Young Entrepreneurs Balance Business, Books, and Economy

By: Kristen Ross and Jordan Meserole Email
By: Kristen Ross and Jordan Meserole Email

An unstable economy is not scaring off everyone. Two college students are taking the plunge right into the business world, and it's paying off.

"There's so many things that you never take into account when you start a business," Texas Avenue Cigars Co-Owner Sean Miller said.

Over the last year, Sean Miller and Jess Fields have learned more than most textbooks could ever teach them.

The 20-year-old college students may not be old enough to legally drink or gamble, but they did take a risk when they started their own business, Texas Ave Cigars in 2007.

Back then, they weren't sure if their business venture would last a week, let alone a year.

But little did they know how perfect their timing was.

"We were really lucky that we got in when we did," Co-Owner Jess Fields said. "Without the liquidity of the market at the time that we got in, I don't think we would have been able to get a bank loan as easily, or not at all."

The young entrepreneurs got another real-life lesson when the stock market began to decline just months after they opened their doors. But despite the slumping market, this cigar store is actually thriving.

"The economy really hasn't affected us that much, because we have college students that make up about 80 percent of our business. So it takes a while for the economy to hurt them and their wallets," Miller said.

In fact, the store owners actually are expecting a slight increase in their customer base, partly due to the fact that people might be looking for a way to be distracted from the negative economy talk.

"In rough economic times, people will go to bars more often and they'll want to enjoy a cigar more often," Fields said.

So for two College students looking to get an early start in the business world....

"It's been a pretty good year," Miller said.

The owners of Texas Avenue Cigars say in the near future the plan to grow their business even more.

The two already have plans to expand their humidor, and make store renovations.

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