Student Side Hustles at Memorial
While some consider teenage jobs like lifeguarding or waiting tables to be a rite of passage, students in today’s fast-paced world have chosen a new path: entrepreneurship. I had the privilege to talk with Abby Green, a Memorial High School student who experienced success with her former embroidery business, Sew Much Swag. Abby’s impressive story offers insightful advice to fellow students and gives us an inside look into what is involved when it comes to running a student-owned business.
Abby Green, a current sophomore at Memorial High, started her business in the 7th grade when she came across embroidered clothing on Pinterest. “I thought it would be a good way to make money and earn valuable business experience while doing something fun,” Abby says. Self-taught through YouTube videos, Abby combined her new creative skills with her desire for entrepreneurship, launching Sew Much Swag into full action. From tees to sweatshirts, Abby specialized in customizing clothing using embroidery and tie-dye.
As Sew Much Swag started to take off, Abby’s customers shifted from solely friends and family to a new audience consisting of fellow classmates and even local sports teams.
However, with all good things come challenges. As a busy teen, Abby acknowledges that being a high school student is a full-time job. Abby is an active member of the school community, participating in activities ranging from the softball team to Future Farmers of America. In order to maintain a successful business while juggling these other commitments, Abby shared that “on big orders, [she] would ask [her] friends to help, making them more manageable.”
Abby’s clever solution in this scenario demonstrates the problem-solving skills she developed while running Sew Much Swag. Throughout her entrepreneurial journey, Abby was able to develop valuable skills that are beneficial in the “real world,” the most imperative being time management.
However, due to a shift in her priorities, Abby recently decided to take a step back from Sew Much Swag, focusing more on her other endeavors. Nevertheless, Abby went on to say, “I’m so glad I started my business because I gained so much knowledge and skill that I wouldn’t have acquired through anything else. Being an entrepreneur was and still is truly valuable to my everyday life.” Her words demonstrate that there are numerous learning opportunities that come with running your own business, regardless of how long it continues.
While inspiring, Abby’s story is not out of the ordinary. Recently, our society has seen a rise in student-owned businesses, and it’s not a coincidence. With limited risk and countless resources available, beginning a business as a student is the perfect opportunity for teenagers to build vital workplace traits.
Entrepreneurship is a superb outlet for students to explore passions that they may be interested in pursuing in the future. Schools nationwide have implemented Career in Technical Education (CTE) courses, helping students develop "real-world" skills. Other resources, such as school clubs or mentorship opportunities, are also great ways for students to learn more about what goes into running a business. So if you, or a student you know, are interested in starting a business, go for it - there is no time like the present!
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