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Student Turns Hobby Into Business

IMG_0731Some students may struggle with the responsibilities of going to school during the day, doing homework at night, and maybe the occasional extra curricular activity, but Senior Carlicia Tyler also runs her own business outside of school. Tyler has her own clothing business and has been running it for almost three years on the side.

“I have been [making my own clothes] since around 2012, when I was fourteen years old,” Tyler said.

Tyler’s clothing business is more than just printing designs onto clothes, she makes her own clothes from scratch.

“I prefer making my own clothes rather than starting with a shirt that is already made, that way it turns out exactly how I like it,” Tyler said. “To start, I pick a fabric that I work with easily, like a cotton blend or a jersey, which is a stretchy fabric, and then I draft a pattern of whatever I am making. After that it is all sewing [from there on].”

Even though this process is hard work, Tyler usually does not need or request help from anyone.

“I do all of this by myself usually, but my mom does help me out when I need an extra pair of hands,” Tyler said.

Doing all of this, along with her regular schoolwork, the work she does in the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA club), and the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA club), one might find that she does not always have time to make clothes.

“I definitely do the majority of [my business] on the weekends, but sometimes I will do some little projects after school, like hair bows and jewelry.”

Since she usually does not work on any clothes during the week, Tyler has to try and keep her production up on the weekends.

“Now that school is back in session, I might make two or three [articles of clothing], at the most, per week,” Tyler said. “Making those two or three [articles of clothing] usually takes up to three hours, depending on what I am making. So each item typically takes around an hour to make.”

Making all of these clothing items from scratch, one would expect her items to cost a considerable amount more than items found at a mall. However, that is not the case. In fact, one would find that her clothes are much more affordable.

“I charge between one dollar and thirty dollars regularly, so my items are pretty affordable, Tyler said. “For customized items, it can go up to around fifty dollars.”

Being a fairly small business, Tyler does not get the most attention.

“I set up at vendor sales and bazaars around the tri-cities so I get a mixture of clients,” Tyler said. “I make gifts for my teachers occasionally, and some students come to me personally if they want something made.”

It may seem like Tyler is not able to make all the clothes that a big business would be able to, because of her limited resources, but that is not exactly true.

“I make clothes for kids and girls mainly, so like dresses and hair accessories usually,” Tyler said. “I also make jewelry for both guys and girls. If anyone is interested in seeing what I can make, they can check out my business page on Instagram @wav3sofficial for all the latest designs.”

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