Students Venture Into Business

The+Hustlers+have+started+branding+through+advertising+their+apparel.+%28Left+to+right+-+juniors+Sam+Meads%2C+John+Pallard%2C+Leo+Joshi+and+Kush+Mathow%29+

The Hustlers have started branding through advertising their apparel. (Left to right – juniors Sam Meads, John Pallard, Leo Joshi and Kush Mathow)

Marcos Membreno, Podcast and Focus Editor

In the midst of a pandemic, few students were able to pursue their goals, much less make them a reality. However, those who did were able to come back with newfound knowledge and a lucrative business.

 

Tyler Nepple & Carter Katz

   After months of pushing each other to improve, staying up late nights, learning about advertising and financing, finding new jobs, working every lunch break and every study hall, seniors Tyler Nepple and Carter Katz have established themselves as young entrepreneurs in the Orlando area. Making around $350-400 per job, they’ve created a steady cash-flowing power washing business that will end up lasting them for years — Premium Pressure Services

   “To be honest, I didn’t know this could happen 6 to 7 months ago,” Katz said. “A year ago, I wasn’t even thinking about any of this.”

   Although their current focus right now is the pressure washing company, this adventure began by putting up christmas lights last December. Calling their business Carter and Tyler’s Christmas Lights, they put up 250 flyers in the Winter Park area, and asked customers to pay whatever they believed was just. With this open fare payment, they managed to make a few thousand dollars. However, as sales were seasonal, they used the profits to transition onto their next venture — one that would be sustainable year-round.

   After doing some research and deciding they wanted to stay with manual labor, the duo landed on power washing. Investing in new equipment with their previous profits, they used their previous clients to roll into business. They kept their original pricing tactics to attract more jobs.

   “We just want to do the work, and if that means we have to compromise our price, that’s fine,” Nepple said. “We are going to work as much as we can while we are here and make as much money as we can, and if that means we have to sacrifice our pricing just a little bit, so be it … in the position we are in, it makes more logical sense for us to land every job.”

   Covering a 50 mile radius in the Orlando area, the strategy has proven useful as they have a 95% conversion rate for every potential customer approached. They believe that presenting themselves as highschool entrepreneurs has been “a good look” for them.

   “It’s very sporadic,” Katz said. “Some weeks you’re going to have 20 jobs and you’re going to be overflowed and others there’ll be two.”

   Having made $3,000 on their best week, Nepple hopes to target that as their average for this summer. To do so, they are increasing their forms of advertising. 

   As of now they use Facebook marketplace ads, yard signs, Nextdoor, door hangers and other open marketplaces. The biggest step will be SEO, or search engine optimization, for Google which, if done correctly, will allow them to rank higher on Google search results.

   In the future, Nepple and Katz plan to open branches near their future colleges in Miami and Tallahassee respectively. There, they plan to study business and finance to get a better grasp for their long term goal — real estate.

   “A lot of this motivation that we have comes from starting a healthy lifestyle,”  Nepple said. “Once you’re out there working out every day, eating healthy, you’ve already jumped the first hurdle — improving yourself. So why not take it to every aspect of your life?”

   The duo believes that if anyone wants to start their own business the first obstacle just taking the first step.

   “Just do it,” Nepple said. “If you’re talking about doing something and interested in that something or you want to make money, then just put your foot in the door. It doesn’t matter what happens. I drive around all day with a trailer attached to my little Chevy Volt and I don’t care.”
 

Nathaniel Cohen-Neamie

   Toward the end of quarantine, junior Nathaniel Cohen-Neamie stumbled across the “The Florida Project,” a movie about poverty in the Orlando area and its effect on children. The film inspired Cohen to pursue his passion for community outreach and betterment. In no time, he set out to create Nate’s Tutoring, a free tutoring service to help those who don’t have the means of hiring a tutor. However, like many first businesses, it fell short. Undeterred, Cohen continued his efforts in helping the community and, finding success after failure, started a tennis foundation that gives free lessons to players in the community. 

