New Kent teen designer growing her business

New Kent teen designer growing her business

NEW KENT, VA (WWBT) - A New Kent teenager is putting a new spin on being an entrepreneur. She started her own clothing design business at the age of 14. Now 18, she's looking to expand.

Hannah Everly loves to sew. First, it was doll clothes and then she made herself a skirt. "My sister was like, 'Where did you get that skirt? I want one.' I said, 'Oh, I made it yesterday,'" she recalled.

So when Hannah was just 14, her sister gave her a $300 loan and they set up a business to sell her skirts using the website Etsy and other social media sites. "She was like, 'I'm going to have my friends model for you. My sister is a photographer and she said, 'I'm going to do your photo shoot," Hannah said.

Hannah's plan was just to make some pocket money after her parents stopped her allowance. She made several different designs and pointed out, "I realized pockets were a selling point, so I started adding pockets."

Now 18, she's filling orders across the U.S., as well as some in Ireland and Canada. "Sometimes during my busy season, which is during spring and summer, I'll hire someone to help me," she explained.

Hannah is running Hannah Everly Designs out of the family's home. They've converted a room into her studio. She says in the few years that she's been in business, she's produced and sold about 1,000 skirts.

Home schooled by her mother, Hannah took an online design class and says her mom is teaching her how to keep the books.

She has two new designs ready for next spring. "I want to do a pencil skirt with some peplum," she said. She hopes to start selling her skirts in shops across the country. Eventually, Hannah wants to design dresses. "I want to open my own storefront in a couple of years, maybe in Richmond or D.C.," she said.

Her advice for other teens? "I think one thing I would say is don't go at it with, 'I want to make money. What am I good at?' Go with 'I love doing this. How can I make money at it?'" she answered. Doing what she loves, the teen entrepreneur, as the saying goes, says she'll never really work a day in her life.

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