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Grand Canyon University is full of creative women. There are dozens of small business owners who have the opportunity to share their love and creativity here on campus. These women have been given the opportunity to showcase their talents at student markets, Young Life events, and just by being active on their social media accounts. The diverse group of small businesses on campus are incredibly talented. There is a broad group of products by small businesses from macrame, to baking, upcycled clothes, spa services, and jewelry. The list goes on and these businesses never fail to amaze their supporters.  

Abbi Nielsen- @artbyabbii 

Evolving is how Abbi would describe her small business. Abbi shared her thoughts on running a small business in an interview. Abbi a sophomore here at GCU and she is double majoring in Christian studies and applied entrepreneurship. She started her business in February 2021 after she visited California and fell in love with Seaglass, and with that Seaglass she made earrings. And from those earrings she has made so many other articles of jewelry. That trip to California struck her creativity and she has been creating ever since. Abbi has always been a creative crafty individual.

Abbi pushes herself in her business by always pushing her creativity, making jewelry became an outlet for her and she thrives off the way her customers look at her new products.  Her favorite product she has made is a necklace with big colored beads and a shark tooth. The style of her jewelry is unique. She loves to keep the vibes earthy, beachy, and unpredictable. Abbi likes to keep herself on her toes and her customers on their toes, she likes to keep her products changing as she is also changing too. Abbi is self-taught within everything that she does in her business. A challenging aspect that Abbi has noticed about a small business is the dry season. The season where sales are not as great as they could be, but during this time, she tries to challenge her creativity and come up with new and better products for her shop. 

Abbi says that in the next 6 months to a year she wants to have a better presence on social media and from there try to reach a larger demographic. She primarily reaches GCU students, but with some work put into social media she plans to branch out and hopefully reach a new audience with the same love of jewelry. Abbi plans to continue to girl boss solo and she said that if you are thinking about starting a business to just do it!

Emily and Anna- @thelimeyco  

The creative side hustle seems to be a common occurrence on the GCU campus. Emily and Anna are roommates and decided to make their dream of designing jewelry come to life. Both girls have a love for jewelry and had the idea of starting a business as a creative outlet. Emily spoke on behalf of thelimeyco business in an interview discussing what it is like being a small business owner in college.

Emily and Anna started their small business on October 7th, 2021. They make resin crystal rings, flower bead rings, and on the occasion, they have tote bags! Emily’s favorite product that they make is the leaf resin ring. One thing that has been really encouraging for the start of the business is the student markets that GCU holds. Through this newfound community Emily and Anna have been able to meet new people.

Next steps for thelimeyco is consistency on social media and possibly opening an Etsy shop! Some advice they would like to give to anyone thinking about making jewelry is to make sure your supplies are good quality so that you can ensure you are producing excellent products and to make sure you have a business plan to keep a good flow.

Eva Ballard- @sleepingladystudio 

Eva is not a GCU student, but she is also a well-established small business owner. I went to high school with her, and I knew I wanted to include her in my article. Eva just recently moved back to Arizona from Alaska. She started playing around with polymer clay with the mindset of eventually starting a business. The start of the pandemic hit hard; both Eva and her mom needed something to take their mind off the rest of the world.

From there Sleeping Lady Studio was born. The name of her business comes from a legend in Alaska. Legend says that this woman who was a giant vowed to sleep until her loved one game back from battle. Eva’s store carries many assorted styles of polymer clay earrings. And eventually she would like to make jewelry dishes too! She uses various kinds of shapes, colors, and recently added 3D floral designs. Designing earrings and using her creative skills to make her jewelry brings her peace.

She has truly been able to find her style and has been able to fully express herself in her journey of starting her business. Eva’s biggest accomplishment has been her expansion that she has been able to do with her business. From her earrings being in local art shops, coffee shops, and she’s made TWO HUGE wholesale orders.

Eva’s next step is to hopefully have this be her main source of income and with that she plans to improve her technical skills and marketing skills. Eva’s biggest piece of advice she would give to anyone wanting to start a business is to try to be aesthetically pleasing. She encourages those to pick an aesthetic and make it your own!

Women inspiring women. These incredible girls have put their creativity to work to make dreams come to life. Make sure to check them out on Instagram and support your small local businesses.

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Hi! My name is a Mollie writing has always been a huge passion of mine and I use it as an outlet to get all my feelings out. Some of my favorite things to do is spending all my money at Trader Joes, listening to music, singing, and drinking WAY too much coffee.
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