Discover student owned small businesses


Courtesy / AnnahStickers

Mary Racette, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Among Grand Valley State University’s diverse population of students are small business owners who create and sell their own artwork. Three of these small businesses will be selling their art at a student-organized event this December. 

On Dec. 6, a marketplace at Enclave Apartments will feature artwork from student-owned small businesses. Sophomore Annah Vernier organized the event to help the featured small businesses expand their clientele.

“I want to help small businesses get their names out there because there’s some people who see a future in their business and I think it’s so amazing,” said Vernier. 

Vernier is the owner and designer of Annahstickers, where she creates and sells her own stickers. Since she first started using her cricut machine to make stickers, she’s discovered a new variety of products she can make, including, mugs, ornaments, car decals and more. 

One major struggle student small business owners face is managing their time. Vernier said when she was just starting out her small business, she found herself stressed because she was struggling with school and becoming obsessed with completing orders. Now, she said she has learned that school and self care come first, and the best way to practice this is by being honest with customers about the state of their order. 

“There’s other small businesses that are busier than mine and sometimes I can’t even imagine balancing school, work and a small business. So I think it’s really awesome that people our age have the bravery and motivation to do something like create a business even if it is small,” Vernier said.

MacKenzie Messner, small business owner of Valley Girlz and photographer Ashton Mauer-Wagner will be joining Vernier at the event.

With her business Valley Girlz, Messner sells custom clothing for college students. “I could never find any ‘fun’ and cute college apparel so I decided to start making my own and I try to keep it as affordable as possible,” said Messner. 

Students and fans can pick up merch for the next GVSU sports event at the Valley Girlz table at the event. 

The event will take place from 4-7 p.m., and Enclave Apartments is helping Vernier organize the event by offering their space and providing food and a gift wrapping table.