By Julie Garcia Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Texas
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Micah Cain's budding business, "Tie Dye Chick", is gaining steam on her Facebook page and at her school. She customizes apparel, flags, pillowcases, socks and bandannas in original tie dye designs.
Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Texas
Micah Cain has come a long way as a high school entrepreneur.
At first her tie-dye T-shirts were splotchy and nearly polka-dotted. It all started as a group activity with her volleyball teammates at Carroll High School.
"My first shirt was horrible and full of blotches of dye, but it sparked my interest," she said. "For a while, I couldn't get the colors to come out right and the shirts did not look good, so I wanted to quit. But my mom and friends encouraged me to keep learning."
Micah's business, Tie Dye Chick, is gaining steam on her Facebook page and at her school. She customizes apparel, flags, pillowcases, socks and bandannas in original tie dye designs.
"I want to help other young people and maybe guide them from any lost places they find themselves in," she said. "I want to be a voice for the youth."
Last November, she received the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Corpus Christi Black Chamber of Commerce along with other business owners. She was the only high schooler to receive the honor.
"(Micah) was able to articulate her business and how she got started with her dreams and visions as far as keeping her business up and running," Sylvia Tryon Oliver, president and CEO of the chamber. "We're very proud of her continuing path to become a strong entrepreneur and business owner."
Starting with tutorial videos on YouTube, Micah learned the techniques to create unique designs from galaxy to yin-yang to a traditional spiral, and even her own design called "electric crumble."
"I give all the honor and praise to God for revealing to me this amazing talent," Micah said in a text message. "That's very important."
Thea Cain, Micah's mother and "mom-ager," said she's not surprised by her daughter's success because she sees her commitment to the product and passion for tie dye.
"It really shows how mature a young person can be when they can prioritize what they do in their life," Cain said. "It takes a lot of hard work and time, and people notice that."
According to an April Gallup poll, only 27 percent of high school students surveyed had plans to start a business. This is down nearly 10 percent in previous years.
Entrepreneurial ambition is highest in students between fifth and eighth grades at 55 percent.
However, it's not a completely bleak landscape for young entrepreneurs. Young people are making money in every industry from apparel and food to web design and childcare.
The latest surprise product on the Internet market is homemade slime -- most of which is usually made and sold by teens and tweens. It varies in price but the inexpensive ingredients can turn out a massive payload.
Micah said she loves people's reactions when she tells them she made their tie dye by hand in her home. She said they don't believe her.
"It feels good because I put hard work into it," she said. "It's mine. I made that."
To place tie dye orders, email [email protected]