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Original photo by Courtney White

How I Used My Free Time to Start a Mini Business

Like many over the last few months, I found myself home far too often and bored way more than usual. I have a lot of hobbies (maybe too many) and spent a lot of my time home learning how to hone in on specific assets of certain art forms and improving. Two of the things included sewing and graphic design.

\When colleges were sent online in the spring, Adobe realized many students who relied on school computers for access to their programming no longer had access and would now struggle to finish their classes for the year. Adobe decided to give Adobe Suite to students with a .edu email for free for several months. I had an art class that gave me Adobe Suite, this included Photoshop. I've taken several classes teaching me how to edit photos and the last class I took taught me how to draw with Photoshop. I spent a lot of time turning my drawings and paintings into easily reproduced digital works of art. Tiktok taught me that I can see this kind of thing really easily. Redbubble is a site where users from all over the world can turn their art into stickers, magnets, t-shirts, coffee mugs, even masks now, and sell them to the global marketplace. The things people draw and sell are truly impressive. I started with college logos, then moved on to vacation stickers. By the time I moved into school, I had four separate collections. And people actually bought them! It’s not super lucrative, but it's still easy and fun!

I also started sewing over our quarantined summer. My grandma taught me basics when I was young, like stitching on a button or how to hide the seams on the inside. This summer, I watched a lot of upcycling videos and thrifting videos. When the thrift shops near me started opening back up, I went and sifted through the bins of unwanted treasures for hours. I found out the hard way that it is way cheaper to buy thrifted clothing and reinvent it than it is to buy fabric and start from scratch. I would buy jeans and paint the legs or pockets, take t-shirts and crop them based on expensive shirts I'd seen in stores, I could also paint t-shirts with unique designs. I haven't set it up yet but I plan to create an Instagram to sell everything I’ve made and started doing custom work.

Quarantine has really brought out the creativity in me and Tiktok as a whole honestly. I spent the time trying to be productive, even while stuck at home with limited supplies.

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Courtney White

Montclair '22

Courtney is a senior at Montclair State University majoring in journalism and minoring in fashion. She is also working on a certificate for makeup artistry. Originally from a very small town in Northeast Pennsylvania, she plans to live in New York with career aspirations in the media or fashion industries
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