Running a business alone means doing a lot of jobs – being the creative, the marketer and the financial team all at once. Yet three entrepreneurs in the dorms are doing just that. They’re working hard as college students, and also as businesswomen.
“I started my business because I love to braid and sell beauty products such as lashes and clothing. My end career goal is to have my own store where I can bring all my skills together,” said freshman K’Hira Bonds-Hunt.
Bonds-Hunt is the owner of The Kay Shop. She offers several braiding services and often travels back home on the weekends after school to satisfy her clients. She also sells various styles of lashes and clothing. New clothing is often promoted on her social media.
The pandemic has affected The Kay Shop’s in-person services, as well as retail services. Bonds-Hunt has had to take precautions when it comes to whose hair she will braid to keep herself safe. She also gets products from overseas, which were sometimes delayed when the pandemic began.
Freshman business management major Darreahn Smith’s business was hit by the pandemic as well, causing her to be out of work for four months. It was a disheartening time in her life since nails are what she’s passionate about. She’s had to do limited amounts of nails, which is cutting her income short.
Smith runs Nailsbydarre as a self-taught nail technician. Smith offers nail services on-campus during the week and off-campus at her home in Milwaukee on the weekends. Smith’s work was popularly circulating on Snapchat at the beginning of the school year, which made her presence known at UW-W. She is open to doing any nail styles for her clients. Smith is known for her creative freestyle designs and her specialty bracelets.
“I started practicing nail art in 7th grade, and at that time I didn’t have a name for a business,” said Smith. “I do plan on continuing in the nail technician business after getting my business management degree to start my own nail shop.”
Freshman marketing major Jocelyne Ortiz-Sanchez operates her own business as well, called VibeGlow. VibeGlow is a sunglasses retailer that started earlier this year. An example of VibeGlow’s affordable methods that Ortiz-Sanchez wanted is one of sales going on, any two pairs of glasses for $14, and any three for $20. The glasses regularly range from $9 to $12. The sunglasses come in classic styles as well as unique shapes. They come in traditional and bright colors. Ortiz-Sanchez began the business after quarantine and does online transactions, so her risk during COVID-19 is nearly non-existent.
“I started my business because I always had to pay expensive prices for cute and trendy glasses, so I wanted to sell something more affordable,” said Ortiz-Sanchez. “My ultimate goal is to start a larger business, this business is my extra source of income right now. I’m still testing the waters of how to expand.”
All three of these women are young and just starting their careers, but each have taken on the responsibilities that come with owning and operating a business. To support these entrepreneurs and benefit from their businesses, find them online and around Whitewater.
The Kay Shop: Braiding, lashes, and clothing. Instagram: KhiraBonds, Facebook: Khira Bonds, and Snapchat: KhiraBonds12
VibeGlow: Sunglasses. Instagram: Vibe._.Glow and Snapchat: Jocy_colors
Nailsbydarre: Nails and bracelets. Instagram: Nailsbydarre