Author Archive for Aimee Lynch

Shea’s Bakery

Shea Gouldd began selling from Shea’s Bakery when she was 14. She made a cake for a friend in 2008, and before she knew it, she had thirty more orders in a short period before Thanksgiving. From this point, Gouldd started selling her product as a true business. Recently she was voted the best bakery in her town, and young entrepreneur of the year from the Young Entrepreneur Foundation. Gouldd bakes a variety of sweet treats, such as wedding cakes, pies, cupcakes, cheesecakes, and even cake pushup pops!

Gouldd was recently interviewed by the National Federation of Independent Business. In her interview, she was asked to give her advice to others who may have ideas for businesses but who haven’t yet decided to take the next step. Gouldd unequivocally states that people should not be afraid of failure, and that her case is not an extraordinary one. She says that she doesn’t believe she was extraordinary in her idea; rather, it was because she decided to act on it that she succeeded.

She also said not to be afraid to work hard. She balanced this business in the midst of also completely highschool, and she had to forgo some social events to invest in her business. But she is now able to see the payoffs in the forms of her success. She has also enjoyed being able to contribute to the local economy by hiring employees.

You can click here to visit the webpage where the video of her interview is posted, if you want to hear more about Shea Gouldd and her young business!

I Picked this Four You

When Grove City College student Adrienne Scrima began discovering four-leaf clovers frequently, she didn’t think much of it. But this summer Adrienne thought she would turn these chance happenings into a small business. She sells the dried clovers on Etsy for seventy-five cents each, and she makes magnets for three dollars. The magnets consist of a four-leaf clover glued onto the inside of a metal bottle cap with a magnet on the back. Adrienne is able to advertise the magnets as being made with recycled bottle caps.

The benefit of operating her business, named I Picked this Four You, out of Etsy is that she can reach people from all over the world. Adrienne has shipped orders to many different states because people find her by searching on Etsy when they are looking for clovers for a specific project. Most purchases are for gifts, though recently Adrienne received an order that was intended to play a part in a real-estate marketing campaign.

One thing that might become an issue with Adrienne’s business model is that it has limited sustainability. She can only sell as many clovers as she and her friends can find. Because of this, she has not engaged in large-scale marketing. Since it is cold and snowy in Grove City for a large part of the year, this might be a seasonal business.

Adrienne was on my freshman hall last year, and I am impressed by the way that she thought to turn an occurrence such as finding four-leaf clovers into a business.

You can find Adrienne’s Etsy store here: I Picked this Four You.


TumblrDavid Karp’s path toward becoming the founder and CEO of tumblr is not traditional in any way. He dropped out of highschool at the age of 15 and began homeschooling while doing other activities on the side in order to impress colleges. However, Karp never earned a high school diploma or entered college because he was busy with other things. When he was 14, he had started interning with an animation company called Frederator Studios. Another employee recommended him to help with a technical project at UrbanBaby, is an online parenting forum. Karp was able to complete the project within a matter of hours, and the company quickly hired him to be the head of product – all before Karp was 17!

On his own

When UrbanBaby was bought out, Karp decided to start his own software consulting agency, named Davidville. He began working on Tumblr during a two-week break between consulting contracts because he had been waiting for something like it for a while, and finally decided to invent it himself (with help from one of his engineers).  Tumblr was launched in 2007, and today it is valued at 800 MILLION dollars and hosts over 139 million blogs. Recently Karp sold Tubmlr to Yahoo for 1.1 billion dollars, but he still acts as the CEO and his personal valuation is about 200 million. (Can you imagine?)

Where he is now

This story is not at all the traditional way to progress in business. Karp never earned his high school diploma, began working as a technical employee at the age of 14, lived alone in Tokyo when he was 17, and launched one of the world’s largest social blogging platforms when he was only 21.  Is this luck? Or the result of a better plan than the traditional path?




Ladies: have you ever had the experience of purchasing makeup only to realize later that it is the wrong shade, or doesn’t work for your skin type? This problem is compounded by the fact that makeup is very expensive and you can’t keep testing out different kinds to find one that works.

This is the problem that Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp are attempting to solve through their innovative new business, Birchbox. Birchbox sends a surprise box of cosmetics to subscribers each month, which allows subscribers to try out different products for a minimal cost. The price for this service is $20 per month, and all the products are donated by large cosmetics companies since by participating, they are gaining exposure for their brands.


