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Sunday, December 5, 2021

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UH students’ struggles, successes of starting small businesses during coronavirus


Britney Gaona started selling mountain bikes after learning about the increased demand since the pandemic started back in March. | Courtesy of Britney Gaona

Many students have created their own small businesses during the pandemic after having a great deal of time to take on new hobbies.

For students like Comfort Abiodun, this was the extra time they needed to put forth into creating their small business.

“I launched my business during quarantine, so I had a lot of time on my hands,” said media production sophomore Comfort Abiodun. “I wanted my brand to be colorful, floral, inspirational and fun, so all my jewelry is handmade and I use real flowers in every item.” 

In addition, creating a business has shaped the way she works.

“Being an entrepreneur to me means to be diligent and hardworking and also to be patient when it comes to the growth of your business,” Abiodun said.

For some students, this was the time to prove something to themselves and a project to get into the Wolff Center’s class of 2022.

“Starting a business is a lot of work and I knew if I was going to achieve anything, the first step would be to actually go out and make it happen,” said finance junior, Britney Gaona.

Gaona sells mountain bikes after learning about the great demand for them ever since the pandemic hit, leading more people to want to spend time outdoors.

“The first step I took was applying for a credit card, I then used those funds to purchase a little under 300 mountain bikes from a bike manufacturer in Shanghai,” Gaona said.

Although her bike business was able to take off, this was not the first time she attempted to start her own business.

“My one piece of advice is to expect failure, but not see it as an end,” Gaona said, “selling bikes was my third idea that just happened to work out, prior to that I tried to sell eyelashes and Puff Bars.”

Other students have grown up being a part of their own families’ small business which sparked their own business inspiration.

“I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship and through the years I’ve worked on different projects and ideas especially with my mom,” said kinesiology senior Isha Qureshi. “Right now, my mom and I run a store on Etsy where we sell embroidered clothing.”

For Qureshi, having a business means working under your own rules.

“Entrepreneurship requires you to be your own boss, and stay on track with your goals and what you want to accomplish,” Qureshi said. 

For some students, starting their business has been a lifelong dream.

“Ever since I was a little girl, my dad and I always talked about opening up a boutique and one day I finally was brave enough to do it and I just want to make him proud and give him back everything he has given me,” said public relations and marketing alumna Merissa Lopez.

In some cases, taking an idea and putting it into motion is one of the most difficult parts of a business.

“The first step I took in creating this was watching YouTube videos to brainstorm ideas and learn more steps in figuring out the process and what works best,” Lopez said.

Lopez also talked about how having a small business isn’t always going to run smoothly.

“Nobody talks about how hard it is but it is hard, I’ve been so down lately, obsessed with sales and making it affect my mood but I always remember that my day will come,” Lopez said.

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