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The Cardinal Times

Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Lincoln students shine with entrepreneurial spirit

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Backyard Potters (top left), Sandwichd’ Bakery (right) and Aura Vintage’s (bottom left) key products (photos provided by respective businesses).

From childhood lemonade stands to household name brands, business shapes the world around us. This is no more apparent than among the growing population of Lincoln High School student entrepreneurs who are using business to pursue their life’s passions. 

Seniors Gretchen McKeown, Astrid Lippy and Ivy Gomez fell in love with pottery through Lincoln’s ceramic classes. After compiling copious amounts of their creations junior year, they decided to put their long-time dream of starting their own pottery studio into action. From this, Backyard Potters was created (Instagram @Backyard_Potters). 

“It’s not a lot about money for us. We just want to share our work, because we worked really hard on it and love it,” said McKeown. 

Running Backyard Potters allows the three to pursue their shared passion for ceramics while enriching their community through art. 

Equipped with pottery wheels, a kiln and various glazes, their primary challenge is figuring out business logistics. Lippy says they struggle with balancing rewarding themselves for their labor and maintaining accessible prices. 

“We might be paying ourselves a penny per hour but that’s alright. It’s mostly about fun,” they said.

Senior Lydia Levy sees business as a way to pursue her love for baking, which drove her to start Sandwichd’ Bakery (Instagram @sandwichdbakery).

“This is just what I want to do, I love baking, I love it so much. It’s what I want to go to school for, it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life, and it’s fun to make money while doing it,” said Levy. 

She started taking Sandwichd’ Bakery seriously when schools shut down during the pandemic. Every month she designs and delivers different treats, ranging from intricately layered desserts to holiday treat boxes, to her loyal customer base. 

“I’ve definitely learned a lot about how a business works. But then on top of that, I grow my skills every time I make a new treat,” said Levy.

Senior Nolan Murphy originally saw business as a solution to the growing supply of thrifted clothes in his room. 

“I started selling the clothes that I was thrifting. Later on, I started reworking them and making different kinds of upcycled clothes, and I was like, I can sell these too,” said Murphy.

Murphy now runs Aura Vintage (Instagram @aura_v1ntage), a vintage clothing store, with senior Isa Dawn. Together, they sell clothing on Depop and at venues like the Portland Y2K Flea Market. 

“I think I’m motivated mostly by sustainability and wanting to get more clothes out of the Goodwill Bins, because after that they get sent to landfills due to overproduction,” said Murphy. 

Murphy hopes to move towards more online selling as he prepares to head to college. He believes that running Aura Vintage will prepare him to make a greater social impact.

“In the future, I want to be involved in the fashion industry, and hopefully make the fashion industry more sustainable,” said Murphy. 

Mr. Hooper teaches Lincoln High School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) business classes from introduction to International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. He sees great value in student entrepreneurs.  

“There’s no reason why you can’t be entrepreneurial enough to find something you’re passionate about and find some solutions,” Hooper said. “Find an idea that you like, interest people around you to join in your exercise, and you can start creating a company today.”

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About the Contributor
Erika Leung, Reporter
Erika is a senior this year. She is excited to bring a new creative perspective to the Cardinal Times and investigate issues that all students and communities can enjoy! Her favorite things to write are articles highlighting students, environmental justice-related pieces, and community reviews.
Contact by emailing [email protected] and put the reporter's name in the subject line.

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