JournalFinal_41to50

SummerJournal2013

ECONOM$IC Dev$elop$ment TAKING THE REINS ON THE FUTURE: Collegiate Sorors Harness Their Inner Entrepreneurial Spirits For some collegiate sorors, starting a business is the natural next step in their career plan after the hurdles of higher education have been conquered. These sorors are proof that a collegiate’s vision of becoming a business owner, while hitting the books, are real possibilities. In the case Soror Briana Brant of Beta Alpha Chapter, her dreams of an entrepreneurial future blossomed into reality, all while maintaining a full course load at Florida A & M University. Brant’s accessory line, Fancythat, features hip earrings ranging in style and color. Some of Brant’s more popular items include neon blue cross earrings and large lipstick studs. With a target market consisting of women age 16 to 25, Brant focuses on trendy and urban styles that are still affordable for the average college student. “When I think of a client, I think of that one girl who is really into how she looks and the quality of what she wears,” said Brant. “She’s well-rooted into the things she wears and does while incorporating her style into a deeper meaning.” Since her business has taken off substantially, Brant uses time management skills to fulfill her education and work obligations. “I try to keep my business contained to strict hours and I block off time for things to make sure I can be available,” said Brant. For Soror April McNeil, a former member of Alpha Mu Chapter at North Carolina A & T State University, college s40 DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC. was the springboard into a selfdriven career that was not altered by the downward turn in the job market. McNeil, a spring 2011 initiate, began MAvella Cakes while finishing her degree. She found that running a business and maintaining her grades was a careful balancing act. “At first, it was hard being a student and running an in-house bakery,” said McNeil. “I was a liberal studies major and knew nothing about running a business. My mom acted as my mentor and helped me get started.” MAvella Cakes, named after McNeil’s cake-baking connoisseur grandmother, specializes in making event cakes ranging in size, shape and theme. Her bakery business services the greater Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte areas. Some of the more popular flavors include sweet potato and vanilla pound cake. “I can make pretty much anything. There’s pretty much nothing we won’t make; that’s what sets us apart from other bakeries,” said Mc- Neil. Since MAvella Cakes began, McNeil has made more then 350 cakes, including five wedding cakes, two cakes for celebrity birthdays and a cake with a strong resemblance to Spongebob Squarepants. McNeil is now enrolled in culinary school to continue sharpening her skills and hopes to have a bakery storefront within a few years. While their businesses were important, Brant and McNeil held fast to their education and allowed it to propel their companies further toward their career goals. Brant delivered a last word of advice for collegiates pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams. “When you want something, start it,” said Brant. “Use what you have and start small. Don’t give up. Keeping at it is key.” To view and purchase items from Fancythat, check out Fancythat on Instragram or etsy.com by searching shopfancythat. To view and purchase cakes from MAvella cakes, follow them on Twitter @MAvellaCakes and on Instagram. s by Lilian Paige Turner


SummerJournal2013
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