WRHS Students (Past and Present) Show their Entrepreneurial Spirit

The infamous Coronavirus has affected us all in different ways. For many, life has been more negative than positive. After asking some people about how COVID has personally made them feel, many responded by saying the pandemic has left them unmotivated with an incredible amount of stress on their shoulders. They felt like quarantine has been holding them back. However, a few people I interviewed have taken the time at home to be more productive. 

For example, Arianna Carlos, a WRHS graduate, is 18 years old and has already started up her online shop to make resin jewelry, keychains, and other very wonderfully made merchandise such as t-shirts, all by hand. She also sells homemade masks for those who need them. Even though she started selling on July 15th, she is still becoming more and more successful in the middle of quarantine. However, because of COVID, she can only ship the orders, becoming more expensive since the USPS is being defunded. Not only is shipping getting more expensive, but because of the virus, some of her supplies and materials have been taking a bit longer to get to her. Even though she is facing these obstacles because of the pandemic, she still finds a way to stay positive and is still incredibly successful with her store. Another wonderful thing about her shop is that she uses a lot of the money she’s earned to donate and give back to the community. She presents a portion of her profits to black-led organizations and POC organizations, and she wants to start contributing to clubs in Stockton as well. You can find Arianna’s wares at ari__jewels (On Instagram) and https://aris-jewels.square.site/s/shop (Her official website).

Another small business owner I would like to feature is Yasmeen Murphy. At only 17 years old, she has created a clothing brand called New Generation Clothing. She started working on her brand in early June but officially opened shop in July. 

According to the New Generation website (newgeneration-yp.square.site/who-are-we), “We are a small business that supports teens’ creativity by bringing their visions to life on clothing. Our small business welcomes all into a new and safe place where we can build a better and happier generation,” Murphy told The Prowl.

Yasmeen has been working from home, and COVID has been interfering with their restock speed and advertising, just like Carlos’s business. They must order supplies online and pay extra for them to arrive as early as their customers want them. They also wanted to use their friends as models, but because of COVID, they couldn’t. Because of this, they had to go out and buy professional lighting and other equipment to make the pictures they took of themselves more professional. Yasmeen’s favorite thing about their business is the process. They love sewing the different colored fabrics together and painting. However, the best thing to them is seeing their designs worn by people they don’t know. In addition to the New Generations’ website mentioned above, you can find more information at lothingby_newgen (On Instagram).

I don’t think many people realize how much work and effort goes into starting up your own business, especially during these challenging times. Small business owners, often working alone, already have to deal with the struggles of buying their supplies and materials with their own money, creating their product, dealing with time management, financing, etc. And due to the Coronavirus, the entire process has been proven to be much more difficult. This is precisely why we should take the time to support and appreciate all local businesses. The sheer motivation and passion that Carlos and Murphy have for their craft are unmatched and seemingly underappreciated. We are incredibly proud of these folks and what they’re doing.