By: Dianne Heath
October 7, 2011
Entrepreneurship is gaining steam, especially among the next generation. The ideal of working at a stable company until retirement is long gone. Instead we've all been inspired by basement inventions and motivated by the "Great Recession" to create our own paths. Here are a couple of "Next Generation" Entrepreneurs that I enjoyed reading about!
Her Story: I thought this would be pretty inspiring for other bloggers that want to expand beyond just blogging.
Tavi Gevinson gained legitimacy in the fashion community by designers and critics through her blog Style Rookier. CNN reports that Gevinson is going to launch an online publication of her called Rookie magazine, which will further make her mark in the fashion industry and strengthen her brand. Gevinson already has a loyal following that believes in her plans for the future and want to contribute."After announcing her plans to to launch the online mag through her blog, she received 2,900 email submission to join her writing team within 10 days."
With Rookie, Gevinson explains to CNN, "she wants to offer no-nonsense, "honest" content about fashion, feminism, and life issues for girls -- much like Jane Pratt's Sassy provided a breath of fresh air for feministas in the 1980s and early `90s."
Gevinson has used her exposure and networks to attract celebrities, influential figures in Hollywood and fashion for original and fun content. "Her recent Rookie posts include a dramatic first kiss tale by Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, an interview with actress Aubrey Plaza of Parks & Recreation, and guest contributions from Joss Whedon, Zooey Deschanel, Dan Savage, and Jack Black."
Gevinson now has her sights to expands offline to showcase "the site's writing, photography, and illustrations in a semi-annual print issue." and perhaps even gain a larger audience. She hesitates to call her blog and online publication a job. "It doesn't feel like a business right now," she says. Despite the ad sales which result in revenue, her and her editorial director will not earn a salary. They most likely will use as much money as possible to reinvest back into the business and the joy of seeing her business grow is payment enough for now. "I get a lot of creative satisfaction out of doing it."
My Thoughts: The set-up costs for starting a blog are very low. Therefore if you want to start a magazine and don't want to risk the funds, consider starting a quality & authoritative blog instead. Also don't just blog in a vacuum, let other news outlets, industry leaders and community members learn about your pursuits. Then others will be more interested in participating which will futher increase your connects and talent pool.
Her Story: I've grown a deep interest in design and marketing, therefore her story captured my attention.
Instead of Krystal Harrell using her money for the next outfit like other 13 years olds, she used her $20 loaned to start Lucky You Design. She was 16 when Harrell "expanded the clothing company from pajamas to customized apparel and accessories." In 2009 she sold Lucky You and used the funds to start up her next venture, Create Exposure, in 2010. A related business that she gained experience though from her first venture....marketing research, PR and design services focused on appealing to young consumers.
CNN reports, "In Harrell's hometown of Charlotte, N.C., the company has worked with clients such as SKYY Vodka and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation." Her small staff of two and six long-time freelancers are already making plans participate in the next major and big event by developing online social tools for the Democratic National Conventions which will be in Charlotte. As a started in my review of how True Religion Jeans started, look for opportunities in your area first. Make an impression in your community and you would have proved yourself worthy to work with companies and business in other cities.
In addition to her marketing firm, Harrell is also exploring other untapped business ventures...camel milk. CNN explains, "Working with a female business partner in Karachi, Pakistan, Harrell has developed partnerships with farmers and manufacturers in North Carolina and plans to hit the ground running with her own U.S. camel milk brand when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the product, which Harrell bets will happen in early 2012."
Harrell hopes that her example will show other young women that they can succeed in launching their own businesses. "It's not rocket science," Harrell says. "It's just having tenacity and drive."
My Thoughts: Don't do what other less ambitious people are doing. While other 13 year olds were trying to become popular and trying to avoid being labeled a nerd, she was thinking about her future. Think about your future and how you want to impact the world even if a small segment pursuing similar goals or taking on the same action.
If you are trying to sell a business, you don't necessarily need to be an expert in the field, it just needs to be a novel idea such as YouTube. When starting ventures, think about your lifestyle and talents. What sector of the economy can you reach that others don't have the insight or knowledge to attract? Once you think about these factors then you are almost ready.
Once again you must build relationships with other leaders in your industry. She is networking with another female entrepreneur in Pakistan, developing partnerships with farmers in her hometown state and staying in contact with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These contacts will streamline many seemingly complex processes.
You can check out the gallery of six more entrepreneurs compiled by CNN at: 25 and under: Next-gen female entrepreneurs
Related Entries: How Jeff Lubell Strategically Started True Religion Jeans
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