Creative student businesses

Megan Benoit, Campus Carrier Features Editor

Leo Narrison, Campus Carrier Asst. Features Editor

Written By J

Josie 2 R.jpg
Photos courtesy of Josie Hadaway
Sophomore Josie Hadaway holds one of her handwritten watercolor pieces. She also sells mugs and cards.

Sophomore Josie Hadaway has always enjoyed creating art and crafting and has turned her hobby of watercolor calligraphy into a business. 

“I’ve been painting since I can remember,” Hadaway said. “I use to sell jewelry at my dad’s store at a campground. I knit on and off all the time. I like to paint canvases. I’ve just always liked making stuff. Anything in the craft closet I would put together.” 

At the beginning of summer 2016, Hadaway started watercolor painting calligraphy more often. She watched some videos but mostly learned on her own. 

“I’ve always liked to paint, then I saw a lot of modern calligraphy videos and I really liked the watercolors and how they wrote with it so I just started practicing,” Hadaway said. 

Josie 1 R.jpg

Hadaway then found herself with an abundance of paintings that she did not know what to do with so she decided to start selling them. At first, she sold them informally and on Facebook. Then, this past summer she created her Etsy shop called WrittenByJ and started selling her products at markets. 

“I wanted to make it into a business because I wanted to keep doing it, and I thought it was quality enough that I could,” Hadaway said. 

Hadaway now sells paintings, cards and mugs marked with her handwritten calligraphy, and other custom orders as well. 

Josie 3 R.jpg

“My favorite thing about my hobby turning into my business is that people I don’t know will contact me like friends of friends or people that see me on Etsy or Instagram,” Hadaway said. “They’ll contact me to get a custom piece, and I really like being able to make that for them because then it is not longer for me anymore. Other people can get joy out of it.” 

Her dream is to open a coffee shop where she could have her work displayed and sold, but for now, Hadaway is excited about continuing and growing her hobby as her business. Hadaway is a marketing and management major, and she plans to continue her business past graduation. She plans to keep a handwritten, handmade style portion, but add a printed section where her writing could be digitized onto shirts, prints, and mugs. 

Josie 4 R.jpg

“What I look forward to most it is just growing,” Hadaway said. “I get a couple orders from Etsy every once in a while, but just getting more of those to make it constant, and doing more markets.” 

New Nature

Jenn 3 R.jpg
Photos courtesy of Jenn Breast
Junior Jenn Breast hand-sketches each design onto the wood, then uses her wood burning tool to complete the piece.

Junior Jenn Breast took her love of nature and artistic talents and turned them into a business. 

Breast started wood burning her senior year of high school after she bought an introductory wood burning tool on a whim. She learned by watching a few how-to videos and through plenty of practice. She began by making unique gifts and then kept moving forward into her freshman year of college. 

“Freshman year is when I started doing more and getting better at it, and at the end of last year is when I really started picking up and actually being able to do things that I was proud of,” Breast said. 

The end of spring semester her sophomore year, Breast decided to turn her hobby into something bigger. She created a website, an Etsy, and gave her business a name. 

“Once I realized I can start marketing myself, I thought I might as well turn this into a little business.” 

Breast chose the name ‘New Nature’ for her business which comes from her favorite Bible verse, Colossians 3:10 that says ‘put on your new nature and be renewed as you learn to know your creator and become more like Him.’ 

“Obviously wood is from nature, and I love the outdoors so I wanted to bring that into it,” Breast said. “It is bringing my faith into it, bringing the outdoors and then also taking something from nature and giving it new meaning. Making it into something new and giving it a new purpose.” 

Jenn Fixed.jpg

Breast has completed between 50 and 60 projects. She enjoys making personalizing each piece by working closely with each of her customers. 

“I really just love seeing what people come up with because it is such a personal thing and they know that I’m going to work with them,” Breast said. “They know that I am going to try my hardest to be able to put it onto wood exactly what they want.” 

Breast also plans to expand her business by providing different types of products for the upcoming holiday season. 

Jenn 1 R.jpg

“For Christmas, I am trying to find other wood surfaces, or maybe even leather, because I know that the kit can also burn on leather,” Breast said. “So, I’m thinking about starting wooden spoons. I’ve experimented with wooden hangers, and then maybe leather-bound journals and belts.” 

Breast hopes to continue her business past her time at Berry. 

“It would be such a dream for that to be my full-time job for me to get good enough at it that I would have orders and I would be able to make a living off of it,” Breast said.

Leave a Reply