Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Brooke Neal: Entrepreneur Extraordinaire

Most of us would consider ourselves lucky to have one job that we’re incredibly passionate about after graduation. Brooke Neal already has several. 

Courtesy:  Brooke Neal

As a recent FSU graduate with a degree in hospitality, Brooke is turning her passion into a career. Multiple careers, to be exact. She runs two Etsy shops, is a host for Airbnb, offers consulting services and recently started her own blog. While most people might feel overwhelmed juggling so many different pursuits, Brooke feels perfectly at home.

“Being an entrepreneur runs in my family,” she explains. Growing up surrounded by parents, aunts and uncles who all owned their own businesses, Brooke realized that working at a typical nine to five wasn’t for her.

That doesn’t mean she didn’t give it a try, though. Brooke worked as an intern for an interior design agency after graduating from high school and at a resort during the summer of 2016. Both jobs taught her a lot about how to work with other people. She walked away from the experiences with the understanding that she performs best when she has the freedom to set her own schedule and act as her own boss, which is exactly what she decided to do.

Courtesy: Brooke Neal

All of Brooke’s business endeavors started unexpectedly. Her first Etsy shop, The Art of Traveling, was initially a way for her to keep track of all of the paintings she was making for friends and family members.

“But then people were interested in buying what I was making, so I went with it,” Brooke explains. She learned a lot from her first Etsy shop, such as communication, customer service, finance, product management and how to find a balance between work and school.

Her second entrepreneurial venture started in 2015 after her dad suggested she rent out her room over the summer while she went on a road trip with friends. She decided to become a host on Airbnb, and to this day it is her most successful business. But why stop there? In 2018 Brooke started up her second Etsy shop, Knitting Circle Company. 

Courtesy: Brooke Neal

Building three businesses from the ground up has taught Brooke a lot about what works and what doesn’t. On her blog, she offers consulting services for people who are interested in working for themselves but don’t know where to start.

“It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t take some time every day to build your brand,” she advises. “Most of having a business is being able to look toward the future and adjust accordingly.” As a hospitality major, it was easy for Brooke to take what she was learning in class and apply it to her pursuits. But her time at FSU also helped her create a support network and connect with people who have similar ambitions.

Her number one piece of advice for future entrepreneurs is to just start.

“Don’t think about it too much, don’t plan too much, because you can get caught up in that and never put your plan into action. If you just start you’re already ahead of so many people.” 

India is a currently a senior at Florida State University studying English with a concentration in Editing, Writing, and Media. When she is not writing for Her Campus at FSU, she spends her time playing with her puppy Koda and leading outdoor rock climbing trips with the Climbing Club at FSU. India hopes to make a difference for the environment after graduation by advocating for conservation and sustainability. Follow her on Instagram at @indiaalfonso.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️