Small businesses build amidst pandemic

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Virtual small businesses have grown since the COVID-19 pandemic began. This includes four students at Slippery Rock University who have started small businesses to share their hobbies, passions and creativity. Drew Lewis, Jordan Hare, Amanda Reilly and Kaylin Tretinik share their experiences creating a small business.

Made for You by Drew– Drew Lewis 

Drew Lewis, senior early childhood and special education major of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, owns Made For You by Drew.  Lewis started focusing on making personalized cups in early 2020 when she made some for her three roommates. Lewis posted them on her Instagram without much intent of turning this craft into a business, but after her post on Instagram, Lewis got about 40 orders in 48 hours.  

Lewis primarily specializes in custom Starbucks cups and tumblers, as shown on her Etsy page, but she also takes customer requests and will personalize any kind of cup they ask for. Lewis sold her cups on Instagram and was paid through Venmo in the beginning, but now she has an Etsy account to reach a greater amount of potential customers. She has now sent her products to all 50 states, several U.S. military bases, and countries like Italy, Japan and Spain.  

Lewis’ cups range from $15-$25 depending on the design and the materials used to create the final cup. She also provides options of designs on her Etsy page and accepts custom designs from customers.  

“I usually have people message me and then I create the design on my software,” said Lewis. “I then send them an example before I have them pay to make sure they like it.” 

To shop from Made for You by Drew, you can go to @.made.for.you on Instagram, or shop through Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadeForYouByDrew?ref=search_shop_redirect 

JHareCreations– Jordan Hare 

Jordan Hare, senior secondary education and social studies/history major, owns JHareCreations. Hare started her business in October of 2020 and sells reusable and reversible masks made by hand. She started out making masks for just a couple of friends, then she decided to create an Etsy page for JHareCreations 

In addition to sales, Hare donates $1 of everything she makes to a different charity each month. So far Hare has donated to The Trevor Project, the National Park Fund, and the MS Society. 

“It’s been really great to not only get to do this as a creative outlet and help outfit people with masks, so they get to have something cute to wear, but I also am able to give back,” said Hare.  

Hare’s masks typically cost $5, which does not include shipping. This past October, she made masks that were Halloween-themed for $6, and customers were able to pick the colors inside the mask. Hare ships all over the country and has sold masks as far south as Florida and as far west as Missouri.  

To shop from JHareCreations, you can follow @jharecreations on Instagram, or shop through her Etsy store here https://www.etsy.com/shop/JHareCreations?ref=search_shop_redirect 

Thrifty Lou– Amanda Reilly 

Amanda Reilly, sophomore public relations major with a focus in journalism, owns Thrifty Lou. Reilly start Thrifty Lou in December of 2020. Customers can shop off of Reilly’s business Instagram to purchase used clothes. Reilly sells her own clothes, as well as other items she finds at thrift stores. She focuses on making her online shop size inclusive so that it meets all customer’s needs. Reilly’s clothes range from a XXSmall to a 4XL.  

“I started putting everything together at home, printing out the label, and then take it straight to my post office in my town,said Reilly. “I also bought stickers, scrunchies, and different little things to add to whoever the customers that purchased from me.” 

Reilly runs an Instagram and Facebook page for Thrifty Lou. On Facebook, Reilly will occasionally hold a bid for certain items. There is also an option that if the customer does not want to bid, they can purchase the piece of clothing for the price listed. Reilly also takes requests if a customer is looking for a specific piece.  

Price ranges from $5 – $20 which may differ according to shipping fees. You can check out Thrifty Lou on Instagram @thrifty_lou.  

Totally Rad Rugs– Kaylin Tretinik 

Kaylin Tretinik, junior dual major early childhood education and special education of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, owns Totally Rad Rugs. Tretinik makes handmade custom rugs that she draws, designs and produces herself. 

“I draw out the designs of the different rugs,” said Tretinik. “I then project an image or the design I drew out and then you can trace the exact image you want on the rug.” 

Tretinik’s prices depend on the size and design of the rug. The largest rug Tretinik makes is two feet by two feet. She can also make rugs that she connects to a foam board so that customers can hang the rug on the wall. Customers can ask for a custom rug or gain inspiration for Tretinik’s previous work and designs. Totally Rad Rugs ships all over the United States and delivers locally.  

To shop from Totally Rad Rugs, you can direct message the Instagram @totallyradrugs or fill out the Google Doc sheet in the bio. 

Supporting small businesses has been especially emphasized during these times. For any questions or to find out further information, customers can contact the business owners through the linked social medias.  

Morgan is an integrated marketing communication major. This is her first year on The Rocket staff as assistant campus life editor. Previously, she was part of the Women’s Lacrosse team at SRU for two years and was an editor for her high school yearbook sophomore to senior year. After graduation she hopes to work on a marketing team in the DMV area. Outside of The Rocket, Morgan is also part of SRU UPB and works part time.

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Morgan Miller
Morgan is an integrated marketing communication major. This is her first year on The Rocket staff as assistant campus life editor. Previously, she was part of the Women’s Lacrosse team at SRU for two years and was an editor for her high school yearbook sophomore to senior year. After graduation she hopes to work on a marketing team in the DMV area. Outside of The Rocket, Morgan is also part of SRU UPB and works part time.

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