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Image of interviewee\'s products, jewellery
Image of interviewee\'s products, jewellery
Photo by Katelyn Lo

What it’s Like to Be a Young, Female Business Entrepreneur During COVID-19

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Western chapter.

With everything going on due to COVID-19, it has been extremely difficult for many people to find motivation to get out of bed, go to work, do school, or start any kind of project. As a result, I wanted to highlight someone who has made the most of the current situation and found time to dive deep into her entrepreneurial goals. Katelyn Lo is a second-year undergraduate student at Western University who, in her spare time, runs an ecommerce jewellery shop, called Fiend the Brand, entirely on her own. I decided to virtually ‘sit down’ with Katelyn and get the scoop on how she does it. Here’s what she had to say:

Image of interviewee, Katelyn Lo
Photo by Katelyn Lo
              Katelyn Lo, owner of Fiend the Brand

How did you get the concept/idea for your business?

I noticed that there was a gap in the market for people who want trendy, affordable, high quality jewelry and I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for as a consumer, so I decided to create it myself.

I have started businesses before that were unsuccessful so I had a little knowledge about what was required in running a business. Again, I found no jewelry businesses with the price point and designs that I wanted so I decided to start my own.  

How did you get started?

In January, I was looking for the perfect pair of pearl earrings that didn’t cost a fortune. I couldn’t find them so I decided to make them myself. I realized that I could make them high quality and to my exact liking, and that’s when I came up with the idea for my first product.

Do you work alone or do you have a partner?

I do all the work by myself. I make the products myself, post on the business’ social media, take the photos, and I find the suppliers all on my own. It’s a lot of work.

What do you feel is unique about your business?

My brand has a very personal touch because I do everything myself and I have total control over it. The brand is very personal and it’s definitely a direct reflection of me.

What sites/services have helped you build your business?

I used Youtube to start learning how to make jewellery and I use several online websites to buy my supplies. I’ve also used Youtube to learn how to post advertisements on Instagram and Facebook so that I can spread the word about my company. I used Squarespace to build my website. 

How do you advertise your business?

In addition to what I said before, I use Pinterest a lot to advertise my products since I rely heavily on visual advertisements. I also use word of mouth through friends and family.

What challenges have you encountered?

The process of starting a business in itself has been a challenge. Learning how to make a feasible business plan was also difficult. On top of everything else, I’m also a student so learning to balance school and business is always a challenge. Although, I’ve found that my business class here at Western has been confirming a lot of what I’ve been doing, which helps make the process more methodical.

What is one thing you are proud of accomplishing in regards to your business in the past year?

I am most proud of actually starting the company. It took a lot of work and patience. I’m also proud of the fact that I’ve already launched two collections and that I had the willpower to make them.

Image of interviewee\'s products, jewellery
Photo by Katelyn Lo
          Some pieces from Katelyn’s latest collection.

How has COVID-19 affected you and your business?

COVID has slowed down shipping times and it takes more time to receive my supplies which makes it more unreliable to outsource things. Although, because of COVID, I chose to stay here in London, ON for a while after school ended instead of going home, giving me more time to start the business.

What are your next steps/ plans for the future?

I am planning more ideas for a third collection and I intend on growing the business. But mostly, I’m going with the flow because I have to focus on school at the same time.

There you have it! Some exclusive insight on what it takes to be a young, female entrepreneur during COVID-19. So if you’ve been twiddling your thumbs, wondering whether or not to pursue that goal or start that business, take this as your sign! Use your newfound time at home to your advantage, just like Katelyn did!

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Hi! I am a third-year student at Western University in Integrated Science. I grew up in Calgary, AB and was always super involved in school and extracurriculars. I also have a passion for biology, makeup, and, of course, writing. I am super excited to be a part of Her Campus Western and cannot wait to share my stories and articles with all of you!