Washington State is known for producing successful, international businesses. From Boeing, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Costco, and Starbucks, Washington is certainly home to an atmosphere of entrepreneurship.
According to the State Entrepreneurial Index, which measures the growth of business per capita, Washington ranked second out of 50 states for entrepreneurship.
However, the spirit of business expansion is not a trait only shared by the adult business moguls downtown.
Right here in Kirkland, teenagers are already elevating their interests and hobbies into profitable business endeavors.
Here are the profiles of three teenage residents and their business pursuits.
The People’s Coffee
Jonah Friedl is a high school senior and patron of local coffee shops. For his senior project, Jonah developed and brewed his own coffee brand through Kirkland’s Caffe Rococo.
The approachable and friendly attitude of the shop contributed to Jonah’s growing curiosity of the coffee business, a realm that he admits “he didn’t know much about, but heard that there was a lot to it.”
Selecting his own brew, he personalized his interpretation of the java blend by meeting with graphic designers and coming up with his own marketing label. His objective for the marketing scheme was something “unconventional and not traditional,” and which lead to the birth of his label “Brosef Stalin: The People’s Coffee.” All packages feature a retro rendition of the Russian leader.
While production is in limited supply, opportunities for the future are boundless.
Also a high school senior, Nicola Scutt is co-owner of Party Partners, a waitressing service for private dinner parties. Originally started in 2006 by her older sister, Party Partners spread by word-of-mouth and Nicola eventually took it over with her friend Marin Harris when her sister went off to college.
The mission of Party Partners is to provide the host with assistance in whatever tasks need to be done so that both the host and the guests can relax and enjoy the party. Clad in black pants and white shirts and aprons, the responsibilities of the Party Partners consist of helping set up, plating food, refilling drinks, and cleaning up.
Rates are $10 per partner at an event, and Nicola and Marin’s services have put an interesting spin on dinner parties throughout Kirkland.
High school senior Clara Pathe has set up a profitable photography business taking senior portraits all around the Eastside. Taking up photography in ninth grade, Clara’s hobby soon became a passion when she started taking senior pictures of her family and friends.
Gaining high praise from her work, Clara started her senior portrait business Dakos Photography (Dakosphotos.com). Dakos Photography is focused on making the client happy and Clara will personalize all of her shoots to the desired locations of the client.
Clara knows how frustrating it is “for a client to pay for something they aren’t happy with” and contrasting with other studios, the photographs she takes are very natural and free of airbrushing.
“I want people to have nice pictures without breaking the bank,” said Clara, referring to her low fixed-rates sessions.
Another attribute to the success of Dakos is the comfortableness that the client feels at the shoot, being able to relate with the photographer as the talented Clara is the same age as her clientele base.
The accomplishments of these teenagers show that it is never too early to start a business plan and that success can be achieved at any age.
Zach Shucklin is a senior at International Community School. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.