Stringing Success

August Jackson weaves entrepreneurial achievement into her Stevenson experience
Sophomore business administration major August Jackson shows off her beads.
Sophomore business administration major August Jackson shows off her beads.
Maya Townsend

In a cozy, sunlit corner of her Stevenson University dorm room, August Jackson’s fingers dance across a kaleidoscope of beads—crimson reds, ocean blues, and golden yellows—each hue a testament to her artistic vision. With focused precision, she delicately adds tiny charms: miniature stars, hearts, and dainty butterflies, infusing her bracelets with whimsy and meaning.

The room is alive with the gentle clinking of beads meeting one another, a symphony of tiny clicks and soft taps as she expertly stacks bracelets, creating cascades of color that adorn her workspace like a vibrant tapestry.

Each movement is deliberate, each choice of color and charm a reflection of her passion for crafting wearable stories.

“I really love jewelry, specifically bracelets,” Jackson said. “I remember the first bracelet I made was purplish, crystal-like and I really liked it, and that’s how it all started.”

August Jackson is a sophomore student from Baltimore, Maryland, studying business administration with a minor in management and organization leadership.

Jackson is also the owner of AugiesOriginals, a small jewelry business that specializes in beaded bracelets that she started during the beginning of this fall semester.

“We’re college students, we’re always looking for a little side hustle,” Jackson said. “I was taking it seriously but wasn’t really taking it serious.”

Augiesoriginals beads laid out on a table at an outdoor event earlier this semester at Stevenson. (Maya Townsend)

Before embarking on this venture, Jackson discovered her passion for beaded bracelets within her family circle, where they adorned an array of bracelets, each unique in shape and size, igniting her inspiration and love for this craft.

“I think it really stems from my mom, my aunt, and my great grandmother especially,” Jackson said. “I would always see them with their wrists, and every time they would walk, all you would hear was ‘click, clack, click, clack,’ and I loved that.”

At Western High School, Jackson observed friends’ businesses, noticing operational variations and inconsistency. Her motivation to start the venture relied on passion for the craft, not just financial gain.

“I’m doing it because I want to decorate my wrist; I’m not just doing it for other people or the money,” Jackson said.

After graduating high school in 2022, Jackson enrolled at Stevenson. Curiosity from peers about her major sparked thoughts of a prospective ventures.

“Being a freshman and a business administration major, people would say, ‘so you want to own your own business?’ or ‘what type of business do you want to own,’” Jackson said. “At that time, I didn’t want to own one, and it wasn’t why I chose my major, but the (number) of people, including teachers, asking me that influenced me.”

In her initial year at Stevenson, Jackson noticed numerous fellow students balancing education with their own entrepreneurial endeavors on campus.

“A lot of people on campus have businesses and their flyers would be posted around campus and I would always see them,” Jackson said. “I think seeing people my age, in my vicinity, or someone I live with doing something I could be doing it was also influential to me.”

During the summer in downtown Baltimore, she drew inspiration from visiting pop-up shops, eagerly exploring the local jewelry crafted by artisans in the area.

“I would go to specific stores and have gone to a lot of pop-up shops over the summer in downtown Baltimore,” Jackson said. “

I saw a lot of the jewelry people were making and was like ‘wow, this is so cute’ and took inspiration from that.

— August Jackson

Continuous support from friends, family, and Stevenson faculty motivated Jackson to take her jewelry business seriously. With a friend’s encouragement, they launched their business during their sophomore year.

“Starting a business together around the same time helped with promoting each other and I wanted to start my business back up because it’s something I enjoy,” said Demi Morgan, a friend of Jackson, Stevenson sophomore majoring in psychology, and owner of Locsbydem, specializing in retwisting and styling locs.

“Before I switched to psychology, I was a Business major and I was able to take marketing and management,” Morgan said. “I feel like it helped especially in promoting my business.”

Sharon Buchbinder (Stevenson University)

Jackson and Morgan join among the numerous campus entrepreneurs. Stevenson’s Brown School of Business and Leadership supports aspiring entrepreneurs through resources and courses, nurturing success in their business ventures and future careers.

“Our biggest resource is our faculty—both full time and adjunct and have worked in corporations, set up their own businesses, and know how to apply theory to the workplace,” said Sharon L. Buchbinder, Ph.D, Dean of the Brown School of Business and Leadership, Registered Nurse, and Author of various healthcare management texts.

Beyond business curriculum, Stevenson’s School of Business ensures students obtain internships appropriate to placement to learn, grow, and network in their careers.

“The students who want to be entrepreneurs, I try to find them an internship experience with someone who’s in that same field, an entrepreneur themselves but farther down the road so a student can see what they’re thriving to be,” said Jeannine Morber, BSOBL Senior Lecturer and Internship Director.

Looking back on her freshman year coursework at Stevenson, Jackson regarded her Principles of Marketing class as the most impactful in her entrepreneurial journey.

“Focusing on marketing, I feel like that really helped me as far as the social media aspect,” Jackson said. “Marketing posts, marketing your business in person, not even just on social media, I feel like that really helped.”

Starting a business is relatively easy but the hard part is growing the business.

— Willie Keith Story, adjunct professor

“I think part of it is getting entrepreneurs or business students in general to think about stuff you haven’t really thought about. Starting a business is relatively easy but the hard part is growing the business,” said Willie Keith Story, adjunct professor of business administration and Jackson’s former professor.

Beading ahead to this fall semester, Jackson’s jewelry business thrives as she applies lessons from her coursework, allocating time for operations and researching current jewelry trends.

“I try to dedicate time to write down orders with when they order it, when they want it, how much are they getting, and what colors they need,” Jackson said. “There’s things people are looking for and I also go along with things that I personally like because I know I wouldn’t make anything that I wouldn’t wear.”

August Jackson inspects her wares before laying them on a table at an event at Stevenson University earlier this semester. (Maya Townsend)

As the year’s thread unravels, Jackson prepares to enter a workshop, threading new beads and stitching together a revamped phase for her business. She envisions weaving her path to success, crafting a fresh design for the upcoming year.

“Over the break, I have a lot of plans to rebrand and by next semester, I’ll have a schedule,” Jackson said.

Back in her dorm, the rhythmic clinks of beads echo through the room, a harmonious blend of creativity amidst the quiet hum of campus life. With each delicate bead threaded, August Jackson not only crafts bracelets but also dreams of a growing business.

As she continues to weave her entrepreneurial path from the comfort of her room, her gaze is fixed on the horizon. Plans swirl like the vibrant hues of her creations, envisioning a relaunch that’ll paint a new chapter for her business in the approaching year.

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