The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

There’s no business like a small business

Starting a business can be a struggle, especially for some people new to the competitive world of small businesses. Sometimes, people treat their small business like their life because it is.

It pays the bills for a small business owner; other times, people just like to share their creativity and art with the world.

During Eastern’s “Family Weekend,” the south quad was filled with booths run by students who own small businesses.

Students with merchandise were allowed to advertise and even sell their products. The small business fest went from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. With the bright light from the sun came bright ideas from business owners.

The fest had some students engaging in their business for the first time. It was a chance to dip their toes in selling and running a successful business. Many booths were gathering, and people were just now getting exposed to what they could do with their ideas.

Students set up stands and sell items during Eastern Illinois small business fest at South Quad Saturday afternoon. (Jacob Adcock)

Rachel Perino, a junior majoring in art education, had their original art and sticker prints displayed and on sale for the first time. Perino’s art can be found on her Instagram: @sometimesshewonders.

It was a chance for her to reveal her art and discover what people would think about how she could sell what she loves.

“Business has been okay so far, but I have had a lot of people who have come up to me and compliment my art even if they don’t want to purchase anything, so I think it is nice to learn if my prices are too high,” Perino said. “I have even told people I am willing to negotiate, and they mostly say that the pricing is good; they just don’t want to buy it.”

Everyone also had their inspiration and plans to grow in the future.

“I think I will continue to sell my art because of how exciting it is,” Perino said. “My aunt also has a successful small crystal business, so seeing her thrive was nice to see. I also could stick with this side business because I am an art education major.”

With many people selling art at the fest, it might be hard for customers to choose from multiple artists. However, many art booths were utterly different, which allowed a wide variety of fun art pieces to be presented. Some artists have had experience in selling their crafts before.

Junior Alexa Peter, majoring in 2D studio arts, had a table full of her art on display and expressed that she had been making art for as long as she could remember. Her art form focused on block print shirts and papers, and she started selling her work in high school on Depop. Even though she only sells her art as a side hustle, she hopes the event could help her grow her online sales.

There was a lot of jewelry being sold at the event.

All the jewelry was handmade.

Kensi Kensel, a freshman studying business management, runs a business called Variety Boutique. She had a wide variety of jewelry, including necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets and she even does henna tattoos.

It was her first time selling at Eastern, and after spending her day at the fest, she plans on creating a website. The duality of her booth gave her experience with running a business and tips on how to work with potential customers. Even though selling her jewelry is a side hustle, she plans to grow her business. You can schedule a henna appointment or jewelry repair by emailing [email protected].

Emily Larsen, a freshman business management major, also had her jewelry on display. She specialized in earrings, but has explored her options of making keychains.

Since she has been in high school, Larsen has been making multiple versions of unique and fun earrings. She stated that she does the business full-time and has made a generous profit from sales. Her business is called BeeCraftn, and you can buy her merchandise on Esty by clicking the link in her Instagram bio: @beecraftn.

Some booths were set up to advertise a business students could benefit from.

Eryka Williams, a senior majoring in nutrition, took the opportunity to promote her new lash business.

‘Baddie Blinks’ is a self-made business made by Williams herself. Although her small business is her side hustle, she has made good profits by selling lashes, products, and lash services. She started doing what she loves this year and explained how it has impacted her life.

“I want to build people’s confidence through the love and beauty of lashes,” Williams said.

Being a part of the business fest created a space for her to learn how to read people.

“Being here made me realize that I need to be more serious because not everybody is going to be attracted to how I do business, so until I have talked to the person, I am trying to be more professional,” Williams said.

With each small business having its unique personality, the Small Business Fest created a place for people to promote and sell their products and a chance to learn new tips and tricks.

The South Quad attracted many students and their families, gaining publicity the small business owners needed to thrive for their futures.


Jacob Adcock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Jacob Adcock
Jacob Adcock, Reporter
Jacob Adcock is a freshman English education major. This is his first year at The News.

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