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Students launch businesses to cut college costs

By Shade Kelly
On September 15, 2017

College students have put their entrepreneurial hats on by working smarter, as opposed to harder when it comes to earning extra coins. Not by simply working for minimum wage, but by starting their own businesses and profiting from them legally and proficiently.

Students at Florida A&M University have become entrepreneurs on their own watch in order to make a steady stream of income. Showing school pride is a tradition that has been followed for generations, especially at FAMU. What better way to show school pride than with a brand new t-shirt? Throw a catchy phrase or flashy design on it and more than likely you’ll wear it right? Well that’s exactly what most of our student entrepreneurs have figured out as well. These students have created simple yet unique designs to put on a t-shirt for everyone on and off campus to buy.

Craig Mackey, a fourth year psychology student at FAMU has recently started his T-shirt brand called 24K. His shirt features a design of the university’s mascot, the Rattler, front and center with a bold and flashy foil and glitter type design.

“I model for the school and thought it’d be a cool idea to sell these t-shirts with our mascot,” Mackey said. “I pay for school out of pocket so it was definitely a smart plan for me to come up with the 24K brand. Efficient planning is the key to making money and it’s not hard to just go for it, get started, and then continue to pursue it.”

Bryton LeGree, a fourth year Business Administration student attending FAMU, started his T-shirt business about two months ago. He was inspired by FAMU’s homecoming theme, A Different World, based off of the 1990s TV show "A Different World." He decided to come up with the phrase “It’s A Rattler World” printed on the front of his T-shirts.

“Aside from the meaningful and inspirational aspect behind the shirts, I felt it was definitely a great way to earn and save money and even pay off some student debt as well,” LeGree said. “Asking for support is very beneficial because people will support anything positive. Use the network you have to build your brand and funds first, then venture out.”

Flex My Complexion birthed at FAMU was created to fight against the negativity by promoting self-love, positive images, and pride. The design on the shirt was inspired by a '90s theme to reflect on a time when black culture was at its highest peak. The T-shirt business started by Castillo Mitchell, a third year Psychology student, was created to have a purpose and message behind it.

“Flex My Complexion is a phrase that lets everyone know that being black is not a badge of shame, and that everyone should be proud of the melanin in their skin,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t expect it to have such a wide impact like it did but it has done more than enough for me financially. I’ve made enough to pay my way through school and pay back student loans and I’m blessed that people support my movement.”


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