Learning From Tavi Gevinson and Krystal Harrell

Friday, October 07, 2011

By: Weston Bonnelle

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!

Age: 15
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."
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.

Age: 23
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.

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.
Also try to find a hidden market and get involved with a side business that is somewhat unrelated to your main business,  when you are established. With the advent of technology, industries are falling at a more rapid place. The genius of Steve Jobs was the ability to recognize a new and somewhat unrelated market.
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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