Sparking action

Juniors take their business interests to the next level


(Left) Junior Shen Bu checks on her Instagram shop. She hopes to post jewelry soon. (Photo contributed by Shen Bu) (Right) Junior Pilar Nava poses with her latest body butter. She recently started selling skincare. (Photo contributed by Pilar Nava)

Previously working at Chrysler, creator of Pizza and Coffee Junkiez Jasan Julius saw customers constantly coming in and out the doors with a cup of coffee in their hands. The strong aromas and sensations filled him with curiosity and from there, a small business idea was made. 

 Like a growing number of teens in the U.S., Juniors Pilar Nava and Shen Bu have similar experiences. A spark of interest led them to create something much bigger. Both have decided to create small businesses, utilizing social networks such as Instagram and Etsy that embody their go-getter mentalities and aspirations to others. 

Ever since Nava was little, she always liked being her own boss, so it’s no surprise to those who’ve known her that she has a passion for creating small businesses. 

On the other hand, Bu just recently discovered her interest in business. 

Already owning a successful slime business called Macaron Slime with 339,000 followers on Instagram, Nava has chosen to expand. One of her newly found interests has been skincare, which is why she decided to create a skincare business. It is called Macaron Skin.

“This has opened new possibilities for my future and career,” Nava said.

Bu had always wanted to sell her clothes on Instagram, and with her mom’s encouragement, she started a successful Instagram shop about four months after COVID-19 hit. It’s called Shenny Shop. 

“It’s doing pretty well,” Bu said. “I’ve had a lot of people wanting to buy my clothes.”

Julius hopes that Nava and Bu can benefit from his experience and advice. He has been able to take away a great amount of wisdom from 16 years of creating and running his own business. 

“If you’re not enjoying it and you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, you won’t stick it out in the hard times,”  Julius said.

Both Bu and Nava have done research online regarding what customers in their age group are interested in. Nava researched good ingredients to put into her products. So far, she’s made body butter, which consists of all-natural ingredients such as avocado oil and shea butter. 

Bu looked at other online fashion shops for inspiration. She has learned to create short video collages of outfits she’s created with her clothes. 

With Nava and Bu’s growing platforms, Julius believes that connectivity is something to hold on to. He tries to incorporate that belief throughout his business. He says that adding a personal touch to business can be beneficial to both the owner and customer.

“I have always felt that my employees give a piece of themselves to the business,” Julius said. “They should get something in return.”

Currently, Bu continues to sell clothes and is diving into making and selling jewelry. Her mom delivers the items to Bu’s customers. Nava has a few skincare products out on Etsy and is taking time to craft more targeted towards facial care. 

In the future, Bu wants to create an official website and plans to go to college for business. Nava is planning on making this business long-term and hopes people posting her skincare on TikTok and Instagram will help spark some interest. 

With their growing platforms, Nava says it’s hard to find motivation to keep going sometimes. 

Julius reminds them that if they’re really passionate about the business, it will all be worth it in the end. 

“Be conscious about what you are doing now because that experience will serve you in the future,” Julius said.