SJC students become entrepreneurs

Over the past year, many St. John’s students have built businesses where they are able to use their passion for money. These entrepreneurs are finding ways to keep their businesses alive while finally being fully back in school. 

Isabella Totia ‘22 created Six Hundred Seas Artwork in June 2020. Totia started her business to honor her grandfather, who inspired her to pursue her passion. She works through Instagram to sell her photo prints, paintings and bracelets.

Totia spends her weekdays as a student, solely focused on school and homework, and her Sundays as a businesswoman, working on creating, packaging, and promoting her artwork. While she loves selling work through Instagram because of all of the positive support she gets, she finds it most difficult with expanding. “It’s definitely challenging to find new customers and make sure my business is constantly growing.”

To support 600 Seas Artwork, follow her Instagram: @600.seas.artwork

Brendan Sippel ‘24 tends to spend all of his free time with his lawnmower. As an entrepreneur, Sippel has built his company doing what he describes as “landscape architecture.” This summer, Sippel was able to work on over 200 lawns. He was very proud to “make way more money than [his] friends while working way less hours.”

While he prefers to put his work before school, he typically balances his time by only booking landscaping clients on the weekends. He said, “I would rather choose the money over school, but I still get both done.” In the near future, Sippel wants to continue to grow his business on the local scale. He plans on running BJ Landscaping through high school, while investing most of his profit to continue to benefit in the future. 

To support BJ Landscaping, follow his Instagram: @bj_landscaping_enterprises

This summer, Mia Graham ‘23 took her artistic talents to create Jewelry by Mia Graham uses small clay beads to create a variety of custom bracelets and necklaces that she sells through Instagram and Etsy. 

While Graham was able to make and sell over 400 pieces this summer, school being fully in person for the first time has forced her to work much less. To balance school and a business, Graham is limiting her variety of patterns and colors while also taking less orders. While splitting her time may be tough now, Graham plans to keep her business going. “I get experience when I’m young, so I’ll have business experience when I’m older and want to grow my business,” Graham said.

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