Student businesses showcase talent


Jewelry sold by Beccabelle designs

While most Westminster students spend their afternoons working on homework or participating in school sports, a select few have decided to take time to start their own businesses. These budding entrepreneurs have shown an interest in running a successful enterprise and have worked hard to make their ideas a reality.

“I cook and decorate cookies and cupcakes for my website,” said freshman Emily Henegar. “My business is called Cookie in the Kitchen, and it’s based off of my blog by the same name.”

With a variety of 22 types of cookies, as well as three different seasonal flavors, Henegar has come a long way from when she first started her business three years ago.

“I have definitely gotten a lot better at decorating the cookies,” said Henegar. “I have also expanded the types of cookies and other desserts I offer, and that means more customers. When Cookie in the Kitchen first started I just sold cookies, but now I can bake cupcakes and even cookie cakes.”

Like Henegar, sophomores Becca Stewart and Isabelle Wyant took their passions in jewelry-making and decided to create their own business.

“Our company is called Beccabelle Designs and we make different kinds of jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets,” said Wyant. “Since I was little I had an interest in making jewelry and I’m so excited to make that dream a reality. The business has changed since we first started it. For example, I use a nicer quality of beads and we are making cuter pieces now.”

Although student-run businesses can be difficult to get off the ground, these students were able to gain momentum by starting simple.

“I started out going around my neighbourhood and handing out samples of cookies,” said Henegar. “Now people can contact me with any special requests or order off my website. I’ve made lots of cookies for birthdays and engagement parties.”

Thanks to her rapid success, Henegar has taken to social media to promote her desserts. Her business now has a Facebook page and Twitter feed. In this digital age, more and more of such student-run companies have begun to utilize social networking to publicize their products.

“We post our pieces on Instagram for people to see and if they like it they can order it,” said Wyant. “I used to host jewelry shows back when my business was first starting. Now, thanks to our Instagram page, we are able to sell to a wider range of clientele.”

With a number of students pursuing their interests in a real-world environment, Westminster has a diverse collection of small start-up businesses just taking off. To further foster the student body’s growing interest in business, Westminster has created a JanTerm course entitled Entrepreneurship: An Introduction. The course is open to juniors and seniors and gives students an in-depth look into the details behind building a business enterprise.

“I’m really excited to participate in this JanTerm,” said junior Ruben Roy. “It’s awesome that we get to meet with CEOs of large companies and talk to them about business and their personal experiences.”

This class, led by Jim Justice, assistant head of the upper school, gives students the opportunity to learn about the challenges in starting a business and how to solve real-world issues. Over the course of three weeks, students will meet with various presidents and CEOs of influential companies in Atlanta and learn what it takes to become a thriving entrepreneur.

“It was my first choice for JanTerm,” said junior Tommy O’Neal. “I’m interested in business and this course seemed like a great opportunity to learn more about how to run your own company.”

The majority of the student body is involved in activities outside of school, and such a large number of students pioneering their own businesses exemplifies Westminster students’ drive for success.