Bear Entrepreneurs: Student Businesses around Campus

2 mins read

M-A’s successful Fall Flea Market gave student entrepreneurs an opportunity to promote their small businesses and brands. From delicate handmade jewelry to repurposed thrift flips, students at M-A have proven to be extremely creative when it comes to style.

Students can run to junior Zoe Gostyla when in need of shirts, necklaces, beanies, and even saris. Gostyla began making clothes from materials lying around her house for her friends and family members. Soon, sewing, knitting, and crocheting became daily hobbies. “I come from a neighborhood that’s very communal. If anyone has something they’re getting rid of, they hand it off to me. I’ve gotten quilts from neighbors and have turned them into jackets and bags,” Gostyla said. Along with selling clothes and accessories, Gostyla up-cycles old clothes into dresses for her friends and peers. She said, “I just hope people hear about me through word of mouth because I’ve fixed a lot of people’s clothes at school.” Along with promoting her work through her peers, Gostyla has worked with numerous companies. When working with Hoffman Hardware, Gostyla made over 300 pouches to hold various types of tools for the business. 

Sophomore Brea Trujillo sells her jewelry on campus. When she was twelve years old, Trujillo started making jewelry for her family and friends which soon expanded into a larger business by age thirteen. “I didn’t fully establish my business until the beginning of eighth grade because I kept giving them to people for free. Lots of people told me I should start making a business out of it and start making money,” she explained. After establishing Rose Jewelry, Trujillo began promoting her business on social media and through her friends. “It’s really fun and very therapeutic. I love the feeling of finishing a bracelet or necklace and giving it to someone,” she said.

Sophomore Casey St. Clair is known around campus for his thrift-flips and upcycled (repurposed) clothing. St. Clair began his business two years ago by upcycling thrifted clothes from local stores and sharing his creations with his friends. “I’ve been doing creative stuff since the third grade, whether it’s making clothes or creating music,” St. Clair explained. He promotes his small business through word-of-mouth from friends as well as around the Burgess skatepark, where he spends his time outside of school. “A lot of publicity has to do with skateboarding because it’s a pretty close-knit group,” St. Clair said. 

Senior James Polly is the founder of Despite, a skateboarding-influenced clothing brand and video-making site. For the past four years, Polly and other members of Despite have created 10 to 20-minute videos composed of skateboarding clips filmed around town. At Burgess Skatepark, Polly takes the opportunity to promote his business by selling screen-printed T-shirts and playing his videos for skaters to enjoy. “They take a while to make, but once we finish them, we do a premiere at the park and have local bands play where we sell our shirts,” Polly explained. Along with gaining publicity on Instagram, Polly has expanded his business to reach other parts of the Bay Area, such as Palo Alto, Redwood City, and Woodside. “Skating with friends and making videos is a creative outlet for skateboarding,” Polly said. 

Freshman Balthazar Sauquet recently launched a small business called Balthyzart, where he sells hoodies, T-shirts, beanies, socks, bucket hats, and more. Sauquet originally started his business as a seventh grader when he was inspired to channel his artistic skills into clothing. “I wanted to start my own clothing brand and also do something to help my community. I found that creating clothing was a pretty cool way to do both,” Saquet said. As well as selling clothes on his website, Saquet partners with Street Life Ministries, a non-profit organization that assists homeless people in overcoming struggles with addiction and substance abuse. “For every order above $20, a pair of socks is donated to the non-profit,” Saquet explained. Saquet looks to word of mouth when gaining publicity and events such as the Flea Market to expand his customer base. “I think it’s really cool when I see someone wearing something I made,” Saquet said. 

From freshmen to seniors, it is evident that Bears have used their talents in entrepreneurial ways. Be sure to check out these small businesses if you’re ever in need of hip clothing or jewelry to wear. 

Isabel is a sophomore at M-A beginning her first year of journalism. She is excited to write about exciting events and subjects. Outside of school, some of her hobbies include playing tennis, water polo and swimming for M-A, and reading, drawing, and writing.

Latest from Blog