Seniors Jamie Vaughn (left) and Ben Berens sport Home Grown clothing merchandise while Vaughn plays his guitar.  The duo have decided to work for themselves rather than seeking a job in a store or restaurant.

Young entrepreneurs attempt to lift their businesses off the ground

By George Kankia ’11

Students coming up with ways to make a little money is nothing new. Some of the richest people in the world started by making small companies during school. Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook out of his dorm room at Harvard, Steve Jobs co-founded Apple with his friends when he was 21, and closer to home, senior Ben Berens founded Home Grown Clothing in Massachusetts when he was only 15.

Today Berens works to transfer his company’s success from Massachusetts by promoting his clothes on Facebook and at school. Home Grown clothing is mostly T-shirts and hoodies with pop culture based logos. Ben creates his own designs and logos to imprint on clothing, but so far his business has had a decrease in revenue since he moved to Ohio.

“Back in Massachusetts, my friends and family helped me get my business going by promoting at my high school and to family friends. Selling clothes was overall much easier,” Ben said. “I sold three shirts and five hoodies in a span of two months. My logos were mainly skate designs and not many people skate here at UAHS.”

Berens was able to make some money off his clothes at Andover High School in Massachusetts, but so far he is the only one wearing Home Grown clothing at UAHS.

Berens is not the only business owner at UA. Senior Jaime Vaughn has used his musical talents to teach others guitar lessons.

“I teach guitar lessons at my mom’s studio to younger kids. I have eight students right now and I work twice a week for about eight hours a week for $12 an hour. I am also doing a lot better than the other teachers at the studio because I have had less people drop out on me than anyone else.”

Jamie has been teaching guitar for about a year now and he said the most students he has ever had was 15, which occurred after the release of Guitar Hero 3. The video game prompted lots of kids to pick up guitars and attend lessons.

“Most people think you have to be really good to teach guitar but you just have to know how to teach. It’s also easier teaching little kids because they trust you and they learn everything from the teacher.”

Both students are connecting their Senior Capstone projects to their businesses hoping that they can be CEO’s as long as possible. •