Author Archive for Julia Voris


Have you ever received a bad hair cut? Melody McCloskey has, and she turned this experience into a business. McCloskey in the founder and CEO of StyleSeat, which is an app that connects hair stylists and customers looking for a haircut.

McCloskey was tired of the hassle of booking hair appointments. She found it frustrating when she called a salon sometimes stylists wouldn’t answer the phone or when they did, you just received a random appointment with a random stylist that wasn’t even good at what she wanted to be done. McCloskey decided to fix this problem with her app. StyleSeat makes it easy to book hair appointments with specific stylists. You can search for stylists by where you are and even by what the stylist specializes in. This is such a wonderful tool not only for people in need of a haircut, also stylists. Stylists can promote themselves for what they are really good at and what they prefer to do.

Melody McCloskey really stood out to me because she experienced a problem and made it into a successful business idea. This is such a great entrepreneurial quality to have. I love how she tapped into an industry that pretty much everyone utilizes and made it better. The cosmetology industry is already a saturated industry, but McCloskey found a way to innovate and come up with something new.




Home Owner at 14

When the recession hit and the housing market crashed, Willow Tufano’s mother, who is a real estate agent, was seeing $100,000 homes sell for $12,000. Willow already enjoyed clearing houses and reselling the items she found, so she thought, why not buy a house! At the age of 14, Willow bought her first house at $12,000, which she split with her mom. Willow fixed up the house and put it on the market for rent. She successfully rented the house out for $700 a month and quickly made her money back.

Willow was also being noticed now that she was a 14 year old home owner. Ellen asked her to be on her show and said that Willow was such an amazing kid! Although Willow didn’t think of herself as amazing, or different, she then started getting calls from many different TV shows and even a college. She was called by Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper, a Korean show, and by a college in Alabama to give a talk. Willow flew to Alabama to give a talk despite being very nervous, and did great!

This might not be a traditional business start-up, but Willow Tufano is definitely an entrepreneur. Now 15, she has bought another house. Willow is a true inspiration to just go for it, a walking example of the analogy “ready, fire, aim”.

Candles for a Cause

When Alexis Kauchick was faced with the pain of her brother dying of a mental illness, she wanted to find some way to make a difference. Her brother’s hobby was making candles. Alexis decided to make candles and sell them to donate to the The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation, and Eternal Essence Candles was born.


Alexis started by selling the candles in local craft shows and boutiques and has since created her own e-commerce platform. She is also doing great things as she has partnered with John’s Hopkins Medicine Adolescent Depression Awareness Program to create two signature candles.

Alexis is a great example of someone taking a pain and turing it into a business. She has identified a need, and has come up with a creative way to combat the need. Not only is she bringing awareness to the large problem of mental illnesses but she is also using this as a coping mechanism as she deals with her brother’s passing.


Scholarships Made Easy

As a college student, I know how expensive college is. I also know how hard it is to find scholarships that fit my needs. Christopher Gray saw this problem too as he grew up in a single parent household and had little to no means to go to college.

When Chris was in high school, he sifted through thousands of scholarships, and with a lot of hard work, he won $1.3 million in scholarships. As his own journey was very hard, Chris wanted to make it easier for other students. So Chris founded Scholly. Scholly is an app that helps high school seniors, current undergraduate students, or graduate students find scholarship money. It uses a patented scholarship-matching platform that gives you a targeted list that actually meets your needs and qualifications.


Scholly believes that everyone should be able to afford access to a quality education, regardless of who they are, where they’re from, or what they have. It is only $2.99, so it is cheap and accessible.

After Scholly was featured on Shark Tank, it became the #1 overall app in both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store for over 3 weeks. In addition, the app has won numerous awards and Chris Gray has also won awards for his company.

Through all this success, Scholly is still dedicated to connecting students to over $50 million in scholarships so they can go to the colleges of their dreams. The company continually tries to improve and strengthen their company so they can go on to help more students reach their full potential.

Good Clothes for a Good Cause

Ivory Ella started when five college students and a high school business teacher came together and wanted to create “good clothes for a good cause.” Ryan Duranso, Jacob Castaldi, Richard Henne, Matthew Fiano, John Allen, and Esma Ilyas founded the company on April 18, 2015 and has grown rapidly ever since.


The company is driven by the elephants getting poached in Africa. In the last decade Africa’s elephant population has declined by 64%. The founders of Ivory Ella saw a need to build awareness and help the cause. Ivory Ella is partnered with an organization called Save the Elephants. This organization is operating out of Kenya, where it researches elephants and calls attention to the problem of the declining elephant population. Save the Elephants has started to see a growth in the elephant population since they have been raising awareness.


Ivory Ella has already been so successful in the short time they have been open. With 10% of their proceeds going to Save the Elephant, many people buy the shirts just for the social aspect. Not only is their company driven to save the elephants, but their designs are really cute as well! The have a variety of different designs targeted to girls from middle school to college age. Along with t-shirts, they also sell outerwear, hats, jewelry, and drinkware.

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The company prides themselves for connecting with their target market and really listening to the customers. This is very evident when you look at their customers and see how satisfied they are. These young entrepreneurs have created a great brand with great meaning.

Caine’s Archade

When Caine Monroy was just 9 years old, he spent his summer vacation building a DIY cardboard arcade in his father’s used auto parts store. He created displays for his prizes, which were his own toy cars, hand labeled prize bags, and even designed an elaborate security system for his fun pass. Caine sold a $1 ticket that got you 2 turns or a $2 Fun Pass that got you 500 turns. Although his father’s auto parts store didn’t get much foot traffic, on the last day of summer Nirvan Mullick walked into the store. After he picked up his car part, Caine asked him if he wanted to play his arcade. Nirvan was Caine’s first customer. Nirvan is a filmmaker and asked if he could make a short film about Caine’s arcade.

The short film was posted on April 9th, 2012 and within the first 24 hours, it received over 1 million views. Nirvan started a scholarship fund for Caine and was hoping to raise $25,000. Within the first two days he raised $110,000. Since, they have raised $240,000 for Caine’s scholarship fund. But this project isn’t just benefiting Caine. Just 5 days after the film was posted, they launched the Imagination Foundation. As it says on the Imagination foundation’s website, “The mission of the Imagination Foundation is to find, foster and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in children around the world to raise a new generation of innovators and problem solvers who have the tools they need to build the world they imagine”. The Foundation has partnered with National Head Start Association to bring early STEM education to 30,000 Pre-K kids, primarily in under-served communities. They have also launched “Imagination Chapters” to help give kids time and space for Creative Play every week. This program has expanded to over 130 Imagination Chapters in 20 countries, providing over 3,000 kids with time and space for regular Creative Play for 9 months.

It is clear that this family is having a great impact on the young generation of society. This is all due to a young man with a big dream.