Local Business is Loyal Business

Why both a Dallastown student and a local crafter hope to persuade others to look into entrepreneurship.
One of these crotched pieces Abigayle Kusmierski commissioned for a customer. These pieces depict two mushroom people.
One of these crotched pieces Abigayle Kusmierski commissioned for a customer. These pieces depict two mushroom people.
Abigayle Kusmierski

When walking through a strip mall, look into the windows, see the articles of clothing or maybe the handmade furniture that has started to collect dust on display. 

But stores are not the only place people can shop anymore. Many businesses now use online sites and social media to sell their products.

Over the past few years there has been a rise in students wanting to and creating their own business. The Online School Center recorded that 41% of middle and high school students wanted to start their own business in the future. 

Some kids didn’t want to wait. Out of all high schoolers, 6% of men and 4% of women already own a business while attending school. 

Though what caused this sudden rise and desire to create a business? Well, entrepreneurship ignites an inspiring path for young adults, as well as invoking the idea of making a difference. 

Dallastown senior Abigayle Kusmierski began her own business at the beginning of this year. 

Kusmierski’s business is called Abby Makes, a craft in which she takes commissions from customers to make a variety of crocheted products ranging from stuffed animals to tote bags. 

Having already three years of crocheting experience under her belt, Kusmierski knew the basics on how her business was going to operate. 

The crocheter spoke about how her business started up almost out of thin air. 

“People would just send me photos or TikToks and ask me to make it.” Kusmierski said.

This is a crotched piece made by Abigayle Kusmierski for a friend’s birthday present. This specific piece resembles Diddo from Pokémon. (Abigayle Kusmierski)

She also recalls her friend being a part of the inspiration. 

“She eventually inspired me to start my whole business,” Kusmierski said, after explaining a quick story of a crocheted top her friend had commissioned. 

Small businesses can be hard to keep up with, as 20% of them fail within their first year, but Kusmierski was determined to make her business a success, in her own way.

“School is my job, but my business is kind of like my hobby.” She said.

Running her business took hard work, Kusmierski spoke about the daunting task of counting stitches, then elaborating about the materials her business uses. 

“Right now, my biggest challenge is always having yarn. Like the right color of yarn in stock.” Kusmierski said. 

Challenges in business come in all shapes and sizes, for Jessica Newcomer and her daughter’s business Design Studio Six, inventory can become an issue. 

These pieces of jewelry focus on the fun, quirky earrings that Design Studio Six strives to make. These can be found on the business’ website. (Jessica Newcomer)

“We have a large inventory of earrings and over 800 designs. It’s impossible to maintain an inventory of our in-stock earrings because there are too many moving pieces.” Newcomer said. 

Because the business couldn’t guarantee supplies would be in stock, they decided to move their business to sell mostly in local shops and at local events and vendor booths. Though on their website they still have a few earrings available for sale.

Besides material and what products are in stock, there are other factors to consider when starting a business. 

Design is of importance because it can encourage customers to buy from you rather than a competitor. Standing out is a key factor to running a successful business and Newcomer knows exactly how to portray her brand through design. 

“First, we picked colors and then we made a few logos before picking the one we loved.” Newcomer said.

With her prior experience in graphic design, marketing, and being a social media manager, Newcomer had a few ideas on how to advertise this design. 

“We do almost all marketing and promotion through social media and local events,” Newcomer said, mentioning how the business has Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok pages.

This is the logo that Jessica Newcomer and her daughter created for their business Design Studio Six. Their whole brand is based on embracing the strange and weird aspects of jewelry. (Jessica Newcomer)

Also promoting on social media, Kusmierski gave some insight on her business’ way to promote itself. 

“My whole business is on Instagram. I put products on my SnapChat story, on Facebook.” Kusmierski said. 

Even though creating a business can be scary, both Kusmierski and Newcomer encourage it. 

“Never be afraid to try a new idea. If it doesn’t work, learn from it and try again differently.” Newcomer said. 

Supporting local businesses has been encouraged by many over the years, and Newcomer happens to be one of those people. 

She started off by addressing the billionairess and conglomerate brands that have stopped caring about their communities and spoke about how small businesses are the opposite. 

“Most local and small businesses give back to their communities, they employ people you know and care about them, they consider the community as part of their family.” Newcomer said. 

Supporting local business is just more than a trendy line of speech someone started to say. It is about supporting people’s careers, bringing the community together, and encouraging kids to take on entrepreneurship.  

Having that passion is something Newcomer knows should be encouraged. 

“Go for it, believe in yourself, follow your gut, and keep moving forward.”

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