Journalism Next: Young Palmetto entrepreneurs find success in school and in the real world

Special to the HeraldOctober 8, 2012 

A typical job for a high school student would be something along the lines of bussing tables at a restaurant or folding clothes at the outlet mall.

Jobs like these can take a toll on grades because the hours do not allow students to spend enough time on homework. They also limit how many extracurricular activities a person can participate in.

A few students at Palmetto High School have decided to eliminate this burden by becoming their own bosses.

Sean Browning is a junior at PHS. He is involved in student government, boy's Varsity tennis, and Smart Guys tutoring at Saint Mary's church. Not only is Sean active in school, he is also an entrepreneur. At the age of 14, he started his own lawn business, Browning Lawn Care.

"I started out mowing my neighbor's yard. Then once I got to high school, my friend's mom, who is a Realtor, recommended me to a few of her clients. I've had enough business from them to purchase my own trailer and lawn care equipment," says Browning.

Through his business, Sean has been able to meet new people and make connections within the community. He has also had the opportunity to play sports and join clubs without worrying about a strict work schedule.

"Most of the people I work for are really nice and are happy to show support," adds Browning.

Lawn care is not the only way students are becoming successful on their own. PHS freshman Shelby Watson is another young entrepreneur who has taken a dream and made it into reality. Shelby owns a business called RSWcosmetics, which sells a wide variety of beauty products and jewelry/accessories.

"I sell all kinds of hair and skin care products, makeup, and accessories online at www.rswcosmetics.com," says Watson.

Starting out was a difficult process for Shelby. She dedicated most of her summer to getting her business up and running.

"It was tons of work getting everything ready. I spent weeks doing research about online sales, learning how to build a website, etc. When I finally started building the website, trying to do it right was all about trial and error. I wanted to give up sometimes, but my mom was very supportive and pushed me to keep trying. Now, I have a fully functioning online business," says Watson.

Having her own business has opened doors for Shelby that she would have never imagined. She has learned skills that will carry her through the rest of her life.

"My favorite thing about owning RSWcosmetics is that I get to experience something that most people my age don't get to. I'm also able to have a better understanding of how to manage money and all of the other factors that go into sales," adds Watson.

These students have made a name for themselves by creating something out of nothing. Their ambition, hard work, and positive attitudes have allowed them to have the ultimate high school experience, while owning a business.

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