Many collegiettes dream of finishing college and starting their own businesses. But for some, their business dreams don’t have to wait until after college. These five young women started their own businesses while continuing their college studies. They’ve done everything from philanthropic ventures to one-of-a-kind clothing lines. Check out their amazing ideas.
Gabrielle Palermo, G3Box
Arizona State University 2013
After seeing the mass of used shipping containers that are discarded as trash, Gabrielle Palermo wanted to find a way to recycle them. This senior at Arizona State University collaborated with three of her friends to design low-cost, modular, and mobile medical clinics from these recycled shipping containers. Her company, G3Box, aims to create convenient places for the administration of healthcare in the rural United States and Africa. They sell these units to companies and organizations that are working on the social and economic frontlines. For her business venture, Gabrielle was named Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2011.
Ashley Rozumek and Caleigh Adler, A La Plage
University of New Hampshire 2014
Literally meaning “at the beach,” this beach-inspired jewelry company brings the latest trends right to you. Ashley Rozumek and Caleigh Adler always had an eye for fashion. But instead of designing their own jewelry, they decided to bring the best designs to their customers. Ashley and Caleigh hand-select each piece they wish to display for their company. The company then brings those affordable, fashionable pieces right to college girls. Though they hope to someday open their own boutique, for now, they’ll bring the bling to you.
Stephanie Chan, PosterFuse
Emory University 2014
When it came to decorating her dorm room, Stephanie Chan wanted to get creative. After brainstorming with her co-founders and Emory classmates Michael Simon and Denver Rayburn, this junior at Emory University launched her own company called PosterFuse. This site allows users to create their own unique 20” X 32” collage poster using pictures from Instagram and Facebook. “Getting started was relatively easy,” says Stephanie. “As each of us had a different expertise, we were able to do everything except run the printing in house.” PosterFuse also offers a free product to make a photo collage for your Facebook cover photo. The site had their first order within an hour of launching and now, Stephanie says, “We’ve attracted people to our site from countries and demographics we never expected.” In the future, Stephanie hopes to expand the site even further, allowing users to get even more creative with their posters through manual upload and text.
Emily McCutcheon and Aryn Weinstein, zero f’s given
Emory University 2015
These two collegiettes took their crafting hobby and turned it into a profitable business venture with their clothing line, zero f’s given. Emily McCutcheon and Aryn Weinstein, sophomores at Emory University, add flair to simple pieces of clothing like shorts and T-shirts by bleaching, ripping, and studding. Their business began as a Facebook group between friends sharing DIY fashion tips. After posting ideas back and forth, these two decided to see if they could start making money off of their creative stylings. In June of 2012, their clothing expanded from Facebook to Etsy, an e-commerce site for individuals and companies to sell their products. Their one-of-a-kind shorts sell from $25-$35 and their shirts are around $15.
Annemarie Ryu, Global Fruits, Inc.
Harvard University 2015
On a family trip to India, this current Harvard student fell in love. Her love? Jackfruit. Jackfruit is an inexpensive, naturally sweet fruit found abundantly in southern India. However, to Annemarie’s dismay, it was not readily available in the United States. That’s why this young entrepreneur started Global Fruits, Inc. This 2012 Harvard College Innovation winning business works with India’s top jackfruit processing group to introduce dried jackfruit and jackfruit seed flower, with fewer calories than wheat flower, to U.S. markets and supermarkets throughout India. The business brings this cheap yet delicious fruit to markets in the United States that are hungry for something new by working with Indian companies to package, ship, and sell the product.
Alexa Carlin and Angela Ribbler, Hello Perfect
University of Florida 2013
Anyone can have a blog these days. But Alexa Carlin and Angela Ribbler took their fashion blog to the next level. These young women always had a taste for the fashion world, but after Alexa internted in New York City for a fashion and lifestyle PR firm, these two decided to up their passion for fashion with Hello Perfect. Hello Perfect is a fashion and lifestyle blog that aims to “redefine society’s definition of perfect,” according to their site. If readers like what they see, they can purchase Hello Perfect merchandise. “We are also working on launching a DIY shorts line on our e-commerce store by the end of the year,” says Angela. In tandem with their site, these to run their own social media company, A. Rose Media. A. Rose Media, a branch off of the Hello Perfect brand, offers social media development, branding and rebranding, campaign formation, and graphic design.
Jacqueline Neves, uJiiv
Cornell University 2014
Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr: it’s hard to keep all of our social media outlets straight. But Jacqueline Neves has a solution. Her new site, uJiiv, is a social network in and of itself that helps users manage multiple calendars. “Anything from a coffee date to a professional conference to a family vacation can be planned with uJiiv,” says Jacqueline. But uJiiv can not only tell you what you need to do, it can also keep others updated on where you are and help coordinate getting other people to join you. “With the ability to sync or subscribe to the calendars of your friends,” Jacqueline says. “Users will be able to make use of the publicized scheduling information that will now be available.”
Petroula Lambrou, Patty Pops
Fordham University 2014
Petroula Lambrou is a business student with a creative flair. Where is her creativity best found? In her desserts. Petroula began baking and selling various cupcakes and cake pops four years ago. She took what she had learned in business class and put it to the test. Patty Pops offers various baked goods with an array of flavors like vanilla coconut, raspberry cream cheese, and whipped banana. With the help of her friends and family, she did a city-wide campaign to advertise her new business. Now, Petroula says she makes around 250 per week, sometimes more. “This number can go up to about 500 depending on if I am doing a large wedding or if it is a holiday weekend,” she says. She even sponsored a “Make Me a Cake-Pop” competition on Patty Pop’s Facebook page, inspiring her customers to get creative.
Isabel Mitchell, Silver Rush
Princeton University 2013
When Isabel Mitchell joined Kappa Alpha Theta, she decided she wanted to represent her sorority with her jewelry. “Sorority girls are among the most chic and put together girls I know,” Isabel said in a recent interview with Her Campus Princeton. “I found it a little shocking that a jewelry line didn’t already exist that catered to their fashionable taste.” So Isabel made her own jewelry line: Silver Rush. Isabel began by making a kite necklace, the Theta symbol, and selling it to her sisters. She has since then expanded to make an owl (Kappa Kappa Gamma) and an arrow (Pi Beta Phi), sold in 36 states. Isabel can’t wait to expand her business and begin new designs for different sororities.
These women couldn’t wait until after college to get their careers on track. Know of any other college women with their own start-ups? Let us know!