Students embrace their entrepreneurial spirit

Student business owners transform passion into work

Going to school and running a business on the side is nothing new to entrepreneurial-minded college students. From websites and new technologies to food delivery and fashion, some of the biggest companies today were founded by college students.

Dedicated to their work and passions, some students at ASU are devoted to balance both.

The ‘Lousy Rich’ Girl

Interdisciplinary studies junior Breanna Rose Skoon is the owner and designer for Lousy Rich, a contemporary women’s brand. As a born-and-raised Arizonan, Skoon has a passion to grow the fashion industry in the state where her passion for fashion derived from her surroundings and experiences.

Skoon attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), where she received a certificate, and Phoenix College where she received an associate’s degree in fashion design. She says she is now working on a custom degree combining business, marketing  and fashion classes to aid her business. 

“I’m really trying to bring it to Arizona while finding myself,” Skoon says. “I’m going back and learning, trying to figure it all out again”

Skoon says her business, previously Breazy Brand, has been up and running for five years in which she designs both the clothes and jewelry. “Lousy Rich,” she says means “exaggerated wealth,” where the uptown lady meets the downtown girl with an “Elevated Edge.”

Skoon’s customer includes the girls who are just like her with clothing for the girl who wants to remain stylish with an edge, yet at an affordable price, saying she remains at $99 or less. She also feels it’s important to empower other women through her business and her brand.

“As a personal designer, I’m always looking to transcend women’s style,” Skoon says, stating she tries to remain unique and innovative in her looks. 

As an artist, designer and business owner, Skoon says fashion provides her an outlet in which she has a voice she doesn’t know she’d have otherwise. 

“Our clothes speak for us,” Skoon says. “They give you a window into who we are as people, or what we want to be. I think that in itself is the art and the fun of it.” 

As a member of the Fashion Group International Arizona chapter, showcasing at Phoenix Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, she says the passionate work never stops.

“It’s an extension of who I am,” Skoon says. “It allows me to have a voice that I otherwise don’t know that I have. I love it. It comes from within, it’s something that’s innate inside me. I feed off of it, I’m not complete without it. It’s something I’ve always known as a little girl and it just really makes me shine.” 

More solutions through Morse Solutions

Accounting junior Austin Morse owns an accounting firm called Morse Accounting Solutions meant to “provide solutions to businesses.” 

“I really like the fact that I can help people and make their businesses grow,” Morse says. “I look forward to, with the business, being able to empower them.”

The business’ approach, as stated in their website is “to listen and truly understand the goals and objectives of your company.”

Morse says he aims to form connections with his clients to develop relationships with them.

“A lot of my experience has been learning what clients want,” Morse says. “Overall, I’ve found that what clients care about the most is passion and dedication to helping them out.”


Delia Johnson
Accounting junior Austin Morse who owns an accounting firm called Morse Accounting Solutions works on his laptop outside the MU in Jan. 2018.

Accounting skills also run in the family for Morse, as he says his dad and his grandfather are both accountants who recommended it. 

“I’d say I’m really good at it,” Morse says. “It’s like a puzzle to me, knowing where certain expenses go, where assets go. All the accounting type stuff is like a big puzzle that I can visualize. I can use it to help businesses out.”

Before becoming official in December 2017, he says creating Morse Accounting Solutions took several steps to get started. In the midst of trying to find a new job, Morse realized many of them required certification in QuickBooks, a professional software package with applications and tools for accountants. Morse earned the certification to start his own business allowing him to work from home or school as he says it is 50 percent online and 50 percent in person.

Twenty year old Morse runs the business on his own, and says taking accounting classes is beneficial in providing knowledge and experience he can bring back to the business. 

Like many college students, Morse is a full-time student. When balancing school work and his business, he stated that efficiency is key. Morse says it is important for him to portion it all out, crediting time management and check lists for keeping him organized. 


Years in the making: KAYUN

Fashion senior Carol Wong is the owner and designer for KAYUN, her brand that will soon be her business. With completed previous experience at FIDM, Wong has been in the process of developing skillsets to be able to create garments, now finishing up and enhancing them at ASU. 

“Fashion is our staple of our everyday,” Wong says. “We basically grow with it, and no matter what, you’re wearing clothes, it’s an essential need. Making it your own flavor or your own style, it gives me, personally, a chance to express myself as well as create in a world where I fit in.”

With her brand and through her work, Wong emphasizes that connections are important, whether it’d be to others in the industry, customers or to a piece itself. 

“I like the idea that if I could see everyday people wearing [my] clothes, they kind of feel connected to you in that way because it becomes a part of their lifestyle,” Wong says. “That’s what excites me about it.”

Wong says her creations are more about igniting certain experiences in her quality clothing. She aims to bring confidence through it, while also encouraging wearers to be themselves saying “there is no wrong way to style it — it’s you.”

Wong is currently planning her capstone project to showcase her collection at a fashion show in March. She says she hopes this show will mark the official launch of her business. 

“I would like it to be something where a designer can just design or where a creator can create, and then those who feel a connection with their work will follow,” Wong says. “I want it to go back to when designers were artists and they could focus on being skillful, being true to their ideals and quality of work, quality of experience, quality of giving someone emotions, or that special thing.”

KAYUN, she says, is her Chinese name phonetically spelled in English as she retains a connection of who she is to her brand to give it meaning. 

The Yeller Weller realm

Supply chain management junior Danielle Cook owns her own photography business, Yeller Weller Photography. Though her main focus is school, Cook’s passion for photography remains strong. 

“It’s a way of expressing myself and a way to show other people as they want to be seen,” Cook says. “I go on the edge of more fantasy, unrealistic type of work. I’ll really bend to what people want, it’s kind of like making an image of someone that maybe they see themselves as or maybe as they want to be seen, even if it’s not real life. It can bring something out from their mind or their dreams.”


Delia Johnson
Supply chain management junior Danielle Cook takes photos on the Tempe campus in Jan. 2018.


As an artist who also paints and draws, Cook says she has always been inspired by fantasy and nature.

Cook says when people began reaching out to her, she was motivated to start her own business. However, Cook says her main focus is to be able to utilize it as her outlet for her passion for photography.

“I honestly don’t know where I see it going,” Cook says. “I’d like it to become a profession. I’m focusing on school mostly, but I’m putting a website together, business cards, things like that and trying to get myself out there.” 

Cook says that no matter what else she pursues in her life, photography will always remain a part of it. 

“It’s still getting off the ground, but I think that photography like this can help people gain confidence, it can give people a new perspective on the world and on themselves,” Cook says. “I want it to inspire people.”


Reach the reporter at tespana@asu.edu or follow @thaliamespana on Twitter.

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Editor's note: A former version of this article misspelled "spirit" in the headline. The headline has been updated. 


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