Ambitious freshman opens Etsy shop

Ann Pomeroy, Newtonian Editor-in-Chief

Most high school students find themselves overwhelmed balancing everyday tasks such as school, extracurricular activities and work and could never imagine opening their own business. For freshman Abby Koontz, the extra free time provided from the COVID-19 pandemic helped make the dream of opening her own business and selling her creative work a reality.

Over the summer, Koontz set up her very own Etsy shop to begin selling faux leather earrings. According to The Balance Small Business, Etsy is an online marketplace in which vendors sell a variety of goods such as vintage items, handmade goods and arts and crafts. Etsy charges $0.20 per listing plus a 5% transaction fee for each item sold. Koontz has approximately 56 patterns of faux leather earrings to choose from.

I always loved to do arts and crafts growing up,” Koontz said. “This summer, I started making faux leather earrings. As I started talking with my family, and with the sudden free time during the pandemic, I decided to finally start an Etsy shop.”

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In order to produce the earrings Koontz needs faux leather, jump rings, earring wire, pliers, a leather puncher, envelopes and or small packages along with assistance from family members such as her mom and grandparents. She also includes extra items with each order for a personal touch.

“I would say that [my earrings are] different from name brand stores because they are all hand made,” Koontz said. “I also try to create a handmade sticker and letter to include in each package.”

Aside from her business, Koontz is an honors student, a STAND board member and a girls varsity basketball player. Running down the court on a Friday night game, one would never know the creative side of Koontz. Fellow basketball player, sophomore Olivia Antonowich, who has known Koontz for approximately four years due to sports says she only found out about Koontz’s business this past winter.

Abby is a very hard worker and creative thinker which I can tell from being around her and even on the court with her so when I learned about her business it didn’t come as a surprise because Abby is a really driven individual,” Antonowich said.

Antonowich stresses the importance of supporting student run businesses within our school specifically during these unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Rice University Student Center, students who have their own and/or work in a student run business are able to obtain unique experiential learning opportunities such as hands-on skills that will be useful for any career path.

I think it is an amazing idea to showcase your creativity and make money off of something you enjoy,” Antonowich said. “I think it is especially cool because you are getting business experience all while being your own boss.”

Unfortunately, Koontz decided with school and sports starting back up again it was in her best interest to close the shop for the time being. She hopes to reopen the shop one day, however, does not plan on making it her career.

“I don’t see this as my career, however it could be a small business on the side of my regular job. I closed the shop once school started, but if people would buy [my earrings] I would love to start making them again,” Koontz said. “If people would be interested in buying my product, I would love to have this business as a small job on the side of school and sports.”