Make it or break it: Highlighting the student entrepreneurs at NHS


Picture this: smooth, lusciously delectable chocolate gets paired with fruit, as sweetly ripe strawberries come together in a swift dipping motion to create a sense of harmony for the taste buds. At the same time, in another part of town, carefully selected projects and crafted designs are being precisely executed in the name of fashion.  .     Outdoors, just a few miles away, strong arms travel from house to house to haul out bundles of trash.

These all—though seemingly different—have a commonality: they are businesses run by NHS students. A number of teens have walked away from fast food jobs to create their own workplaces. These teens are taking on entrepreneurship for themselves as they pursue their business vision, overcome hardships, and gain support in the process.

It Begins With A Vision

When someone starts their own business, a variety of reasons, inspirations, and ideas circulate. Senior Sami Meguschar had always been drawn to the world of fashion and design. Her clothing business, Derealization, was inspired by her thrifting habits and the scraps produced from altering clothing.

“Ten percent of the world’s waste is created by the fashion industry, and I want to eventually make a difference in that,” Meguschar said.

Often, new businesses spring from a hobby, like Meguschar’s interest in fashion. But junior Isabella Pearson just wanted to find a productive way to spend her time. Pearson recalls being a driven person since she was young, which helped give her the idea to start selling chocolate strawberries on Valentine’s Day. Following her holiday success, she continued the idea year round, creating Dipped By Bella, a chocolate-dipped strawberry company.

“I started my business because I felt like I was wasting time laying in bed watching TikTok. I’ve always been ambitious ever since I was little,” Pearson said.

Although Pearson had never made chocolate strawberries before starting her business, she was dedicated to the idea and developed the company all by herself.

“I was my own inspiration. Everything I’ve done with the business has come from my own money, time, creativity, and effort,” Pearson said.

Pearson started her journey with an idea, like so many other business owners. But junior Michael Corlew started his company, MB Junk Removal with a sentimental gift that inspired him to pursue residential junk removal.

“I got a truck from my great-grandfather. It was his last truck and my first one. I got it when I was fourteen,” Corlew said. Corlew took his grandfather’s vehicle and put it to work, hauling around junk.

Lyneen Burrow is the owner of the fabric store Always In Stitches in Noblesville. She has been in business since 2007, and she wanted to create a place where older women and women in general could go to pass time. She, too, started her own business from the ground up.

“I wanted a safe place for women to hang out. I have some older women that maybe their husband passed away or their kids have moved away or whatever; they come in all the time. Once a week, twice a week and they just come in — there’s chairs and couches throughout the building so they’ll come in, sit down, and talk to us,” Burrow said, “We’re [sort of] their family now.”

Corlew had always been entrepreneurial, and his current business was not his first. His first work experiences inspired him to continue working for himself and help others around him by providing his friends with jobs.

“The flexible schedule, being able to help my buddies get some extra money, and just doing what I enjoy keeps me going,” Corlew said.

It Isn’t Always Easy

New business owners often talk about how, despite their passion for their company, starting a business brings a host of highs and lows, especially when it comes to time, ideas, and profit. Meguschar has experienced the struggle of keeping people buying.

“The biggest struggle has been keeping customers buying, because once the hype is over,  you have to constantly draw people in with other things,” Meguschar said.

Entrepreneurs frequently mention how hard it can be to learn new skills, this might be a reason many new business owners give up. Pearson faced this issue when faced with becoming her own boss.

“[It] was very stressful, not being able to succeed the first couple times. It was very discouraging,” Pearson said.

New entrepreneurs must also deal with the fear of their businesses failing. Pearson has experienced this problem and worked hard to keep going.

“I also struggled with losing money. At first I thought I wasn’t going to get any orders and that I had just wasted a bunch of money on materials,” Pearson said. “I learned to not give up. It sounds very cliché, but it’s so true.”

