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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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Two student entrepreneurs use their creativity and passion to start small businesses

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Phillips
The “Valentine Sweater” by HyAndHook owner Kaitlyn Phillips.

Two students took their developed passions and turned them into profitable business ventures. 

Graduate student Kaitlyn Phillips studied entrepreneurship for her undergraduate degree and is currently pursuing a master’s in international business. All entrepreneurship majors have to start a business, so Phillips had to start thinking of ideas. 

During the pandemic, Phillips picked up crochet and realized she was passionate about it. She decided to turn her passion into something profitable. 

“I always tell people that the only thing stopping you is you,” Phillips said. 

Her business, HyAndHook, was developed in October 2022 along with her first sweater pattern, “The Valentine.” HyAndHook specializes in crochet pattern making.

Phillips had 700 followers on Instagram in the spring of 2023, but due to her networking skills and relationships built with other crocheters, her followers have grown by over 6,000. 

Instagram and other social media outlets allow small businesses to have an identity and connect with their audiences. 

Senior biology major Adele Begue uses Instagram as her top resource to market her business and sell the products she makes. 

Begue started Bleu Jewels Shop as a way to make some cash during the pandemic, specializing in upcycled and recycled jewelry.

Bleu Jewel Shop sells an upcycled necklace made by Adele Begue (Courtesy of Adele Begue)

She always had a passion for jewelry making, but her friends and family convinced her to take her passion to the next level. 

Begue started making rings during the pandemic out of her dorm room and eventually added necklaces to her inventory. 

Begue prides herself on her uniqueness in her designs and how every piece is different.

“I’ll just buy like a big lot of jewelry where I don’t know what’s going to be inside,” Begue said. “I take pieces I like and combine them together.”

Starting a business comes with obstacles. Phillips and Begue understand this side of business.  

Begue struggles with marketing and creating brand awareness. Sometimes, she has no sales in a given week. 

“I reached out to some other small businesses that I know, and they said it’s normal,” Begue said. “I just have to give it some time.”

When taking a business to the next level, there can also be complications. 

Phillips knows she can only take her business so far until she can’t grow it anymore, but that is not stopping her from following her dreams. 

“I do love the crochet side of things, but it’s only scalable to a certain point,” Phillips said. 

Phillips has other plans in the works to further her business ventures. 

Creatives alike are taking their passions and turning them into lucrative businesses. These two business owners are showing other artists that their passions can also be a way to earn some cash. 

“There is that fear of failure and a possibility that your business might fail,” Phillips said. “The biggest thing is believing in yourself and actually taking steps every day to make your venture idea happen.”

Chloe Wilson-Henline is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Chloe Wilson-Henline, Opinion Writer and Social Media Tech
Chloe is a junior majoring in public relations with a minor in marketing. This is her first year with KentWired, and she enjoys writing about pop culture. Contact her at [email protected]

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