Teens making money without leaving comforts of home

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Photo courtesy of Paola Soto-Perez

Students such as Paola Soto-Perez have made their hobby into a profitable business during their time in quarantine.

Sarah Sondermann, Managing Editor

With the pandemic making it even more difficult for teens to find jobs, students across campus are finding innovative ways to make money from home while expressing their creativity.

Student-run small businesses are beginning to become more popular and with the help of sites like Etsy, it makes selling products even easier. 

Etsy is a website where anyone can make their own shop online and sell a wide range of items. Most of the items sold on Etsy are either homemade or vintage, making this site more ethical than places like Amazon. A majority of the items sold on Etsy can be custom made which intrigues buyers because it can make a gift or something for themselves more personal. Items can range all the way from jewelry and vintage clothing to custom cups and stuffed animals. 

There are multiple other sites that students can sell items on such as Depop and Bonanza. These sites are an alternative to Etsy and focus on certain products instead of a wide range. Depop tends to focus on reselling clothing, shoes, handbags, and jewelry instead of homemade items. This is an alternative way students are making money if they do not want to make homemade items. 

“Depop gives off the best, trendy thrift store vibes,”  said junior Amelia Marshall, a seller on the popular site. “The app caters to a broad audience and everything is priced fairly.” 

A popular trend that teens are making a profit off of is selling homemade earrings. Students are using items found around the house to make these earrings so that little money is spent on the actual supplies. These earrings are the new trend and the many styles accessible make it universal to everyone. 

“I was pretty bored during quarantine and I have always been crafty so I decided to start a small business,”  said junior Ida Alvarado, an earring seller on Etsy. “I saw a Tik Tok video on earring making which piqued my interest so I decided to make my own.” 

Another popular item on Etsy is crocheted stuffed animals. These soft, fluffy creatures can be custom made since someone is hand stitching them which makes them the perfect personal gift.

“My family and friends thought I could make a profit off my work, and I already enjoy crocheting,” explained senior Paola Soto, a crocheter who sells on Etsy. “My profits in total have been around $1050, with $1035 of them being from Etsy starting from mid-August to December.” 

Etsy is a great way for small artists to grow their following and sell prints, stickers, and much more. Some artists even allow custom orders from buyers where they will draw, paint, or sketch something specifically for that person. Student artists are finding a way to put their art out into the world while also making a profit. 

“At first, I only sold commissions,”  said senior Alison Rivero, the hands behind “oogly” art. “But selling stickers, shirts, and prints of my work have helped me gain exposure while increasing my income.” 

Starting these businesses is easier than one might think. It is free to create an Etsy account and there is no monthly fee, unlike certain websites. Etsy charges the seller based on how much they have made in sales instead of monthly fees to keep an account open because it is more fair to the seller. 

“I would recommend selling on Etsy because they help you set up everything and the website is very easy to navigate,” noted Alvarado 

Students who are looking to start an online business should start out by deciding what they want to sell and where they want to sell it. Something that is very important is promoting your business on social media in order to intrigue customers and make them want to look at your shop. 

“I would say opening a Facebook and Instagram account to post your work is most effective in promoting your business,” said Soto.

Although there can be some hardships when starting an online business or selling online, the reward is worth it because students get to see others loving their product. 

“Never give up,” said Ida Alvarado. “It is always slow in the beginning, but trust me, it gets better.” 

 

Links:

For Paolo Soto’s work, check out:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/YarnHookCrochetPaola

For Ida Alvarado’s work, check out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Nextstopearringshop

To see Alison Rivero’s artwork, check out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/OoglyCo?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=821166375 

For Amelia Marshall’s work, check out:  https://etsy.me/38RHF1k