Starting a small business can be an intimidating venture. Despite the daunting hurdles, Murray State students are creating their own entrepreneurial opportunities in a variety of ways.
Kacie King is a senior who started and runs her business, Tied Like A Bow, out of her hometown, Paducah, Ky. King specializes in handmade custom bow ties, but she also hand-makes everything from earrings to special-order quilts. Her grandmother’s quilting finesse inspired King to jump into a sewing project one day. A friend of hers had a love for bowties, and King took the opportunity to see what she could do. The success of her business came later, and she said it helped her fund studying abroad.
King had the added benefit of growing up around small, independently owned businesses. Her father runs a custom cabinetry business, and her grandmother owns a quilting business similar to Tied Like A Bow.
“The main ‘workshop’ that has all of our fabrics and supplies is in Paducah, so I have to commute to even be able to spend a long period of time working on orders and getting them out to people,” King said. “I usually have to take a weekend a month to go home and work on orders.”
King’s dream is to delve further into the clothing industry and open a wider clientele base for her business and one day place her business in an actual store.
“My dream would be to have a little boutique in a cool, hip place like east Nashville or Louisville,” King said. “I want to get comfortable with making dresses and other clothing; I think that would be so rad.”
Kiaya Young, junior from Paducah, has a different goal for her nonprofit business, the West Kentucky Rockin’ Rollers Junior League.
Young said she began developing her idea for a roller derby league in 2011 when she first became interested in the sport. A year later the league was created.
Young’s little sister took an interest in the sport throughout Young’s green-horn year but could not participate because of age restrictions.
“To play roller derby you must be 18 years or older,” Young said. “There were a couple other skaters who knew of kids who wanted to skate but were unable to for the same reason, so a group of us created the junior roller derby team in 2012.”
Young said the decision to start the league was nerve-wracking.
Young ultimately decided to take the position as president of the league because she saw the need for someone who would be willing to donate time and effort to get it up and running smoothly.
Young said she thinks she has figured out how to balance her time and commitments enough to make it work.
Her desire to help out the kids with a passion for roller derby and her own love for the sport is what makes it all worth it in the end, Young said.
“Personally I have benefited from the sport so much, and I wanted them to be able to experience that too,” Young said.
Young does not see herself turning the league into her career, but hopes that the experience in organizing and running it will transfer into whatever she ends up doing in the future.
Story by Amanda Grau, Staff Writer