Being a college student is difficult when managing schoolwork, friends, social clubs, sporting activities and many other things. Some students have gone beyond solely these responsibilities and turned their talents and hobbies into business ventures.
Senior advertising major Sarah Webb knows what it’s like to run a business while balancing schoolwork. Webb started hobby photography while she was studying abroad her sophomore year. Eventually, people started asking her to take their portraits, which turned into people asking her to take their engagement pictures.
“I never thought my hobby of photography would be more than that,” Webb said. “After I was asked to shoot my first engagement session in the fall of 2016, I made an Instagram and Facebook business page for my work. I hope to eventually go full-time with photography — hopefully within the next three years.”
Webb also said that the best thing about having a photography business in college is that she is her own boss. She makes her schedule, and works when she wants to.
Sophomore psychology major Saraya Dodd tweezes eyebrows and decided to start a business called “Brow Chicka Wowz” during her sophomore year of college.
“I started tweezing and shaping people’s eyebrows with my mom, and I went with her to her cosmetology classes to learn there,” Dodd said. “I decided to make it a business the first semester of my sophomore year. I was getting 10 (appointments) a day and it was taking a lot of time, so I decided to make it a business then. I hope to continue doing brows when I graduate because I love it, but it would need to be a side job.”
Dodd said it is difficult to balance a regular job, school, and doing brows. Dodd said she spends about 30 minutes per person, a large time commitment for someone already juggling school. Dodd said she loves getting to meet new people, and this has been a great way for her to branch out of her usual friend group.
Junior mechanical engineering major James Bowie decided he wanted to make a snowboard when he was younger, but his family lived in Texas, where there was not much demand, so he made a longboard instead.
“It’s easier to do this on breaks when I’m at home just because I don’t have much time since I’m on the track team and I have school,” Bowie said. “I didn’t put a lot of time into marketing my longboards, but everyone I have made one for has liked it. I’ll probably continue doing this after I graduate because I do enjoy it, but I would definitely do it as a side business.”
Overall, side businesses can be stressful and time consuming while in college, but it could be the start of a full-time or part-time job after graduation.