respective areas. These students are able to work as their own bosses.

“Students who are entrepreneurs really represent a positive aspect of student culture,” teacher Neda Morrow said. “I like seeing the different things that students make and sell. Sometimes you can forget how creative people can be.”

Junior Alitsa Tovar is an entrepreneur and has created her own crochet business. She sells yarn work and knitted objects, the most popular being a spider-man beanie. Her usual customers have been family as well as close friends. 

“My favorite crochet thing to make is a tapestry,” Tovar said. “I like the designs I can make, and I like the color switches, and I like that I can hang it up on walls or give it to someone else to hang up on walls.”

Tovar started to crochet because she wanted to be more connected to her recently passed grandmother. Her crocheting became a business two years ago, and she profits about ⅓ of her total spendings. 

“My grandmother would love to crochet, and my mom would tell me all the stories about her crocheting,” Tobar said. “She would show me her projects, so I just felt like I would feel closer to her if I crocheted, just like her.” 

OctoKandi is another entrepreneurship business, and is run by sophomore Natalie Rodriguez. She first got started making bead jewelry because of her uncle’s request for them, leading her to create them for the first time when she was ten.

“When I get happiness from making beaded stuff, it’s because it reminds me of that memory,” Rodriguez said. “I love seeing people’s creativity and their little way of going out into the world wanting custom bracelets.”

Rodriguez sells anything made with beads, including bracelets and phone charms. Her most popular selling items are matching sets. She has been making beaded objects since 8th grade, and recently began her business a few months ago. 

“This job has taught me so much it’s actually insane,” Rodriguez said. “It’s taught me discipline and time management because I have … a lot of extracurriculars I have to go and make time for.” 

Another entrepreneur is senior Ethan Storer who runs two businesses. One is an e-commerce store or a dropshipping store, which means Storer gets products from a supplier and then delivers them to people. The other is a copywriting business where Storer writes emails as well as marketing, product pages, and product listings for small businesses. 

“My favorite part is probably that I don’t have to work for someone else,” Storer said. “I get to choose what hours that I work. I get to choose how much money I make; I just need to work harder to get that.”

Storer began his e-commerce store with the guidance of YouTube tutorialists, including Nathan Nazarith and Jordan Bound. He sells camping gear such as tents, firestarters, and additional objects. He began his copywriting business when his e-commerce store hit a wall, and ended up making more money doing the client-based work.

“For the majority of my life I have been really entrepreneurial minded–my dad has always taught that to my brothers,” Storer said. “He’s always pushing us to always read these different books on entrepreneurship and success, and they really help me to find the path to take with my entrepreneurship journey.”

Storer would like to get a warehouse so he can store products for his e-commerce store; this allows him to buy products ahead of time and print logos. He is also interested in turning his copywriting business into an agency down the line because of its high profit margins. 

“I feel that something that was taught that’s not really true is ‘there’s no such thing as getting rich quick’,” Storer said. “There is definitely something such as getting rich quick. What does not exist is to get rich easily. So everything that I am doing has the potential to get really big really fast, but it’s not easy.”

Sophomore Daisy McCawley is another entrepreneur and owns her own clothing business called Pink Palace. She designs, creates, and then posts custom clothing including sweatshirts and t-shirts on her instagram page. All of her designs or clothes revolve around the color pink. 

“I enjoy being able to work on my own time frame and just being flexible,” McCawley said. “If someone wants something by a certain date I can do it or if they want it later I can have some free time to do it periodically.”

McCawley began her business a couple months ago after coming up with the idea and has grown since then. She wants to open a boutique in the future with all the clothing she has designed inside for sale. 

“My mom and a lady I know named Cassie Brown both own their own businesses and are really hard working women,” McCawley said. “They really inspired me to work hard and do what I want to do in life.”

Another student entrepreneur is sophomore Audrey Yang. She does art commissions, which usually consist of small characters for local small businesses for them to use how they need. 

“I enjoy just being able to work on my own time and being able to make money on things that I actually enjoy rather than sitting behind a counter taking orders,” Yang said. “Having the option of taking a break while I’m working whenever I need one is something that I find really valuable.”

These commissions take Audrey Yang five to six hours to draw, then two to three days to edit. The entire process can take two to four weeks to fully complete, and she charges based on the quantity of the drawing. She also gets help from her mother, Lauren Yang, who deals with the editing phases of the commision. 

“My mom helped me a lot with a lot of things,” Audrey Yang said. “Most of the operation is my mother. She is the one who sends the file to them and kinda talks to them about what they want on the commission itself and I just draw it.”

Audray Yang has done art commissions for friends of her mother and owners of small and local businesses. These consist of small original characters Yang creates based on the company or logos for them.

“I plan on doing more wide scale art commissions when I’m older so I can keep on making money as kind of a side job and at the same time being able to do something I like consistently,” Audrey Yang said. “So rather than making little logos for smaller businesses maybe doing like little original characters or other people or helping people with inspiration boards.”


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