Students run businesses, demonstrate entrepreneurship
Students prove with their inventive creations that it’s never too early to become entrepreneurs.
Feb 27, 2023
Learn more about two of Haven’s artistic entrepreneurs.
Freshman fuses glass
Freshman Josie Wieland operates a small business selling glass art such as necklaces, earrings and ring dishes. She has been operating her business since second grade and now sells her work in a shop called “Lunch Break Vintage” located in Swarthmore.
Wieland’s work isn’t only limited to the store, though—she also sells online. She has a Facebook and Instagram page for her business both titled “Josie Fusions” where she showcases her creations for sale.
“I take commissions and I ship some of my artwork as well to people who live far away or just can’t make it to the store. I enjoy having the opportunity of selling my work online and in person because more people are able to see and buy it,” she said.
Wieland’s products change seasonally and she likes to make holiday or season-themed items. The ideas for her pieces are inspired by the app Pinterest or she comes up with them on her own.
Wieland makes her products at her house, using a kiln in her basement.
“When I have time I go into my basement, usually on weekends, and start the process of building my pieces. Normally, I have a slab or a block of something and I lay out each piece of glass,” she said. “So I’m working on that surface. Then I just start creating, it’s not a super like confined area and I just do whatever I can when I can.”
Wieland has been producing and selling her creations for years and started working on glass work a little before she started selling it.
“I was inspired to start it because I went to this art camp called Windover,” she said. “It was in Maine, and they had a fused glass program there. It was actually going to close because the owner got sick and wasn’t able to run the camp anymore. So I was like, I should start this business, in her memory.”
Wieland likes selling her glasswork because she believes it is a good way to express herself. She not only profits financially from this, but also through her enjoyment of sharing her work with others.
In the future Wieland hopes she can still run this business or at least continue it as a hobby.*
Senior designs jewelry
Aïssata Koné is a senior student who has a passion for creating jewelry. She runs a business, “GenZJewelz,” through which she sells her jewelry online and at various vendor events. She maintains a website and Instagram page for her business.
Growing up in a creative household, Koné was exposed to crafting and making things. Her inspiration to start her own business came from her mother’s own business, which centered around wellness products such as soap and candles.
“I have a mom who makes and sells things and has a wellness business,” Koné said, “So she makes soap and all this cool stuff and sells them. We’re a really big crafting house and I just make a bunch of stuff. I then started making a lot of pieces of jewelry and I was like: why not sell jewelry?”
Koné has flexibility with balancing her schoolwork and her business. She works on the weekends and in her free time where she starts making her orders. When she’s unable to work on her business, she is able to close her shop for a little while.
Koné has a specific process she follows when selling and shipping her products. “So first, there will be a customer who buys something on my website. I look at it and then I automatically mark it as progress because I don’t want anyone to think I’m not working on their order… Once I finish, I’ll throw a business card in there. I then package it up and walk it over to the Swarthmore post office because I live right down the street. Then I ship it and then mark it as shipped on my app.”
Koné has expanded her business throughout the years. She recently started selling tote bags and cards she made from her cricut machine. As she gets further along in her business, she gains opportunities of meeting new people at vendors she sells at and learning how to make different things.
Koné’s business is it allows her to express herself to others in a creative way. Many people not only get to see her creativity but also get to wear it.
“My overall motive is probably just creative expression, because I don’t get a lot of time to creatively express myself on a day-to-day basis because I’m just worried about school and work and all that kind of stuff. So I don’t really get enough time to like, just chill out and listen to music and I find it kind of peaceful to sit there and bend wire.”
Koné would like to continue her business when she’s older and in college because she enjoys making and selling things. Koné hopes to add more and learn more as she continues running her business.