EHS student entrepreneurs

Turning ideas into reality

Aubrey Ledall, Staff Reporter

Being a high school student in 2021 isn’t always easy, and running a successful business on top of scholarly activities presents its own set of challenges. Multiple students at Eaton High School acknowledged the difficulties that would come with being an entrepreneur and pursued their interests. Seniors Charlotte Reynolds (22), Emily Hogsett (22), Alonzo Zubia (22) and junior Shelby Shuman (23) all have their hands in entrepreneurship. 

Shuman is an auctioneer and runs a primary benefit auction company. She’s been involved in countless auctions and is surrounded by those in the auction community that have helped propel her towards success. Auctioneering is a learning-based industry and she has had the opportunity to learn from her dad, Scott Shuman, who is also an auctioneer. Shuman said, “My dad has been an auctioneer since he was in high school and I’ve always looked up to him… I would watch him conduct auctions, which then inspired me to follow in his footsteps.” Another female auctioneer, Haile Behr, who is just ten years older than Shuman, has inspired Shuman through her drive and exemplary actions. Like most students at Eaton High School, Shuman is involved in many extracurricular activities; she’s an officer for the Eaton FFA chapter, a LINK leader, and an athlete on the tennis team. Auctions for Shuman usually take place on Friday or Saturday nights but can also happen any other day of the week. “The hardest part [of balancing school and auctioneering] is that my weekend can have anywhere between 1-3 auctions.” Starting mid-afternoon/evening and going until close to midnight means that Shuman has to balance her auctions as well as her academics, extracurricular activities, and her social life. Shuman has had to take on many challenges since 2017 when she started professionally auctioning but because of her motivation she’s a successful student, athlete, leader, and young entrepreneur. 

Reynolds is also a high school entrepreneur. Being an active leader at EHS, she participates in student council, LINK, four different bands, and the RedInk. While balancing these extracurriculars and school, Reynolds also runs her own photography business. She is a couples, senior, and marketing portrait photographer and uses her camera to capture meaningful moments and showcase her passion and ability to work with people. During quarantine she quickly became interested in photography and made a business out of it in July of 2020. Reynolds said, “Through my boredom I started taking photos of my friends for fun and realized I really loved it.” Reynolds’s photography business is setting her up for future success and she believes that, “there’s a lot of value in entrepreneurship and pursuing something you’re passionate about.” Striving for success as a young person takes a lot of courage and marketing a new business can be laborious. However, platforms like Instagram have made marketing for photographers like Reynolds a little simpler; it’s set up gallery-style and showcases her work to potential clients flawlessly. Along with Instagram, Reynolds uses her own website that familiarizes people with her name and provides them an opportunity to book a session with her. Reynolds believes that ambition, independence, self-advocacy, and passion are important characteristics for an entrepreneur to have and she is living proof that when applied to life, success is inevitable. 

Hogsett has been baking and decorating cakes since she was eight years old but has made a business out of her confectioneries this past year. She used her involvement in 4-H to practice baking and decorating cakes and knew this sweet skill was for her when she found out her mom also decorated cakes in 4-H as a teen. Her hard work has helped her thrive and her time management skills have given her the ability to put hours into her work. “It takes a few hours to bake and more than that to decorate. A lot of times I bake on Thursday and will stay up super late on Friday decorating for an order on Saturday,” said Hogsett. Like Shuman and Reynolds, Hogsett uses multiple methods to get the word out about The Sweet Pea Bakery. Instagram and business cards are helpful to Hogsett but she said, “I have found the best way to share my business is by word of mouth. That’s how I get most of my customers.” Starting her own business has posed challenges for Hogsett but her experience as a student entrepreneur provides her profit from her skills and a lifelong hobby. 

Senior Alonzo Zubia is also a high school student entrepreneur. He runs an automotive detailing business and got interested in keeping vehicles in the best condition possible when he saw others doing it on social media. AZ Detailing has been in business for a year and a half and Zubia uses Facebook and other social media platforms to market what he does. His real inspiration for becoming a student entrepreneur was his parents. “My parents are the biggest entrepreneurial inspiration to me because they own and run multiple businesses; they really gave me the motivation to start my own thing,” said Zubia. Zubia’s parents own a food truck, towing company, cleaning company, and gutter cleaning company. He believes that time management is crucial for success in the business world and what he is doing as a student entrepreneur has given him “the sense of how the real world is.” He knows that by running his own detailing business he is able to deal with aspects of the real world while being a high school student. 

The future is bright for these student entrepreneurs, they’ve acknowledged the difficulties that would come with being a young business owner and took on the challenges alongside scholarly activities.