Megan Castle & Hope Titchbourne
Students have a habit of idolizing those who are successful. But being a young entrepreneur is harder than most believe.
Win Feigle might make it look easy to balance school, a social life and a thriving business. The truth is, being a teenage entrepreneur has its ups and downs.
Feigle, a senior at Bozeman High School, has created a thriving apparel and clothing company known as “Motivation Athletics.” In order to reach his goal, Feigle has been forced to make many sacrifices.
“[It’s] hard to balance school and a business,” says Feigle. “Sales depend on time. I’m a full-time student and work on my business when I have free time.”
Feigle’s company has superiority over hanging out with friends and enjoying the simplicity of the high school experience.
“I’ve been able to open so many doors with my company. It’s been worth it that I haven’t had much of a social life because I’ve been working hard,” Feigle says.
Young inventor, senior Thomas Haggerty, knows the importance of acknowledging the ups and downs of a self-made business. For his senior project, Haggerty plans to “recreate the windshield wiper.” Haggerty has taken time to research the topic and knows that he will be faced with hardships. He advises young entrepreneurs to be OK with failures.
“All you need is a small idea and a plan,” Haggerty says.
Another struggle that teen entrepreneurs are faced with is conformity. High school is a difficult time for many young adults, let alone adding a self-made business to the deal. Feigle says he had a fear of acceptance and not being able to fit in.
Because of this, he says, he wanted to keep the company a secret from his hometown and specifically the high school in order to maintain his current reputation — Feigle managed to keep his new business a secret from his peers for around a year and a half.
“I didn’t want my high school to know, [I thought] people might look at me differently,” says Feigle. “[For a long time] nobody knew about my successes and failures.”
For junior Charlie Carr, running a business and being a high school student can be challenging. One wouldn’t guess that a six-foot-five basketball player has a deep-set passion for fashion design, but Carr has just that. Carr, a junior at Bozeman High School, recently developed a silkscreen T-shirt business using all of his own designs.
A passion for Carr abruptly turned into the start of a business when his peers began placing orders and showing interest in “Chuck shirts”. Carr had to start pressing T-shirts left and right to get the orders out on time.
“It’s stressful, it’s all about instant gratification. People aren’t willing to wait a couple days for a T-shirt,” says Carr.
Carr explains that running a business can be very overwhelming but it is time spent doing what he loves. He says that his favorite thing about starting a T-shirt business is the design factor.
“You don’t know where that Costco design came from, that just amazes me, there’s so many possibilities,” Carr says.
Carr sees his business as a hobby for the time being, but if an opportunity presents itself, he will be sure to take it.
For these three individuals, the downfalls of being young entrepreneurs are simply speed bumps on the way to success. Feigle, Haggerty and Carr all have great faith in the future and look forward to taking advantage of the opportunities their businesses have given them.
As Feigle says, “What I put into it, is what comes out of it.”