Sophomore Annie Earnshaw and junior Livi Murray are two Elon University students who have taken full advantage of their spare time on campus — between classes, homework, clubs and social lives, they also run their own businesses.
Murray runs her own clothing line, Pretty Vibes Movement, completely out of her apartment. As a YouTuber, photographer and artist, she found her clothing line to be a perfect creative outlet. Her main T-shirt line is called Trust Your Art, a phrase she hopes inspires other creatives.
“I feel like Trust Your Art serves as a daily affirmation for a lot of people,” Murray said. “When you read it, it almost sounds like trust your heart, and that was kind of just a lucky coincidence. To me, it just means trusting your journey and trusting the level you are at within your creative path. Just trusting that you’re good enough.”
Murray is currently operating solo, but she hopes to get other women to permanently join her team to help with promotions and advertising. She uses self-proclaimed Instagram influencers to help promote her line, but making these deals is sometimes difficult.
“People think they can push you over because you’re a young female entrepreneur,” Murray said. “They might not take me seriously. They might think I’m not mature enough to handle the deal, so that can be a little bit frustrating.”
Earnshaw said she doesn’t encounter many issues as a female entrepreneur, considering her clients are mostly college women. Her business, Paint By Annie, sells custom canvases.
Earnshaw said this entrepreneurial spirit was instilled in her from a young age and inspired her to start her own business. Earnshaw’s mother recently decided to quit her corporate job to pursue her own passion of interior design.
“I was raised by an entrepreneur, and even when she wasn’t directly 'entrepreneuring,' she instilled those values in me of working hard, finding your niche and being creative," Earnshaw said. "I really like the idea of being my own boss and creating something that I think is worthwhile.”
As Earnshaw prepares to go abroad during her junior year, she realized combining her passion for painting as a way to make money would help fund her travels. And her favorite part is the lasting impact her canvases have on her clients.
“The nature of canvases on college campuses, especially in sororities, is that they change hands so many times,” Earnshaw said. “The idea that my canvases are going to stay in people’s greek families, and they’re something that they will value and cherish for several years to come, that’s my favorite part — the fact that I’m creating something that is going to help them make memories.”