Crafting a career

Freshman Alivia Allen balances volleyball, school, business


Freshman Alivia Allen's handmade cards spread out over her table during a local craft fair. Courtesy of Alivia Allen.

Checking her website for new orders, she prepares her items to either be shipped or taken to a local buyer. On her free weekends, she packs her available items and sets up shop at local craft fairs. Meeting various potential customers, she keeps a bright smile on her face.

Freshman Alivia Allen, aside from adjusting to high school and playing volleyball, runs her own business. While primarily selling homemade cards, she also offers a “Stranger Things” T-shirt design, scrunchies and necklaces. As well, items like cards are available upon request.

“I want to make it more of a professional company,” Alivia said. “So [I] just have a bigger, wide range of products.”

Along with using social media to promote her products, Alivia takes her business to craft fairs and food truck fairs. Meeting new kinds of people fuels her creative energy.

“Those are normally my biggest profit events,” Alivia said. “I think my favorite [experiences] are fairs because I get to meet so many different people.”

Friends and family around Alivia support her endlessly. Whether it be simple advice about her products or coming along to craft fairs to help out, she always has people by her side. Her close friend, freshman Alexis Flores, thinks that while the company may cause Alivia stress, it brings her added joy.

“Her biggest strength is hard to name because she has so many,” Alexis said. “One is that she’s a great people person and knows how to talk to anyone. I admire how passionate [she] is. She’s a wonderful person and inspires me every day.”

Those who have been around her the longest see her potential for entrepreneurship in her future. Alivia’s aunt, Andrea Allen, first predicted this when her niece fell in love with arts and crafts at the age of 6.

I always loved to make stuff when I was little and so then I just thought, ‘Why not make a business out of it?’”

— freshman Alivia Allen

“Alivia has been an entrepreneur as long as she has been able to create things,” Andrea said. “She has always loved to do crafts and projects, which made it necessary to start a business because she had so many items.”

Sports are not only physically demanding, but also time consuming. Despite the pressures of high school, Alivia hasn’t taken a break from her shop. She continues to push past her busy schedule to promote her website.

“Her business has slowed a little with her high school obligations, but it has never interfered with her school work or activities,” Andrea said. “I think once she gets through a semester, she will have the hang of high school and be back to her business with more of a focus.”

Balancing her first year of high school, volleyball and her company, Alivia keeps focusing on her business. Although it’s stressful, her friends and family lift her up from those hardships of balancing all her priorities. With hope, she continues to produce her cards, scrunchies and around-the-house items such as bowls and wreaths.

“I always loved to make stuff when I was little and so then I just thought, ‘Why not make a business out of it?’” Alivia said. “I think that if it’s something you love to do, just go for it.”