Small Business Owners of Flower Mound

Many students have fond memories of participating in market days during elementary school. Elementary students make their own products, learn how to market them, sell them and manage their money. While it may be on a small scale, students learn essential skills for their future. Sometimes those lessons may be applied sooner rather than later. Many high schoolers operate their own small businesses selling innovative products and services based on their skills.

Whether they sell their products to their friends through Instagram, Etsy or eBay, entrepreneurial students find their purpose as they use their talents to help others or increase their knowledge.

Erica Bang, Paige Peterson, Abigail Black, Ella Jane Jackson, Berkley Jones, Eva Vreeland, Nishi Cormaty and Jenna Stephenson are some of the students who have created their own businesses. Erica, Paige, Abigail and Eva all sell handmade jewelry or other accessories from their respective businesses. While accessory-making is a typical business among high school entrepreneurs, other students form businesses based on other, unique talents. Ella Jane and Berkley hand sew reusable masks, Nishi performs nail services and Jenna sells spiders. These businesses might not seem related, but each of them gives their owners a sense of purpose.

There are many reasons why people might start their own businesses. Some students find it fun to be creative and find joy in coming up with new ideas for items to sell. Jenna has a passion for nature and realized that she could capture spiders, identify them and sell them to others with a similar passion. Her business might be unique, but her reasoning is not. Paige feels the same way about her jewelry-making business. She uses her talents to design new products and share them with friends while being productive.

“I hate having nothing to do. I also have a crippling shopping addiction. But now I can tune that to my business, and I’m constantly spending money on new ideas and products,” Paige said. “I have a lot of fun doing what I do, and I love selling earrings because mine are so unique and crazy and definitely help people express themselves.”

Differing from that motivation, other entrepreneurs use high school businesses as a trial run for their future career plans. Nishi is studying cosmetology at TECC West and operates her business as a way to gain experience for her future and form ideas about what a real business is like. Similarly, Erica opened her jewelry business as a way to prepare herself for the future.

“I want to become a successful entrepreneur and build my own company as my future career after college,” Erica said. “I thought I should open my own little shop for building experience and just because I have such a big passion for it.”

Students feel passionate about helping others around them. Abigail, Ella Jane, Berkley and Eva use their skills to help the world as a whole. Abigail focuses on the emotional side, while Eva concentrates explicitly on the environment. Ella Jane and Berkley focus on both the physical and environmental benefits their business provides.

Abigail says that she created her jewelry and hair business to “remind people through things that I make [that] they are loved and valued.” She finds it important to make each item with love to make people feel special. Accessories provide people a way to express themselves through their personal appearance. A handmade piece of jewelry can boost the confidence of the wearer.

On the environmental side, Eva finds that small businesses are essential to reducing the power that fast fashion holds over the fashion industry. “Small businesses are trying to make people stop supporting fast fashion because the fashion industry produces so much waste. I think small businesses are helping the environment when more people start buying from them.”

Ella Jane and Berkley’s business is relevant during the current pandemic. They have been sewing together for a long time and realized that they could use their skills to make masks as so many people are in need of one. Single-use disposable masks often end up in landfills, and the volume of masks used has increased with mask mandates. Creating reusable masks helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus and helps the environment.

“We decided to sell masks because of the worldwide pandemic that is happening before our eyes,” Ella Jane says. “In many places, it is actually mandated to wear one in order to protect yourself and others, so we thought we could create them and sell them for an affordable price so that anyone could get one.”

All of these businesses require investments of time, money and passion. The creators of all of these businesses find it easy to invest so much of themselves into their work because they are passionate about what they do, no matter the subject matter.

As Erica proudly states, “Having a small business is like raising a child with a dream. It’s definitely very difficult at times, but you feel this immense bliss from the people who support you.”

Erica Bangs runs Flutter Garden on Instagram and Etsy. Nishi Cormaty runs Nishic Nails on Instagram. Paige Peterson runs Cloud Verse on Instagram, TikTok, and Etsy. Eva Vreeland runs @thechokerbiz on Instagram and Etsy. Ella Jane Jackson and Berkley Jones run on Instagram. Abigail Black runs @southerngraceco on Instagram and Etsy. Jenna Stephenson sells spiders on eBay.