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‘A’ for entrepreneurship

Chelsea Frisch and Sara Isser

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When May rolls around, it is time for seniors to start showing off their new school pride. Whether with a shirt, sweatshirt, a pair of shoes or even all three, seniors love to represent their college in any way possible.

With that in mind, some WHS seniors have taken it upon themselves to make and sell college merchandise that they can sell to their classmates. From clothing to jewelry to dorm-room decorations, seniors are forming businesses that cater to their classmates’ desire to show off their school pride.

Audrey Leonard started her business by making clothes for her friends, but then it soon took on a life of its own. She created an Instagram account, @aeacampus, in order to promote her work. “Since I am going to Rutgers next year, I love making stuff that’s Rutgers,” Leonard said. “I bought so much red material and fabric.”

Senior Erica Hayden is a proud owner of clothes made by Leonard. “She made me three shirts for the University of Wisconsin-Madison,” Hayden said. “One shirt she cut off sleeves and bleached, the other one she cut off the top and sewed in elastic to make a tube top, and then she splatter-painted one.”

Senior Hayley Luerssen decided to do something a little different. People can find shirts, sweatshirts, socks and more at college bookstores, but she offers something unique—designing shoes for her fellow classmates.

Photo by Chelsea Frisch
New Hampshire’s commit Jessie Stern rocks Hayley Luerseen’s sneakers on decision day.

Luerssen’s business took off as a result of her senior project. “When we started our senior projects I had no idea what I wanted to do,” said Luerssen. “I started looking on Pinterest and came across a pair of Vans that were designed for the University of Delaware. I thought they were really cool, so I decided to do this as my project.”

She has received more than 50 orders, some from her friends and some from people she doesn’t even know. Each pair is detailed and takes a long time to make.

“The first pair of shoes took me about eight hours in total to complete, but recently I have been making them in about four or five hours, depending on how detailed the design is,” said Luerssen.

Senior Jessie Stern bought one of Luerssen’s first pairs. Stern is in Luerssen’s English class and was intrigued when she heard about this senior project idea. “Not everyone has shoes that represent their school,” said Stern.

“I sent [a picture of] them to people I’m going to school with next year and they were wondering where they could get a pair.”

Senior Olivia Carnevale also makes college-themed shirts, and said she got the idea from college tours, when she saw people on campus wearing clothes that reflected their school spirit. Now she’s looking forward to knowing that her creations will be in colleges around America.

“I think it’s going to be really cool next year when my friends bring all my shirts to college,” said Carnevale. “I think it will be cool to see them post pictures rocking their school gear.”

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