At first Jayna Grassel didn't see the point of going to college. Why spend four years and thousands of dollars on a degree when she had already started a
at the age of 14, when her parents ferried her to the craft shows where she sold her handmade hats?
Grassel, now a senior at Grove City College
, learned how to crochet when she was 8. Her hobby kept her occupied the summer before she started high school, when she was stuck in bed recovering from surgery to correct her scoliosis. Once Grassel's friends didn't want any more of her crocheted creations, she jokingly told her mother that she should start selling her hats. Grassel's mother spent $200 on yarn that turned out to be the seed of a budding business.
Learning about Grove City's major in entrepreneurship
cemented Grassel's decision to go to college after all. While crocheting remained a hobby throughout high school, in college it became her part-time job.
"When my friends want to go out I think in terms of how many hats that is," she says.
Grassel, who hails from the southwest PA town of Delmont, notes that being an entrepreneurship major taught her a lot about how to use the Internet to boost a business' bottom line. And in addition to selling hats, cowls and headbands, she also sells original patterns. The patterns are more profitable to sell because they can be emailed for free rather than mailed in a package.
She would love to make a living crocheting someday. But for now Grassel is excited about her post-graduation plans to work for the Rosetta
marketing firm's Cleveland offices.Source: Jayna Grassel, JJCrochet
Writer: Rebecca VanderMeulen