After sixteen as an experienced business owner, Burrow has faced many situations that today’s crop of student entrepreneurs are now facing. But she kept going and learned how to keep her business afloat, now bringing advice to those starting their own companies just as she did.

“Don’t overextend your finances, but you’re going to have to go into it thinking you’re going to succeed,” Burrow said.

The responsibilities of owning a business while also going to school can make it difficult to maintain a balance, Meguschar said. Her days seem to go by faster and it’s hard to fit everything you are responsible for doing in those 24 hours.

“It’s really hard to manage the business, school, and work, so I try to work on [Derealization] periodically, and that’s part of my problem with keeping it afloat,” Meguchar said.

Time management is also a burden, according to Pearson. Trying to balance all of the activities of daily life along with one that you enjoy

“Managing my time became very difficult. Between school, work, and even friends I have, I struggled finding time to keep up with my outside life,” Pearson said.

Finding Support

Running a business in high school consists of dreams mixed with hardships that students persevere through all while producing goods and services for their personal business. So, going it alone was not realistic for Corlew. His passion for junk removal was not the only thing that helped him continue his business. Corlew, accompanied by his mom for moral support, was invited to speak about his business on a radio station which provided him more publicity.

“My mom is a huge inspiration. When I got on the radio station, she was the one who went with me to listen,” Corlew said. 

Those closest to Corlew recognized his opportunities. Other businesses stepped up and assisted Corlew in ways a family member wouldn’t have been able to.  

“I had a guy on Facebook who runs On Demand Dumpsters, and I reached out to him,” Corley said. “He’s like my mentor. He helped me get started [and] gave me overall ideas of things I needed to do to get involved.”

Support can arrive in multiple forms. For Corlew, his various social media platforms have helped him connect with others businesses. For Person, support is found in the people she surrounds herself with.

“I have been supported by all my family and friends,” Pearson said. “They helped get the word out. They were all so happy for me and wanted to see me succeed.” 

With help from friends, Meguschar’s business has become more than just selling clothing to her inner circle.

I started just selling my items to friends, and then I started an Etsy where I was posting my artwork,” Meguschar said. “I have a lot of creator friends who go to different schools, and we all help each other, like my friend Von helped me create a logo.” 

For Pearson, the term ‘support’ means more than just direct sales.

“I learned that support doesn’t mean buying something off of me. It means to repost my business [and] send words of encouragement,” Pearson said.

Looking To Start Your Own Business?

Are you looking to become the next entrepreneur but need some advice to get you going? Down below are some tips curated by the owner of Always in Stitches, Lyneen Burrow, and experts at the college counseling website, Crimson.

  • Pick a type of business. Your business can range from helping neighbors with chores to selling art on a blog. Choose something that you’re passionate about and willing to go the distance with. Try to pick something with a unique selling point—something that most other businesses don’t do.
  • Have a goal. When Burrow started her business, she knew she wanted to provide a safe space for women to hang out. Creating a strong goal can help push you forward and stay motivated alongside your main idea.
  • It’s okay to not have experience. Burrow had no prior retail experience before creating Always in Stitches, but with the help of her friends, she eventually found her way. As long as you’re dedicated to learning new techniques and take the time, you could be just as successful.
  • Making mistakes is normal for first-time entrepreneurs. When you notice a problem though, figure out the source then quickly address it to keep moving forward. You don’t want to waste too much time, energy, or money on the wrong initiatives.
  • Understand taxes. Don’t skip researching state laws surrounding taxes and regulations. Depending on how much money you make from the business can affect if you need to worry about taxes or not. Talk to adults (such as parents or guardians and counselors) to hear their advice.
  • Assess down payments. What supplies will you be needing? How much money will you need to start-up your business? What about in the future? Are you comfortable and safely able to spend that amount of money? Asking these questions can be important to avoiding debt and other problems down the road.
  • Decide on a form of advertisement. How will people know about your business? Think about creating a social media platform, website, or even posting flyers to spread the word of your new business.