Seniors Pave a Way with Small Businesses

Utilizing extra time during the pandemic

Screenshot of Ward’s Instagram post from January 18, 2021. Screenshot taken on January 19, 2021. Showcasing Ward’s crystal rings.

If you’ve exhausted all your new found hobbies over quarantine, here’s one that is surely on the rise: Starting a small business.

 

Millions of Americans are still confined to limited contact alternatives such as working from home or a hybrid mixture. This working situation seems to be a new way of life with about 1 in 4 Americans predicted to work remotely in 2021, according to Upworks “Future of Workplace Pulse Report”. 

 

For students, finding time to manage a conventional part-time job, school and a teenage life (all during a pandemic) can be overwhelming to say the least.

 

During a time where jobs are scarce, some students have used their free time between school to start small businesses by combining hobbies and social media.

Models Adira and Maison pose for Valles Instagram account. Screenshot of Valles’s post from August 23 2020, screenshot taken January 19th 2021. The post showcases Valles’s beaded rings and bracelets.

 

Senior Cecilia Valles started her beaded jewelry shop with a simple “I can make it myself” attitude.

 

“I went to the store, bought the supplies and had some left over and wanted to make my money back, so I just made an Insta page and started selling jewelry,” Valles said.

 

And just like that, Valles became an entrepreneur with her Instagram account ceciliasflowershop, where she sells beaded necklaces, rings, and crystal jewelry. Valles made her first business post in August 2020.

 

The distance learning school schedule has given students some extra time and flexibility to create. “Online school definitely allowed me more time to make jewelry!…If we were in school right now I don’t think I would have time to run a small jewelry business,” Valles said.

 

Senior Emera Ward also took advantage of the extra time to focus on her business,EmerasBeadShop.

Screenshot of Ward’s Instagram post from January 18, 2021. Screenshot taken on January 19, 2021. Showcasing Ward’s crystal rings.

 

“Online school has its ups and downs, but I’m so grateful that it’s given me the opportunity to find my creative outlet and do what I love most!”

 

Emera sells on Etsy rather than Instagram, with raving reviews and 93 sales as of January 18. Her Etsy page sells handmade earrings, bead necklaces, crystal rings, and more.

 

 

Although it feels like we will be stuck in this pandemic forever with little hope for the future, Ward and Valles are optimistic. 

 

They both plan on continuing and even expanding their businesses after high school. 

 

Although jewelry is a high commodity and fun to create, other seniors are making money by selling clothes and other goods through Depop. 

 

Depop is an online app where anyone can sell their clothes or other items and also ship them to the buyer. Senior Jaid Wagner, an aspiring tattoo artist, sells and manages her items through this app.

 

Her idea for creating a Depop account sprang from keeping clothes that she says she “never wears” and once she was ready to let them go, she decided to sell them online.

 

“It was a little scary at first, but then people started to really be interested, so I made it a part time job/hobby,” Wagner said.

You can find her on Depop at maholanddd, where she has sold 23 items and has a 5-star rating.

Photos of some of the items featured on Wagner’s Depop.

 

But don’t be fooled by the success, running a business isn’t easy. Juggling friends, family, the business and school can be tough. 

 

“The hardest thing I have to overcome is probably figuring out a system that works for me and being consistent with my work,” Valles said. 

 

For Ward she believes she “has a lot of potential to grow” and is “trying to take it day by day.” 

 

And as for Wagner the holiday season was the hardest part for her. “Christmas was definitely hard this year because the Post Office was down for a few days. They had to wait almost two weeks for me to even ship out.”

 

But when it’s all said and done, they all agree that their supporters and customers play a huge part in their success, and drive them to be the best they can be.