Student Entrepreneurs Tackle Pandemic Challenges


Laurel sells keychains like these along with necklaces, bracelets, and jewelry sets. (photo courtesy Laurel Ricards)

Leihani Lawrence, Reporter

Laurel Ricard, ’25, has her own online business, Salva O Coral, where she sells jewelry and donates a portion of the proceeds to support coral reefs. I interviewed Laurel to find out about how her business has done during this pandemic.

Leihani: Have there been any unexpected business benefits of this pandemic?

Laurel: Owning a business during this time can for sure be challenging, but surprisingly there have been a few occasions where the pandemic has been beneficial to my small business. A lot of people were very cautious when leaving their homes, only coming out in public for essential needs, so they prefer to order things online. I own an online website, so this is very convenient to individuals looking for a way to shop safer and easier. Also being stuck in your home is a perfect opportunity to do online shopping. I know while I was in quarantine I couldn’t stop online shopping because I had nothing better to do! 

Leihani: What new business ideas did this situation give you?

Laurel: I always had the idea of starting a business, although I never had the time dealing with a busy schedule. After seeing so many other people come up with ideas to start a business, I decided this was the perfect time for me to start. Considering how there were not many opportunities I would regularly have for my business, I came up with other ways to get my name out there and still get people to recognize my business. I started using social media as a platform to be noticed. If it weren’t for Instagram, I don’t think as many people would know about my business as they do now. Also, hosting online marketing zoom classes was a great way I could benefit my business, and others.