Passion turns profitable

During the pandemic, junior Lainee Ison started a business

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After opening a business, junior Lainee Ison packages her first order from her online etsy, StuffiePlushiesShops. The plushies ranged in size and variety and differed season by season. “It was so unbelievably overwhelming knowing that I got my first sale within the first hour of me opening my store,” Ison said.

Lauren Devereux, Staff Writer

After watching TikToks of people creating crochet plushies, junior Lainee Ison decided to make one for herself; this trial eventually turning itself into a business. 

“Every time I get an order, it makes me feel so ecstatic,” Ison said. “Whenever I hear the notifications of getting an order, adrenaline runs throughout my body because I love making the products I do, especially for other people. I love to personalize packaging and communicate with customers and that is what makes it all worth it to me.”

Ison opened her etsy shop, StuffiesPlushiesShop, in October 2020 because she wanted to turn her hobby into a job. Shortly before opening her store, Ison worked at a fast food place and it was stressing her out making her feel unhappy.  

“Crocheting was one of my favorite things to do growing up and it turned into a passion of mine. I found out that crocheting was actually in the market,” she said.  “So I decided to start my own small business selling handmade plushies that I put all of my hard work into and actually enjoy making.”

Depending on size and difficulty, the plushies take anywhere from three hours to multiple days to create and average a price of about six dollars. Ison mostly recreates characters from television shows or animals. She recently opened up to making custom plush keychains if it’s in her capability, according to Ison. 

In order for her to start her business, Ison had to prove to her parents that she could do it. She planned for material costs, profit markups and customer service. 

“Of course there is always doubt, it is extremely hard to run a successful business; however, her persistence is a great quality for any entrepreneur,” mother Regina Ison said. “[I] was excited for her as long as she keeps working at it, little by little it will grow. Even if it doesn’t become a national chain, she is learning the basic concepts in production, sales, marketing, customer service, accounting and many other areas to improve her overall experience. These will be very helpful and serve her well when she becomes an independent woman.”