The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The future of student-run businesses

Anley Payne-Show of Nails, nail design
Anley Payne-Show of Nails, nail design

From having private hair salons in their house, to having their own booth at the Bloomington Antique Mall, some students at South run and oversee their businesses. Most start due to helping pay for their college tuition, or to carry themselves economically into their early to late 20s. Each business is a personal achievement to its owner, with regular clients, a growing income, and a large following on social media. 

Junior Jael Davis has her own hair salon, run out of her house. She has been braiding hair since she was little, “starting out with others outside of the family in 2019,” said Davis. Hair has always been a passion for Davis, but the job began due to the Covid lockdown and a “lack of black hairdressers in town.”  

Davis said, “I started learning how to do my own hair, and then realized it was in high demand. I soon began to do others’ hair including mine.”  The price depends on the style, as well as the length and service. Knotless braids range from $80-$90. If you would like your hair washed and blowdried, it is an extra $10. Average hair tends to range from $80 to $150. Davis is booked with clients at least once a week, so her “side hustle” is in full demand. 

Junior Mackenzie Rayles is a “senior and family photographer” who has been taking photos since the third grade but started charging for her services freshman year. 

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She began taking photos due to 4-H, a youth development program, yet soon realized she could make a business out of it. Rayles said, “I had a friend come up to me and ask me to take her pictures and I found that people love getting their pictures taken by somebody that they know and somebody that they are comfortable with.” This is her whole goal while shooting, to make the person comfortable and confident behind the camera. 

Her services are a fraction of what others charge, yet the quality is just as good. She hopes to continue running her business for as long as she can, but will “definitely continue it through senior year,” said Rayles. 

Minnie’s Vintage Market is located in the Bloomington Antique Mall, and is owned and run by senior Minnette Wenzel. “I started in the spring of 2021, as I have always been interested in thrifting and fashion,” said Wenzel. This fascination with clothing and buying items second hand, stemmed from her mom who also owns a booth in the Bloomington Antique Mall. Wenzel said, “I always went to work with her, and slowly but surely wanted to do something similar. Now we go shopping together.  I really enjoy doing it with her.” 

Although college is soon approaching for the senior, she still wants to continue this hobby wherever she goes, hoping to still support small thrift stores and continue her online store. Wenzel goes to thrift stores, garage sales, and estate sales around the state to find trendy, reasonably priced, items. You can find her shop on the third floor of the Antique Mall. 

Josh Fulton, a sophomore who has been mowing lawns since he was only eight years old, has his own business named Executive Lawn Care. “I started by mowing the yard with my dad, and then slowly grew interested in it, and made it into a job,” said Fulton. He was inspired by his uncle, who used to have a lawn care business called the same thing. 

The prices vary depending on the size of the yard, but the average yard costs around $40. Fulton isn’t sure how far into the future he will continue this business, but says he will continue through high school. Fulton said, “The next two years will determine whether or not I continue in college.” If you would like to hire Fulton to mow your yard, contact Executive Lawn Care for all your lawn care needs. 

Show of Nails, a private nail artist business founded by junior Anley Payne, was started in 2022. After being inspired by the cool and unique designs on her sister’s nails, Payne knew she wanted to pursue her nail interests. “I used to see my sister get her nails done a lot and liked the cool designs but didn’t want to pay $80 to get my nails done when I could learn to do it myself,” said Payne. 

Although she does not know if she will pursue this as a career, she sees herself “continuing it as a side business in the future,” said Payne. To create these unique and beautiful designs, she needs “a UV gel lamp, utensils including cuticle care, and obviously polishes.” Costs depend on the different nail services. Acrylics tend to be $40, while Gel X ranges from about $20-$30. Regular gel is $15. Keeping Show of Nails a welcoming, but affordable place, has been Payne’s goal from the beginning, always wanting clients to have the most pleasant experience. 

Every one of these small businesses is a passion project for these students, leading them to gather new qualities of leadership, responsibility, and business savvy skills. If you would like to support this student’s businesses, check out these links below:

Show of Nails- Anley Payne 

Show of Nails Instagram 

Hair by Jael Mariee- Jael Davis

Hair by Jael Mariee Instagram 

Minnie’s Vintage Market- Minnette Wenzel

Minnie’s Vintage Market Instagram 

Minnie’s Vintage Market Depop

Executive Lawn Care- Josh Fulton

Executive Lawn Care Instagram 

MacKenzie Rayles Photography- 

MacKenzie Rayles

MacKenzie Rayles Photography Instagram 

 

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