   To share his experiences and grow his business and financial aspirations with the school community, Cohen then started the Investing and Business club.

   With 10 members, the club mainly focuses on investing, more specifically with stock market challenges — a way students can learn by simulating trading without risking real money. 

   “I think it all started from the club and the [movie’s] inspiration,” Cohen said. “This year, after taking time off from tennis, I was given more time to work on these other ventures.”

   Cohen was able to develop two unique businesses, the Orlando Tennis Foundation and a social media marketing agency, Stallion Media.

   The Orlando Tennis Foundation was launched solely by Cohen. Teaching out of local parks, he quickly established roots within the community. Garnering the attention of friends and other tennis players willing to volunteer, Cohen has given free lessons for the last three months. 

   “We just want to help and give back,” Cohen said. “Together we’ve been able to pool our resources and equipment to make these lessons possible.”

   The second company, Stallion Media, is still under development. Launched with former Trinity student Jacob Aragon, the agency is centered around helping local businesses and restaurants with advertisements. Reaching out through cold calls — a communication tactic of calling local businesses without having prior contact — Cohen has already developed partnerships with local business owners for future advertising. The agency aims to produce ad campaigns and products to increase foot traffic, customers and Google reviews. 

   “All these projects are sustainable,” Cohen said, “That’s one of our main goals: to be able to hand these off to students who are also looking for business opportunities.”

   After graduation, Cohen plans to hand off the tennis foundation to his volunteers and the club to its members. However, he will continue to build Stallion Media as he transitions into college. 

   Starting these ventures with no previous experience, Cohen has learned valuable skills that will continue to help him in the future: community outreach, social media marketing, website creation, communication tactics, and general organization and planning. 

   “These ventures have helped me grow as a future entrepreneur and channel my interests in businesses,” Cohen said. “There are so many options that this can bring me in the [business] field.”

 

John Pallard 

   The first step was realizing what he wanted. Then came taking action.

   “I originally had a job at Publix and was investing a little bit — looking into starting businesses — and I was like, ‘this isn’t cutting it,’” junior John Pallard said. “So I started trading … At first it was rocky, but after finding my way and finding success, that’s when I decided I’d help other people do this.”

   After Pallard’s stable success in the stock market, he brought together fellow juniors Leo Joshi, Sam Meads and former Trinity,  now Hagerty student Kush Mathow with the intent of achieving their personal goals and helping other students do the same all under one platform.

   Mathow is an experienced trader in the stock market. Having grown an initial investment of $25,000 into an astounding $2.5 million in the previous calendar year, he was no novice when it came to knowledge about the industry. 

   Combining the group’s talents — Mead’s proficiency in recording, editing, and photography and Joshi’s dropshipping ventures — they were able to advertise well credited mentorships and relationships for their community. Then came “The Hustlers.”

   “We provide a community, based around people who want to better their mindset and lifestyle,” Pallard said. “A lot of people can’t do what they want because they can’t afford it or don’t know what to do. There are some who can’t afford to start a business so we show them how to make money. Some have fitness goals and they have no idea where to start so we are there to give that boost.”

   According to Pallard, any viewer, listener or follower of theirs is a part of “The Hustlers.” The brand is there to help and unify all types of people, ranging from those already making millions in the stock market to those who don’t even know what stocks are.

   Having started the process of building their presence across several platforms — Youtube, Instagram, Discord, their personal website and newsletters — they plan to actively teach members and listeners through such mediums. 

   As of now the team is recording Youtube content, branding through merchandise, and setting up courses consisting of videos and lessons informing viewers about building brands, investing and financial prosperity. These are all sourced through their website.

   The next step will be to sell their products and grow their revenue streams, ultimately growing a large community of like-minded entrepreneurs and having all members connecting one-on-one. 

   Learning the process of starting a business, networking and managing different sources of revenue, Pallard hopes to build the brand in the most efficient way possible, helping any kids along the way.

   “We just want to grow it as big as we can, try to get as many people involved in as we can and teach as many people as we can — that’s our goal,” Pallard said.