Kent State students take on the entrepreneurial world

Paige Miller

A Kent State student is executing their skills taught and learned in the classroom as a fashion entrepreneur.

Junior fashion design student Brandon Yarchuk uses real-world skills as the founder of CuteandCrazy, a jewelry business on Etsy.

“My friends and I in eighth grade, made this jewelry called kandi,” Yarchuk said. “It’s from rave culture, and they’re plastic beaded bracelets and necklaces with toys attached. I started wanting to make my own charms and instead of using toys, I got into clay. It all evolved from there.”

Yarchuk has been running his jewelry business since 2011, alongside thousands of other sellers on Etsy.

“There are so many jewelry sellers, and many of them create the kind of trendy items people are obsessed with,” Yarchuk said. “I have never really felt comfortable or satisfied creating those types of things so making mine stand out becomes more of a challenge.”

Yarchuk makes at lease one piece a week during the school year.

“The fact that I can make unique things in an oversaturated market and still sell is incredibly rewarding,” Yarchuk said.

On top of running a jewelry business, Yarchuk also constructs garments.

“When I’m on break, I average a garment a week,” he said.

While studying in Hong Kong this spring semester, Yarchuk said he made a piece out of garbage he collected.

“It’s a creative exercise and a commentary on unsustainable ways of living,” Yarchuk said.

Yarchuk said he continues to seek out the most versatile and eye-catching items to construct into wearable pieces.

Other Kent State students are also working to establish businesses tending in the behind the scenes work of fashion production.

LED styLED is a collaborative company started by freshman applied engineering major Levi Redding, junior fashion merchandising major Emonte Wimbush and sophomore managerial marketing major Donovan Vaughn.

“We sat down and just said we wanted to start a business,” Wimbush said. “At first we were just going to do freelance styling, but then we realized we needed to work on something.”

LED offers assistance for personal styling, fashion show production, image consulting, personal shopping, closet organization and photo shoots.

“The first day we launched, we already had people contacting asking us to work for them,” Wimbush said. “We have a goal to do 50 photoshoots before the year is over.”

LED just launched on social media three weeks ago for future customers to get into contact with them.

“Social media is the most important piece we have right now,” Vaughn said.

For most businesses today, social media is critical to the performance of the company.

“It’s either make it or break it on social media,” Redding said. “It’s a huge platform that’s going to help us along the way.”

LED has its own Instagram account and started branding using #LED.

“We’re going to eat, sleep and breathe LED,” Wimbush said. “We’re hungry and ready for work.”

Page Miller is the fashion reporter, contact her at [email protected].