Photo By Izzy Zanone
The industry of homemade and personalized goods have made their home at East, as the appeal of individuality has captured the minds of many buyers. Many students create and sell their homemade goods, making the student population able to support their peers in an enjoyable way.
Sophomore Katie Garverick opens up her Etsy account, Katie the Monogram Lady, to see a stream of requests for her funky and bright monograms and decals. The small business is run solely by Garverick, selling a variety of products from mini monogram stickers sold in packs of five, to wine glasses and water bottles—all embellished with a monogram.
“I started making my monograms for fun and so I started selling them for extra money,” Garverick said.
However, the small business has grown, as it currently has a five star customer review on Etsy, and has made around $500 in profit.
Garverick finds joy in making these monograms, not only for the extra cash in her pocket, but also for a way to fill extra time.
“It is something simple for me to make and I like finding different ways to use them to brighten things up,” Garverick said.
Although Katie the Monogram Lady has only been in business since November of 2015, Garverick feels content with her company’s situation, and has no future plans as of now to expand the company further, so she is able to focus on other school-activities. Garverick’s company has allowed her to connect with the East community more, as people will ask her about her monograms that she has displayed personally on her water bottle, folders and other school essentials. However, it also has also taught her important business skills.
“I have learned how to manage my time and money, and how much my time is really worth,” Garverick said.
Hearing the gentle hum accompanied with the ‘click-clack’ of the sewing machine, sophomore Liza Sanborn prepares to start the 1-2 hours of work that it takes to make her cosmetic bags, burp cloths, tea towels and bibs. The business, Liza Delaney Designs, has developed into a profitable company, with profits nearing $600. Although Sanborn started her business two years ago, she discovered her passion for sewing long before.
“My grandma knows how to sew and she would make me doll clothes.I found in interest in sewing through that. I made [a makeup bag] for my grandma and aunt, and I guess they were really good quality, so my mom decided we should start making and selling them,” Sanborn said.
Sanborn’s family are her marketers and advertisers of the company, with both her mother and grandmother spreading the word of all her products. Her small business is advertised by her mom, Jennifer Sanborn, on her Facebook page, with a picture and short description of the product. After the product is posted, family and friends comment their orders. Sanborn’s grandmother, currently residing in Chicago, speaks of all the hand-sewn goods to acquaintances, and orders flood in from family and friends living in the windy city.
However, Sanborn hopes to develop her customer base wider than
acquaintances, with a new website is in the works, which will launch spring of 2017.
“We want to start selling to people across the country, to people we don’t know,” Sanborn said.
Sanborn’s joy for sewing comes from her inspiration of turning everyday things and making them into something extraordinary, but also because sewing and crafting allows her independence and freedom.
“I enjoy sewing because it is a creative outlet for me; I get to make something out of something completely different,” Sanborn said.