By Elisabeth Shirley
People come from near and far to see what the city of St. Augustine has to offer, including the many independently owned businesses that each have something unique for their customers.
Within the community, Flagler College students show no limits in their own ambition, putting forth time and effort in turning their passions into businesses and building legacies through creative expression.
Katera Frazier, a sophomore, turned her hobby of crocheting into a business that has helped her to not only make a living, but to feel closer to her community as well.
“I work at markets basically every week and most of the time I see a lot of the same vendors that I’ve seen at other events, so it’s really cool,” she said. “They’re super helpful with anything that I need, so I really do appreciate them for that.”
Instead of seeing each other as competition, vendors often support each other by buying from one another or helping with set-up. They also promote one another through social media.
“I’ve been shopping locally for about a year now. I get to see them in person, and they know I’m a business owner too, so sometimes they’ll support me as well,” Frazier said.
She wants to use her business, Crochet with Passion, to inspire other young people to pursue their talents while also giving back to her community, which encourages her to work hard.
“My business has grown so much and has gotten more recognition and sales. I wanted to give back to my community and be of assistance to the St. Augustine Transient & Houseless Outreach to help provide necessities for houseless people here in St. Augustine,” Frazier said.
Another Flagler student, freshman Keeli Scarlett, is promoting her new beauty line, Scarlett Glitter, with the help of the college community.
Scarlett has joined Flagler’s Strike Magazine as a makeup artist and hopes to be able to connect with a lot of talented students through it.
“I just really want to work with people who have a similar vision as me,” she said. “I want my own magazine one day so I really wanted people to network with and eventually work with.”
Scarlett has plans to attend pop-up markets and local events in St. Augustine as she has noticed the welcoming environment among other small business owners in the area.
“Seeing smaller businesses support each other is really refreshing. We don’t have to be in competition with each other,” she said.
Flagler freshman Christina Cajigas has just released her first set of clothing for her new business, Phase Th1rte3n, that she runs with her friend, Jenna Lavarez, who attends Florida Atlantic University.
They have encouraged engagement by advertising and posting fashion advice on their social medias, including on Instagram and TikTok, both of which can be found under @phaseth1rte3n.
“The whole thing we’re trying to convey to our followers is to encourage individuality,” Cajigas said. “We’re not selling multiples of the same item, and of course we want to promote sustainable shopping as well.”
Though still in the early stages of the business, they hope it is something they can continue even after graduating, possibly opening a physical location locally.
“I definitely want to see us grow and expand even after school. Christina and I have goals to turn [Phase Th1rte3n] into something big,” Lavarez said.
Starting a business in college comes with a lot of reward. With an abundance of resources and community support, there is no reason to wait.