Business & Finance | March 25th, 2020
3 FAMU ‘22 Entrepreneurs Who Are About Their Business
By: Jazmine Runyon
For many in the millennial generation, working 16 hours for yourself is definitely more gratifying than working an 8 hour shift for someone else. Why sit in an unsatisfying cubicle career working for someone else when making your own money from your passion truly fulfills you? Being your own boss is always a dream come true.
Collegiate enterprise is definitely on the rise, especially here at Florida A&M University and in the class of ‘22. Below, I rounded up a few of the emerging entrepreneurs in the class of ‘22 who have started on the journey to entrepreneurship.
Andrew Lewis IV
Andrew Lewis IV is a sophomore Business administration student. His senior year of high school this “sneakerhead” turned his knack for shoes into Sneaker Renegade.
The dues that accompany senior activities are financially taxing, so Lewis thought of the perfect combination to profit off his passion. Starting by selling up to 20 pairs per week, his business boomed over the year.
Once arriving on the Hill, Lewis opened up his dorm as the spot to “cop” the latest shoes. His room in FAMU Village wasn’t large in the slightest, yet the petite space managed to house over 300 hundred pairs of sneakers. Lewis recalls the different supporters coming in and out of his room to pick up a fresh new pair of sneakers as the motivation for expanding his business. He decided to open up his business to not only college students, but every sneakerhead around the world.
As a kid, when he asked his parents for money and shoes, he soon realized that money in his family did not grow on trees. He took responsibility to grow up faster to help out his single mother and his father who is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. When times got rough over the years, he knew it was up to him to become his own boss, so he could lean on himself when money gets tight.
“As a business owner and independent entrepreneur, you have to stay strong-minded and disciplined to ensure your foundation is solid. Keep people around you uplift you and teach you new things” Lewis said when asked about his experience as an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship isn’t the only thing that he is financially balancing. Lewis has currently set his sights on an investment property, which he is saving for. One of his biggest goals while here in Tallahassee is to secure the investment property for his business and open up a sneaker store in the local community. Ten years from now, he says he hopes to still be making money through his business while elevating it to the next level.
“Growing up as a kid, I never knew making videos and taking pictures would’ve been my job as I got older,” said Daaiyah Jones.
As a little girl, she always loved capturing moments, which made her want to start her own business as she got older. Jones started dabbling in videography by creating short videos for people in her church. In her spare time, she played around in her room and made short videos for herself.
From there, it didn’t take her long to build her brand. She went by the name “DaaiyahStudios” from her YouTube page that she started, and from there her photography business took off.
Looking back, Daa’iyah didn’t know her business would have grown this much in the past 3 years. Coming to FAMU, her bookings doubled from her fellow Rattlers – whether it was videography or photoshoots.
Most importantly, while here on the Hill, Daa’iyah is inspired by other young entrepreneurs to hone into her craft. Through raffles and giveaways for a chance to win free photoshoots and headshots, she enjoys using her social media to push out engaging content that will bolster her business.
“I can’t be afraid to take risks to achieve my goal. I have the power and the right mindset to succeed fearlessly,” Jones said about what keeps her motivated.
Daa’iyah stated ten years from now she will see herself owning a full film production studio on acres of land. She wants to create movies that win Oscars and Emmys, but most of all positively impact the world through the big screen.
Sandler Fleurima hails from the city where dreams come true: Orlando, FL. Fleurina never imagined his passion for fashion to transform into his grand dream of owning a successful styling business.
“As a child, my sister and I had a great relationship only because she used to always dress me up and make me look nice,” said Fleurima on where his love for style started. “I was still learning what fashion really was when my sister was dressing me up. Not only that, my sister made me realize that when you put pieces together you can make fashion.”
At the age of 12, Fleurima became the CEO of his first business, SF Bowties, and from there his passion flourished. Ever since he started, Fleurima said he valued being his own boss and was committed to “always finding [himself] being the boss.”
Once on campus, Sandler knew it was time to expand to college clientele with his wardrobe styling business, Styled By Hennessy. In his two years at FAMU, he has gotten the opportunity to style Imani Cooper, the 112th Miss FAMU for her viral graduation photoshoot. This past fall election season, he was able to style Sha’Riauna Campbell, a candidate for Miss Freshman Attendant.
“Looking back to where I started, I’m so happy that I am here now and can say I have never given up.” Fleurima said.
His business helped him become very independent without always trying to depend on others. Most of all, his business has taught him to grind hard and to always move forward with anything he put his mind to.