Bulldog influencers making a mark


Often, high school students don’t exactly have a hold on their true passion quite yet. They’re caught up in schoolwork, sports, and other activities that can prevent them from really exploring their interests outside of the school environment. Despite these challenges, a few students are already getting a head start in the business and influencer world a little earlier than their peers.

During the 2020 quarantine, many students needed some new distractions to keep them occupied during those many months stuck at home. Burke freshman Carley Stych owner of “Wild & True” began her business back in 2020.

“I started a little something back in 2020 when I was bored in quarantine. But recently, this last August 2021, I rebranded and started putting more effort into it,” Stych says.

She is still working on how to promote her business but doing giveaways every so often when she does shop restocks gets more people to stop by and check out her page on Instagram. Her shop consists of items that are inspired by anything that catches her eye and inspires her to create something she loves.

“I have lots of ideas that I just randomly think of, like if I see a color that I like or a quote on something throughout my day. Sometimes I just think of how I could incorporate those things into what I create,” Stych said. “I do like creating trending stuff, but I also try to stay authentic to me instead of recreating something that is already in the market.”

High schoolers always seem to be caught up in all kinds of activities and sports as well as keeping up with homework. So, running a business alone like Carley does can be a balancing act and prioritizing is key.

“Sometimes it is not easy, but being able to know what a priority is and what is not has helped a lot,” she says.

Only being a freshman, school comes first for Carley. Running a business and making some profit from that is just a bonus.

“I would love to be working on my business rather than doing homework, but my business income doesn’t dictate whether I have food on the table or not, so being successful in school is a lot more important to me. School will always come first, and then sports, and then my business,” Stych explains.

Running a business and being in high school is a lot of work and can take a lot to prioritize both the right amount but it all seems worth it when people seem to like and enjoy what Carley creates for her shop.

Another student, Burke sophomore Grace Rothe runs an account for her many makeup looks to be shared. Her interest in makeup began years back, but just like Carley, she really began to get into it at the beginning of 2020 and started posting at the beginning of quarantine. Having that free time gave Grace the opportunity to share her talents with others outside of her circle.

“I was inspired to start posting just by my love of makeup. My family liked seeing my looks, so I wanted everyone else to see my looks too. I also had a lot of new free time because of quarantine,” Grace says.

With school back in her schedule, her time to post has become a little scarce but she still tries to make time to post at least once a week. With each look taking about 3-5 hours to create, fitting that into her busy schedule has proven to be difficult.

“It can be very hard to juggle everything,” Grace said. “I have makeup, school, volleyball, babysitting, working out, and church to fit into my schedule.”

Even with some obstacles, sharing her makeup has been a great experience. From brands reaching out to being able to follow and support other small makeup influencers

“The best part of sharing my makeup is that I get to inspire people and do what I love. I have gotten to do prom makeup and senior pictures because of my page. I have also been posted on a few makeup brands pages which is very cool,” Grace explains. “All of my friend’s love talking to me about it and hyping me up which is very cool and fun.”