Barna and Beauchamp came up with the idea for this model in an interesting collision of hunches. First, they noticed that the internet commerce industry did very well in replenishing products, but had left the cosmetic market behind, partly because cosmetics require a lot of first-time purchases. Customers are hesitant to make these first-time purchases over the internet because it is more risky to buy makeup without first testing it.

The second hunch that combined to create the business was in observing how a close friend of Barna’s – a beauty editor – would help her friends by personally choosing makeup for them based on her knowledge of the different types of cosmetics. Barna and Beauchamp saw how women appreciated this service, and they decided to combine this idea with an internet business.

The Result

For twenty dollars, customers can get a box filled with surprise products that they can test out in limited sizes. The next month, the products will be completely different. The products are chosen based on specific problems that the women identify upon registering for the service. Already, Birchbox has over 400, 000 subscribers, and they have expanded to add a men’s subscription service for different products. The company also has an online store where customers can order larger quantities of products that they enjoyed in the subscription program.

Birchbox helps men and women become exposed to a variety of brands for a much smaller fee than ordering each product would cost individually. Some believe it will revolutionize the cosmetic industry. It is certainly an interesting model.

Dorm It Up


The Idea

Remember the days just a few years ago, or possibly just a few months ago, when you were frantically shopping for your new dorm accessories? You weren’t completely sure what you would need, so you probably read a lot of those lists that tell you exactly what to buy when you go to college. Except when you finally got to school, you realized that half the stuff you bought was unnecessary, and you have to make another Walmart run for all the things that none of your lists covered. All of this is being bought on your college-student-sized budget.

This is the problem that Shanil Wazirali and his cousin, Sagar Hemani, are solving through their online company, The premise behind their company is that college students should be able to easily purchase the essentials for a dorm without all the time and money that can be involved in buying every item individually from big-name superstores.

The Specs

Wazirali and Hemani began by taking surveys of many college freshmen to find out what they actually needed when they got to school. They two then got busy finding where they could find this merchandise, and it appears from an article written about them on that they have partnered with family members who are in the retail business and can provide them with lower cost merchandise. These products are then sold in packages ranging from $129 to $299, depending on how many items you want. These packages are customizable and come with free shipping!

Great Design

I especially appreciated’s design. Wazirali and Hermani are currently the only two employees of the company, and they did all the design themselves, but it looks very clean and professional. Even the typeface on the shipping containers matches the overall branding of the company, and is attractive to the younger audience. The website is also clean and user-friendly.

Wazirali and Hemani have struck on a good business idea and have already sold thousands of products. In the future, they hope to grow the company to hire more staff.

Garage Sale: A New Approach

Sometimes the most  innovative ideas are also the simplest, or the most overlooked. That’s what Ben Weissenstein latched onto in his idea to begin a business that took advantage of an ordinary neighborhood phenomenon – the garage sale. When he was just 14, Ben was helping his mom get ready for a garage sale, and he thought about how this could be expanded into a bigger business. Five years later, Grand Slam Garage Sales is the result of much hard labor on the part of Ben and a few of his hand-chosen friends.


The Business

Other services provided by GSGS include actual service to set up garage sales and clean up afterwards, as well as a business kit that the company sells to people who want to start their own local garage sale businesses. Ben and his team have considered selling franchises to the business since they are a licensed LLC company, but after considering logistics, they decided that selling the business kits would be a more efficient way of expansion.Today, Grand Slam Garage Sale (GSGS) offers several game-changing services for how to revamp the garage-sale industry. For twenty dollars, anyone can have their garage sale listed on an online database so that people can find them when looking for local garage sales to attend. GSGS also keeps an email list of people who sign up to be notified of new garages sales in their area.


Ben’s website states a simple goal: “Help lots of people throughout the country who want to clean up the clutter around their homes while making a little extra money at the same time.” An average GSGS-hosted garage sale makes over $800 in the few hours that it functions. It truly does allow busy people to make some money while also engaging the problem that many people have of overabundance of things that add disorganization to everyday life.

Grand Slam Garage Sales has been featured on Dr. Phil, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Ben is an example of a millennial entrepreneur who looked at his available resources and created a business idea out of a common neighborhood practice.