Entrepreneurs of our generation

Jahyie Petit-Pointe, Staff Writer

An Alaska Business study found that out of 500 adult entrepreneurs, 13 percent started their first business at 18 or younger. Krop’s students have proven to be a part of this percentage, with many of our own students starting underground and popular businesses. 

According to Insider, prominent entrepreneurs like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd and Tumblr founder David Karp started in their teenage years.

Junior Saniyah Jean started her lash business, BlinksByNia, on Aug. 23, 2020. Jean said she makes her lash company stand out from others by using a more simplistic style. 

“My lashes aren’t as dramatic and exotic like other businesses,” Jean said. “I do colored lashes, but I still keep it simple.” 

To get started, Jean watched Youtube videos, ordered supplies online, and practiced doing lashes on her friends and family. Also, she made sure to learn about sanitation, isolation, and how to angle the tweezers by taking physical lash classes. 

Since starting her business, Jean struggled with her business’s growth due to not properly promoting it. However, she has recently gained more exposure by advertising her lash services on social media platforms. 

As of now, Jean works from her house, but doesn’t plan to own a brick and mortar store. Jean’s main goal with BlinksByNia is to ensure customers feel satisfied after their appointment. 

“Every time I’m done doing their lashes, they are always so happy and say they will come back,” Jean said. 

Young entrepreneurs have been gaining a lot more appreciation and praise since most of them are in high school. Managing your own business while being in school is not an easy task. Especially when you work a job, or do an after-school sport or activity. However, even with these factors, according to Franchise Direct, teenage entrepreneurs are not afraid to put in over 60-100 hours of hard work to achieve their goals. Like senior Toni McClay, who started her baking business in 2019.

McClay started baking for fun and was asked to create a cake for a friend’s birthday, eventually leading to her taking in more orders.

Offering realistic, custom cakes, desserts and unique designs allows her business to stand out. McClay advertises her business by posting pictures and videos on Instagram.

The biggest struggle she has with her business is how to properly price her work. She said she gets conflicted because she doesn’t want to charge too much, but also wants to ensure she is making a profit.

Since 2019, McClay’s business has seen immense growth, even more so during Covid-19. Currently baking out of her home kitchen, McClay’s goal is to open a physical store in South Florida in the next five to six years.

According to Franchise Direct, teenage entrepreneurs like McClay and Jean are more connected because they know the importance of social media for promoting their brand. They know how to use social media well and leverage it in their favor.  

High school students like McClay and Jean show that no matter what age you choose entrepreneurship, putting the hard work and effort into your business will always pay off. 

 (@blinksbynia): Instagram of Saniyah Jean

(@thebaddiebaker): Instagram of Toni McClay