Every teenager has most likely heard the phrase, ‘you are just a kid. ‘ In almost every situation, this phrase is used to minimize young people’s potential to accomplish traditionally ‘adult’ feats.
Owning a business is something not many associate with teenagers. It seems to be something that many associate with billionaire business moguls like Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates, which in turn creates what seems to be an unattainable goal for young people that feel virtually powerless in a world full of adults that underestimate them.
This, however, is not the case for senior Molly Garner, who did not hesitate to shoot for the stars.
As a sophomore at Lebanon High School, Garner became invested in the Distributive Education Clubs of America, or DECA. In this club, she learned an array of business tactics and strategies that quickly made her realize the affinity she had with the business process. She also began listening to business podcasts that had a hand in driving her passion.
At the time, Garner was working at a boutique, and she had the idea to combine her interest in running a business with her love for fashion. With these passions motivating her, she set out to create her own brand, Molly Bee Boutique.(www.mollybeeclothing.com)
“I already had a love for fashion, and I decided I wanted to do something most teenagers talk about, but never actually do. After saving my money, I decided to go for it. I wanted to do something unconventional and different from others, and I also needed to make money,” Garner said.
There are many different strategies that go into managing a business—especially with having to balance that and her other responsibilities like school, work, and hobbies. Garner shared that she even completed some of the work at school when she was close to her computer, and then late at night when all of her other responsibilities have been taken care of. Garner has an entire schedule planned out so that she can run her business as efficiently as possible while balancing the other things she has on her plate.
“I will order my inventory and update my website at school, I will post on Instagram after school or during my lunch, I will schedule festivals throughout the week, and then I will package and ship orders right after school before I head to work,” Garner said.
With all of the things that she has to take care of, Garner knew that she was bound to run into challenges. After all, running a business is no small feat, and she knew that. However, Garner did admit that as a new business owner she underestimated just how many challenges she would come to face.
“I thought it would all be fun and games in the beginning, but then a lot of challenges occurred. I had to learn to manage my time very well, worked through a lot of problems, and sacrificed a few nights with friends in order to go to festivals. I feel like it made me grow up a little faster than I needed to, but I would not trade it for the world,” Garner said.
Despite the challenges, though, Garner began to learn the ropes. She began to develop a personality for her business, one that markets towards women of all ages, shapes, and sizes who want fun and trendy additions to their wardrobes. She has enjoyed her experience in developing her brand so far.
“I am proud of how far I have come, I never would have thought this is what I would be doing in high school, and I have met so many people and learned so much,” Garner said.
If Garner were to share one lesson to anybody who was planning on starting a business, she advises one to place focus on their preparedness the most.
“Always expect the unexpected. From tents falling over at festivals to running out of bags at home shows, you never know what is going to happen in life in general, so you always need to be prepared for it,” Garner said.
Molly Bee Boutique is on Instagram @mollybeeboutique, where she notifies customers of promotions, sales, and new arrivals.
Through Garner’s business, she not only shows that hard work and preparedness pay off, but that no matter your age, you can truly do anything to which you set your mind.