Student Entrepreneurs

Being a full-time college student is difficult enough by itself, let alone juggling the responsibilities of running a startup-business on the side. Each of these students' businesses featured are just ideas at first, based off of their passions in the arts of different fields.... but there is much opportunity for growth, knowledge, and success for the future.

Jenna Bee Handmade

Jenna Bee Handmade is a small business made locally in the central coast inspired by vintage clothing and accessories. Graphic Communications Junior Jenna Cady not only makes tote bags, but has expanded her line to necklaces and jean jackets. The process for making the tote bags is extensive, as Cady strives for perfection in all of her hand made products.

Cal Poly Junior Jenna Cady compiles different patterned materials from local flea markets to make handwoven bags for her b​ usiness ​Jenna Bee. This is her workspace in her cozy San Luis Obispo apartment. She decorates her room with photos and antiques to inspire the look of her bags.October 10, 2016 “My favorite fabrics I find are old mexican blankets with vibrant cohesive colors,” said Junior Jenna Cady. “I also buy old leather jackets, because they’re really cute and very sturdy.” The straps of the bags are made from used belts.
October 10, 2016 For the straps on the bags, Junior Jenna Cady buys old vintage belts from local flea markets around the Central Coast. She loves using the tarnished belts because they match very well with the fabric she uses for the bag itself, and appreciates making each and every bag unique.
October 10, 2016 Junior Jenna Cady cuts an old leather jacket she bought last week at a flea market in Cayucos, California. This is the first step to her bag making process. The fabric is used for the bottom of the bag so that it is sturdy and works well with the mexican blankets. October 16, 2016 Next, Junior Jenna Cady measures and cuts the mexican blanket to fit the dimensions of the leather fabric she already cut. She uses a measuring device to make sure every cut is precise to the size she needs.
October 10, 2016 “After everything is cut accordingly, I choose a belt that best matches the fabric of the bag. I like this belt because it has an intricate engraving on it and matches the dark brown in the fabric,” said Cady. This is the final layout of the bag before the sewing process.
October 10, 2016 Once the cutting is complete, Junior Jenna Cady starts sewing the bags at her sewing station. Cal Poly Junior Briegan Sims says, “Sometimes when Jenna has big orders, I come help her out. I’m not a good sewer at all, but Jenna definitely knows what she’s doing. It’s so inspiring!” Cady’s sewing machine is equipped with the latest sewing technology.
October 10, 2016 Junior Jenna Cady begins sewing her bag. She has to have a very steady hand so that the seams are straight and tidy. She makes sure she has a well-lit workspace, so she can easily see every seam that is sewed.
October 16, 2016 Once the inside of the bag is sewed together, Junior Jenna Cady flips the bag over and sews a clean, straight line on the outside of the bag. This ensures that the bags are produced with the highest quality possible. This finishes up the sewing process, and the bag is then complete and ready to sell.
October 10, 2016 Junior Jenna Cady hangs her finished bags up in her closet in an organized fashion. Once they are ready to sell, she takes pictures of them and posts them on Etsy, Instagram, Facebook and her very own website ​Jenna Bee​. Sophomore Justine Pelton says, “Jenna’s bags are so cute and hipster. Everyone is always asking me where I bought my bag, and it’s cool to say that my friend hand-made it.”

Sutro Farms

Sutro Farms is an idea that began in the heart of San Francsico, when Bobby Singer used the city as inspiration for his art. Though right now he only makes stickers, surf wax, t-shirts and surf boards, he plans on creating a homemade, organic, and soulful brand in the future. Singer, CEO, is a Sophomore at Santa Barbara City College.

Smoke and Red

Jacqui Klinger is a junior english major with an art minor attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In her free time, Klinger paints, sculpts and draws anything she is inspired by. Klinger sells her artwork to local stores, cafes and restaurants in the San Luis Obispo area. She has dreams of soon opening a gallery for artists to collaborate on in downtown SLO.

Cal Poly SLO

Entrepreneurship in itself is a full-time job. But what if you had the weight of homework, midterms and papers on your shoulders as well? Cal Poly SLO has a variety of resources for driven and devoted students to expand their ideas into reality.

How to Succeed

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“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” - Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance.