Bright Sparks of Entrepreneurship: Edison’s Small Business Scene

Entrepreneurship refers to a person’s ability to transform their creative thoughts into actions and innovations. This idea is much more significant when it comes to young entrepreneurs, especially at Edison.

Edison has small businesses started by students that showcase their talents and creativity in every item. These students are regarded as young entrepreneurs who take a risk by starting a business, pursuing any opportunity that presents itself, and persevering in the face of adversity. This is a requirement for a society or economy that needs to remain sustainable and modern, through youth participation and young entrepreneurship. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic specifically, many students at Edison decided to take the opportunity and showcase their talents, by turning it into items they can sell.

“I design press on nails,” said  Senior Jackie Santos Periañez. “I started my business a year after Covid. So around 2022.  I chose to start this business because I was tired of having to pay $80-$100 for nails that I ended up not liking. So I decided to start practicing and design press ons. Which were definitely a lot better considering that they weren’t as expensive.”

Jackie Santos Periañez’s small business was nail art and these are some of the nails she worked on.

While other students such as Seniors Mahirah Rahman and Senior Ebelyn Suquilema Lema who happened to be business partners, started their business on a whim while sitting in class one day.

“We started this business in our sophomore year and it has been running ever since! We chose to start Beaded so spontaneously. We began by making bracelets in our shop class as our teacher was absent for months. A substitute teacher told us that we should start a business and that he loves when students show their creativity. To this day, I don’t think he knows how much he actually motivated us, followed by our friends buying before we even launched our Instagram,” Suquilema said.

Senior Rehana Hotaky, on the other hand, enjoyed collecting items, which prompted her to start a business.

“I started my business at the beginning of the school year. I believe it was around October when I posted my first picture online. I mainly sell different kinds of jewelry like rings, bracelets, hand chains, earrings and more. The reason I chose to sell jewelry was because it’s something I enjoy collecting. In my room there’s crazy amounts of jewelry lying around and so I decided why not start a business,” Hotaky said.

There are also entrepreneurs, such as senior Maritza Estrada, who does more commission than actual business, because that is where her innovative ideas flourished the most.

“I started doing commissions around sophomore year of high school.  This started because I painted on my own clothes and people thought it was cool and asked me to do it for them. I paint clothes for some of my friends with the designs of their choice. I also put stickers on the side like my friends if they want,” Estrada said.

Starting a Business is not an easy task, every entrepreneur deals with their own sets of barriers that make it hard to continue a business.

“Finding resources will always be the main issue because I started doing this when I was 15 so I didn’t have constant money to attain the paint and materials. Finding the motivation to do this business is also a big issue for me in particular because it is a very time consuming process,” Estrada said.

Mahirah Rahman and Ebelyn Suquilema Lema also make jewelry and these are only a few of the extraordinary pieces they have created. These can be found on their instagram: @bead3dd

 Seniors Mahirah Rahman and Ebelyn Suquilema Lema dealt with similar obstacles, on top of other responsibilities from school. 

“Some difficulties that we have are keeping certain supplies in stock such as popular bead colors. Another difficulty we have is managing our time since we both have outside lives and are busy with college prep, school, work, etc.,” Rahman said.

For other entrepreneurs, the difficulty was in getting customers, and maintaining the interest they were receiving in their business. 

“I would say the only thing I had difficulties with is customers. Bringing attraction to my Instagram was a challenge. Though once people started buying from me and posting pictures of my jewelry on their account, that’s where I started getting more people,” Hotaky said.

Students who are involved in small business, especially at school, need the support from their school community to expand their business.

Estrada shares her experience with customers at Edison, “The support is always great, I have friends and people who I don’t know always complimenting my work and I know if I opened commissions again I would get some more customers. My friends are also always willing to buy from me.”

Lema and Rahman shared a similar experience where their friends went beyond purchasing their items, but also helping with advertisements.

“Most of our customers are Edison students and they’ve been very helpful and supportive to our business. Sometimes customers will repost our posts or even post a story of their order which promotes our business. Many of our customers are also our friends. We have even gained some friends from beaded, And we don’t just see our customers as numbers and we truly do appreciate and remember each customer! And that is what we think helps customers return and make future purchases, since they feel welcomed and appreciated,” Lema said.

Hotaky’s support from the community and friends was similar, where her friends were spreading the word for her business, letting her gain customers at Edison.

“Getting customers at Edison specifically I would say has been easy for me. Like I said before, when people post my jewelry on their accounts it brings customers to my business. Also, friends tell other friends about my jewelry and so it helps as well,” Hotaky said.

Although many of these students were able to gain customers at Edison, sometimes it’s not always like this, Senior Jackie Santos Periañez was one of these small businesses.

“Getting customers at Edison is a little difficult because I have to know a lot of people. However, the ones who have been my customers have always been supportive and always like the end result,” Periañez said.

All these students had their own experiences and obstacles that they had to overcome in order to be where they are today. These students share their experiences and advice they want to give students who wish to start their own business.

“I would say to start a business around a hobby you actually enjoy. A lot of time people get distracted by the cash grab and don’t really care about personal happiness. That’s what I struggled with and that’s the main reason I barely do commissions anymore,” Estrada said.

Periañez offers similar advice and encouragement to those who might be having slow progress in their business.

“Some advice I would give students who are thinking of starting a small business is that if you truly have a passion for it then do it. Yes, at first you might be discouraged because you aren’t making sales but it will slowly increase,” Periañez said.

Lema and Rahman explained the impact their business has had on their career, college, and job opportunities.

Rahman says, “I would tell students that want to start a business to just go for it!! It can go to amazing places as well as teach you so much. I have gotten the chance to refer to beaded as my magnum opus (most important work of a creator) in so many college supplements. It has also gotten me many great opportunities such as jobs or internships and it’s always a cool icebreaker. If you have a drive, use it!!” 

Rehana Hotaky makes jewelry and charms, these are some of the products that she sells.

Rida Batool

Hey there! My name is Rida Batool and I attend Thomas A. Edison CTE High School. I love anime, but nothing can beat One Piece. I enjoy talking, I’m loud and blunt at times, but it’s because I’m always excited about everything. I enjoy writing, despite the fact that I’m not particularly good at it. I am particularly opinionated, which is why I chose this section. My career goal is becoming a neurosurgeon, but before that I would like to pursue nursing.