"....so, how did YOU start BeeHouse?"
From chemistry nerd to fashionable co-founder.
Many people who know me as the face of a fashion makerspace are surprised to learn I have a bachelors degree in chemistry. Yes, chemistry - and all I can say is, "I changed my mind." After many hours of sweating over derived equations, silly groups of hexagons, and poor percent yields; I decided I did not want a career in the sciences or medicine. Which raises the common question "...so, how did YOU start BeeHouse?"
I began taking entrepreneurship courses early on in undergrad. I wanted something different from science lectures, and I knew I needed to prepare myself when it came time to run my own dental practice. Opposed to my science courses, I found that I thrived in each entrepreneurship class I took. Each semester, the concept of developing and launching a unique business became more and more appealing.
So, in the middle of my junior year, I officially dropped the idea of becoming a dentist and instead, I was going to be... an entrepreneur!
The sounds of crickets from my friends was overwhelming, and let's just say my family was not impressed. I get it though. What does it even mean to want to be an entrepreneur? There should be an idea first. Where was my billion dollar idea?
Well... there wasn't one, and I had no idea where I was going start.
I was in the process of developing a business plan for a coffee shop and stumbled across the concept of co-working spaces. I fell in love with the idea of fostering a collaborative work community and quickly went to work in rewriting the business plan for my final class project.
While my class raved over my presentation of the BeeHouse co-working space, I miserably failed on the written section. My plan didn't have a target market and, therefore, my business model fell short. I assumed the idea was dead, and moved on.
Shortly after I developed the concept of BeeHouse though, Kris (BeeHouse co-founder) encouraged me to apply to UMKC's Entrepreneurship Scholars Program. I was very hesitant to apply, and only agreed to on the principal of never turning down a good opportunity. I knew my best business idea was lacking in any viability, but I figured I'd at least nail down a target market and hope to be accepted.
After many pieces of scrap paper and hours of brain mapping, I had decided Kansas City's fashion industry would be my target market.
Modeling and volunteering for Kansas City Fashion Week introduced me to our local fashion industry. When I should have been moving through science flashcards during long hours backstage, I welcomed the distractions of a fashion production.
I passed time by noting everyone's roles in making the production come to life, and slowly picked up on the ways a business in this industry worked.
An opportunity I said "why not" to my sophomore year of high school was now the inspiration to a business plan.
I was accepted into E-Scholars, and spent the following two semesters developing the idea of a fashion makerspace along with finishing my bachelors degree in chemistry.
A month before graduation, Kris and I found the perfect spot for the Hive, and I walked across the stage as a business owner.
Jumping straight into running a start-up after college came with its expected challenges. I'm young, inexperienced, and fly by the seat of my pants most days. And I love (most) every minute of it. Being an entrepreneur in Kansas City is an incredible opportunity and I am inspired by the creative and passionate business owners I encounter each day in BeeHouse.
I look forward to sharing more of my journey as a young entrepreneur with you as BeeHouse grows.