Little Businesses, Big Bucks

By: Natalie Eaton

From paintings, ceramics, stationary, and selling big on Etsy and online websites, students at Jenks have figured out ways to sell what they love and create businesses. High school students, Hannah Brown (10), Hoi Nei Haokip (11), and Hannah Graham (12), are only a few of the incredibly talented individuals here at Jenks who own a small bussiness. Get to know these amazing girls and what they have to offer!

Hannah Brown: Digital Art Sales

Hannah Brown started her business during the summer of the 2020 lockdown. She began to really get into digital art, and started to create items on her iPad and computer. Additionally, she gets some tips and tricks from her Tulsa Tech class that teaches illustrator and photoshop. 

“I was so young I couldn’t get a job yet,” says Brown. “I figured I could make money off of my art, so I created a small business to put my art out there and to see if anyone was interested.”

From there, Pieces by Hannah B was created on Etsy. This app gives users a chance to promote their business and get their work out there for people to buy. For Brown, it is convenient because everything is laid so she can have her prices and items nicely displayed. 

Pieces by Hannah B mainly sells stickers, which is the most popular item on the website. But, Brown also sells shirts and tote bags, and is currently working on sweatshirts. She is also taking into consideration what people are interested in and what the trends are on social media. 

“They’re all the same, they vary in designs,” says Brown. “Some of the more specific ones that people can’t just find anywhere are probably my more popular ones. It’s kinda weird because one of my most popular ones is an Athens Greece sticker. I think it is so specific that you can’t find it anywhere else. But it is something that people want. It’s items like that where you just gotta go for it and see if people have that mindset and are interested in it.”

Although Brown is only a sophomore, she already has big plans for her future. She hopes to use her business to make herself stand out in a career, like digital media/web design. 

A piece of advice she has for others wishing to start their own business.

“Don’t overbook and overwork yourself, ” says Brown.” Don’t get too many bookings to where you can’t handle it. There have been moments where I’ve had a few orders at a time and it becomes a lot. Focus on quality.”

All Pictures: Courtesy of Hannah Brown

-Visit Hannah’s Etsy website: Pieces by Hannah B

-Instagram: piecesby_hannahb

Hoi Nei Haokip: Shopify Businesses 

Hoi Nei Haokip is an absolute powerhouse. She has three businesses, two are e-commerce that is powered through Shopify. One mainly sells cases for phones, (particularly ones you can put in the shower.) It also includes unique house cleaning gadgets. The second one is mainly pet supplies. Her third is a button/pin business that she started as a joke, but has become a side hustle for quick cash. She also offers other creative services such as photography, illustrations, and graphic design. 

“After a bad experience with my very first job as a waitress, I couldn’t stand the idea of working for someone else and devoting hours of my day each week for inconsistent pay,” said Haokip. 

Each one of Haokip’s businesses have a different “niche.” She sells a bit of everything. Haopkip sells a diverse range of items, from pet products, self care, to useful gadgets for everyday use. The items she uses are imported from different companies online that she gets in contact with. 

Haokip notes that most of her friends and family members do not know what she does. Because of this, she prefers to not disclose the links/websites at this time. Alone, Haokip worked hard and did research before starting. She ventured towards Youtube, books, Tiktok, and courses, but was mostly self taught through endeavors. Dealing with all of her businesses by herself brought many challenges.

“One main business struggle I encountered was offering good customer service while attending school and having a busy schedule,” says Haokip. “I ended up learning more on how to let that manage itself. Another struggle was when I first started, I found the major difference in revenue and profit. Taxes deducted so much and my 16 year old self was flabbergasted. I only profited .2% of revenue at the time but was still fairly content with the amount I got to keep.”

With all the hard work and experiences she has learned from, Haokip has made incredible progress, and has used some of her profits to donate to animal shelters and charities. To further improve her businesses, she is hoping to focus on improving her customer service, and potentially start hiring. 

Currently Haokip does not have any websites set up, and she primarily uses Shopify. She does use TikTok and Facebook ads, and her Instagram is more for her personal business. 

Right now, Haokip is taking a graphic design course at Tulsa Tech that she hopes will attain skills for future businesses. She plans on possibly majoring in business and earning her MBA, as well as minoring in economics or marketing. 

A piece of advice she has for others wishing to start their own business.

“I would mainly suggest just going for it, the hardest part is getting started, always,” says Haokip. “I sold myself short for too long and had “what ifs” and “buts” consume my mind before taking risks necessary to reach my goal. There will never be a right time so just go for it now but make sure you stay consistent and learn from your mistakes. Also, make a separate bank account for profit.”

All Pictures: Courtesy of Hoi Nei Haokip

Hannah Graham: Painting Business 

Hannah Graham is a talented painter. She works on watercolor illustrations for realtors, and works closely with McGraw on making closing gifts as a thank you for working with them. Graham also makes paintings for her family, friends, and anyone who wants their houses done. Not only does she paint the exteriors of houses, but she also paints dogs. 

Starting out in seventh grade, Graham painted her neighbors house as an experiment to have a piece to show and advertise. After her mom advertised some more on Facebook, “saying if you want your house painted she’ll do it for you,” realtors eventually reached out. 

“I have always noticed that people enjoy having personal art stuff in their homes. Dogs are always something everyone likes as well,” says Graham.  I do more houses than I do dogs, but I like doing houses more. People give me ugly dogs to paint, like the white crusty ones and they’re curly which makes it even harder to do!”

Painting is very time consuming, and Graham has had a fair share of struggles. She finds it hard to motivate herself. 

“Sometimes this gets very monotonous and boring,” says Graham. This isn’t really stuff I am passionate about drawing. Also deadlines and getting stuff done, it is almost like homework at times.”

But her hardwork has paid off. Although this is not her full time job, it has been her main way of making money since she was in seventh grade. Graham was able to pay a whole trip to Washington D.C, and planned on raising money for a potential trip to Kenya. It unfortunately was canceled due to Covid. 

Graham hopes to use this business whenever she has free time in college. She hopes the skills she has learned from this business will transfer when she majors in architecture. 

“I deliver the painting personally, so I couldn’t do this if I was out of Tulsa,” says Graham. “But it is something I will always have on the backburner when I want to use it.” 

A piece of advice she has for others wishing to start their own business.

“For me, having positive communication with people and presenting yourself well through text messages and getting stuff in when you say you will go a long way. People will remember that.”

Graham sells paintings in two main sizes: 11×14 ones and 8×10 ones. She does not have a website, but encourages people to reach out to her on Instagram or by phone. 

All Pictures: Courtesy of Hannah Graham

-Call Graham at (918)-924-6114 

-Email: hannahlynng03@gmail.com

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