Small business owners at ATU

Photos taken by Margarita Lopez.

Left: Ely Soto, owner of Primavera

Right: Kennedy Wells and Megan McGinnis, owners of Kindred Mills

College-themed movies don’t portray an accurate reality that students face. Unlike the movies, students experience monetary problems.

As a student, you have to pay for tuition and fees, groceries, car maintenance, clothing, loans and more. In some cases, students may decide to launch their own business, hoping to earn extra income while still attending classes or working a part-time job.

However, many small businesses don’t grow overnight, and they come with challenges, which tempt entrepreneurs to quit their business because it’s not giving them the results they were hoping for.

At ATU, there are many students who have managed all the stress and have grown into successful small business owners. These owners don’t always do it for the extra money; they also do it because it’s their passion or it’s a way to share their talent to those who support them, whether the supporters live out-of-state, in-state or at ATU.

Ely Soto, a marketing and management student, is the owner of Primavera, a shop that sells and makes decals, stickers and an array of accessories, but her best-selling items are key rings, chapstick holders and scrunchies.

“I wanted those with less disposable income to be able to afford fashionable and trendy items. I grew up in a low to middle-income community, and I didn’t think it was fair to see them, as well as myself, want trendy items but not be able to afford it. Everyone deserves to feel like they fit in, and it shouldn’t be a financial burden. I don’t make a lot of profit, but it doesn’t matter. I’m happy knowing that some of these items make people feel more confident. It’s not always about the money, but the mission,” Soto said about why she started Primavera.

Kennedy Wells, a music and psychology student, and Megan McGinnis, a middle-level education student, are the owners of Kindred Mills, which sells polymer clay earrings, handmade scrunchies, scrunchie apple watch bands, resin earrings, resin rings, hair clips and bracelets.

The owners of Kindred Mills encourage students to go for creating a business if they are thinking of starting one.

“You will never be able to please everyone, so do what you love,” Wells and McGinnis said about starting Kindred Mills.

Liliana Menchaca, a hospitality administration student, is the proud owner of  Lily’s Shop. Lily’s Shop sells keychains, earrings, chapstick holders and will soon be adding customs shirts and more!

 “Be patient with the process. It might take a while to get your business going, but if you stay dedicated it will all end up working for you in the end,” said Menchaca.

ATU occasionally features small business owners on their social media pages, so you might run across Primavera, Kindred Mills or Lily’s Shop on one of them.

These small business owners want to remind you that hard work pays off and to not be afraid of going after your dream of creating a business.