Business Savvy: College students start new businesses during quarantine

By Mari Pizzini

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools across the country in March, but led to a surge of people opening Etsy shops or online small businesses. Many of these stores are run by young adults and college students.

Kassidy Hart, a Morningside College sophomore, was one of these students. Hart created an Etsy shop to sell canvas paintings after a poll on her personal instagram indicated there was an interest in her work.

Hart said that when she was looking to buy similar products, she couldn’t find anything in her price range.

“I wanted to buy a painting or photo in a modernist, simple style, but I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t outrageously priced,” Hart said. “Even for pieces that were graphically designed.”

Hart said she attempted to create the pieces on her computer, but wasn’t savvy in the technology. Hart said, “After that I tried to paint one. I posted it to Instagram and people supported me.”

Erika Damerow, a Senior at Lindenwood University, also started an Etsy shop during quarantine.

“I was bored in quarantine and had a lot of leftover jewelry supplies,” Damerow said. “I started making pieces of jewelry and [my boyfriend] Isaac encouraged me to do something with it.”

“I’ve learned that not everything I make will fit someone else’s style,” Damerow said. “It’s interesting to see how everyone is different.”

Similar to Hart, Damerow received support on her personal Instagram as well. Damerow even started a series of jewelry dedicated to her closest friends.

Both creators have few sales on their Etsy shops, but each has enjoyed their new business. Both shops can be found online. Kassidy Hart’s can be found at an Erika Damerow’s can be found at

September 15, 2020

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