Creating Their Own Jobs


Emma Wright and Brodie Curtsinger

Junior Jacob Maggard mowing grass (bottom photo), junior Emma Wright taking photos (top left), and senior Bailey Korfhage hand-painting a porch leaner. These three students have all created businesses doing the three activities, you see above. “If you had asked me if my business was successful back when I started it, I would have said that it wasn’t even a business. At first it really was just a way to make a little money, and give people these welcome and home signs, that brought some joy during the pandemic. Although, now, I am really getting into a successful business. It’s profitable, but not overpriced, and I’ve had over 100 orders in four months,” Korfhage said.

Brodie Curtsinger, Sports Editor

Young, and starting a company. 

In high schools around the nation, many teenagers are trying to create their own business, some of which turn out to be really successful. 

Some students are making more money than if another student were to get a part-time job at a corporate company. Junior Emma Wright and senior Bailey Korfhage both have created businesses, where they sell artsy things. Junior Jacob Maggard has created a business where he sells something that is a need, not a want.

There are many student entrepreneurs all over the United States, some of which are extremely successful, and some of which are not so lucky.

In New York City, there is a 16-year-old female by the name of Noa Mintz. Mintz is the founder of a business, called: “Nannies by Noa.” Nannies by Noa is a full-service childcare business, in New York City, and the Hamptons. 

Mintz is considered to be one of the top teenage entrepreneurs in the world, as of today. If Mintz can start her own business at age 16, then any teenager can. 

Wright has created her very own photography business, known as Emma Kate Captures, around a year ago. “I first officially created my business probably about a year ago. The last couple months is have when things really picked up though; with family shoots, senior shoots, as well as couple shoots,” Wright said, “I would say that my business is successful, for my experience and age. I started, “emmakatecaptures,” relatively recently, and all businesses take time to expand. With my social media, website, and just word of mouth, I’ve had a good amount of inquiries for shoots.” 

The reason why she created it was because of her love of photography. “I’ve always loved photography, but it was mainly just a hobby. What really inspired me to start my business was when people started reaching out to me, asking for pictures, and others saying that I should charge. I realized that I could be making money, while also doing something I really enjoy,” Wright said. Wright is not sure how much money she makes, but she knows that she gets the most business during the fall, and the summer.

Wright is actually fully wanting this business, to be her full-time job, when she gets older. “At first I didn’t really believe that I could make photography my profession, but now that is what I’m constantly working towards. If I can play financial cards right, I can be a full time traveling photographer. I love to see new things, and capture moments that people can look back on for the rest of their life,” Wright said, “there is a particular moment that I remember sitting in the car with my parents, brainstorming ideas for the business, and in the midst of throwing random names out, we put together, “Emma Kate Captures,” and it stuck.” Wright has been doing the activity of taking photos ever since the winter of 2017.

Korfhage has created her very own hand-painted porch leaners business, known as Boards by Bailey, back in March of 2020. “The business has been accepting orders from March to June and October (to present). I started going to the lake during June, and I didn’t have time for the boards anymore, unfortunately,” Korfhage said, “if you had asked me if my business was successful back when I started it, I would have said that it wasn’t even a business. At first it really was just a way to make a little money, and give people these welcome, and home, signs, that brought some joy during the pandemic. Although, now, I am really getting into a successful business. It’s profitable, but not overpriced, and I’ve had over 100 orders in four months.” 

The reason why she created it was because she thought it would brighten the mood, especially during the times of COVID-19. “When NTI started, my mom saw where someone was making these porch leaners and asked me if I wanted to help her make one, to give away to someone in the community, and bring a little bit of happiness in a time of darkness. Of course, I said yes, and we worked on the original one together, with her painting the base coat, and me making the letter stencils, and painting the letters on the board,” Korfhage said, “We made her (cousin) a sunflower one, because she loves sunflowers and surprised her by putting it on her porch. That’s where it started. After the sunflower one, I got my first order from a family friend, and the rest is history.” Korfhage has made about $1,700 in profit.

Korfhage doesn’t want this to be her full-time job, when she gets older, but she is wanting to go into the field of business. “Right now, this is a great part-time job. I make my own hours, get to be at home, and not at-risk, make my own wage, and learn how to use platforms to advertise, and market my business, which is what I want to do in the future. I am aware that I will eventually get a ‘real’ job, but for now, it’s amazing,” Korfhage said, “my mom helped, a lot. Almost all of my orders were from her friends on Facebook, and she has helped me with quality control, and buying supplies. I can’t buy spray paint, because I’m not 18, and my parents have to buy it for me.” Korfhage gets help from her mom, in her business.

Maggard has created his very own lawn care, business, known as Good to be Green Lawn Care, around six years ago. “Technically, I started this business about six years ago, but I didn’t take it seriously, until this year,” Maggard said, “I think my business is successful in some ways, but not as successful as I want it to be.” 

The inspiration behind why he created it was because of his dad. “Really, what inspired me to start all of this, was my dad,” Maggard said. Sometimes, Maggard can make about $3,000, gross profit, a month. 

Maggard is wanting this lawn mowing business to be his full-time job, when he gets older. “Yes, I would like for this to be one of many full-time jobs in the future,” Maggard said, “Really, I have been doing it (mowing) ever since I was about seven years old.” Maggard started mowing, when he was age seven.

Maggard has an interesting story behind why he created the name in which he did. “It’s actually a funny story. I found a hat on a sidewalk, and I looked at it, and it had: “Good To Be Green,” on the side of it, and I said, ‘That is a good name.’ So, that’s what it has been for a long time,” Maggard said.

If you’re interested in Maggard’s business, you can contact him, and Good to be Green Lawn Care, in the way in which he advertises, which is social media and flyers. “Really, the two ways we advertise our business is social media, and flyers,” Maggard said, “If they have any questions, for me, feel free to shoot me a message.”

If you would like to get photos professionally taken, you can contact Wright, and Emma Kate Captures, in the way in which she advertises, which is Instagram. “I advertise my business solely through Instagram. While I’m on other social media, I’m not typically active. I advertise through story posts. As well as through clients’ social media,” Wright said, “My main goal with Emma Kate Captures is to just differentiate myself from other photographers, both within BE, and also the community.”

If you’re interested in Korfhage’s business, you can contact her, and Boards by Bailey, in the way in which she advertises, which is by Facebook. “I am on Facebook, (@boardsbybailey ), and I use a google form for people to place their orders. I also do craft fairs. Facebook is kind of where it all started, and my target market uses that platform all day long,” Korfhage said. Many businesses sell the same product, but they sell it at twice the price, and it’s usually in vinyl, not hand-painted.