Student takes MSU classes to heart, opens own business
EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The younger generation isn’t waiting until graduation to start a business. The dream can become a reality, but every idea is not always a success story.
Paul Jaques is Managing Director for Venture Creation, Michigan State University’s Institute for early Entrepreneurship. He told News 10 that getting a small business through its early days can be a cutthroat process.
Jaques said, “Sometimes we talk to the students and say ‘keep pushing your idea but go get that job, work a couple of years, and then fund that idea that you’re doing.’”
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But in some cases, Jaques believes the earlier you start the better. Particularly if you don’t have other living expenses to worry about.
“You don’t have a mortgage, you don’t have children,” Jaques said. “Now is the time.”
That’s advice Louis Azor, owner of More than Vintage, decided to follow.
“It’s really just like a small business created solely by students,” Azor said. “Like, no one older than 21 years old.”
Azor currently attends Michigan State University. But, even though he’s still a student, he put his lessons to the test by opening up a vintage shop with the help of friends and family.
“More Than Vintage is the very first student-built and ran brick and mortar store-front,” Azore wrote on the store’s website. “It is usually unheard of for ‘kids’ to develop and run their own business.”
Many people said he was not ready for the business world, but Azor told News 10 he found a humble way to get started, by taking advantage of tools to help him build the business’s foundation, and by listening to good advice.
“Don’t think you know everything yourself,” Azor said. “Ask people for help, ask people for advice, and just negotiate with the community. Things grow bigger when you have a team around you, not just you trying to figure it all out by yourself.”
Ben Pikus, Vice President of Operations for More than Vintage, attributed some of their success to the time they devote to the feel of the store.
Pikus said, “Just spending hours and hours thinking of how we can create this space and create the fusion of modern and vintage.”
He said Azor was the backbone of the business.
“He showed that passion and persistence can help open more doors for yourself,” Pikus said.
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