Student’s DIY business rooted in legacy

Junior Annie Jose doesn’t have to wait until spring to bloom into her creative potential. By assembling corsage sets for family and friends, Jose has been able to turn her skills into a business and sell products to customers for a cheaper price than corsages available in stores.

One pair of corsages and boutonnieres from Jose sell for $25, while, commercially, the average price for a corsage and boutonniere is $41, with one corsage alone costing $25.

The first time Jose created a corsage was three years ago, for her brother, Zach Jose’s, homecoming date. According to Zach, he was initially suspicious of his sister’s intentions, but the work she put into it soon made him appreciate his sister even more.

“ I realized that … the corsage and boutonniere were beautiful; not because of any monetary value that they may — or may not — hold, but because Annie made these for me,” Zach said.

Around the same time she was making her first corsage and boutonniere for her brother, Annie discovered her aunt used to make corsage sets for her father’s Homecoming, as well. She would create the corsages and Annie’s dad would advertise and sell them. Their small business in high school soon inspired Annie to start one of her own.

“I look up to my dad and I want to be like him,” Annie said. “I want to get all the experience I can.”

Annie’s childhood hopes and aspirations also played a part in her decision to start her own business.

“I’ve always wanted to have my own business, from when I was a little girl,” Annie said. “Making money has always been a goal of mine; I would always negotiate deals with my parents and siblings.”

As Homecoming rolled around in September, Annie dedicated herself to making corsages and boutonnières as a way to test if there was a market for her product and whether or not she was skilled enough to sell them all.

As soon as Annie saw the one she made for herself, she knew she was good enough and that she wanted to use her ability to create a business.

Annie enjoys creating the corsage sets and sees herself continuing to make them further in the future as both a minor source of income and a hobby.

“I believe doing something you enjoy and making money from it makes it twenty times better,” Annie said.

According to one of Annie’s customers, sophomore Jackson Rocha, the boutonnieres were well made and added to his homecoming experience.

“The flowers smell pretty nice and they weren’t that big,” Rocha said. “It felt more personal knowing the person who made the boutonnieres and wearing them.”

Annie’s sister, Sophia Jose, enjoys watching Jose go through the process of creating the corsages and boutonnieres, and sees the business as a stress reliever for her sister.

“I really like how she gets to express herself this way and that she can just show her creativity,” Sophia said. “It’s fun watching her make it because there’s a lot of different flowers to choose from. She could just customize it on her own and it’s cool to see what’s the outcome.”

On top of being a convenient way to express individuality, Rocha feels that the business is beneficial as it also helps Annie gain experience.

“I think it’s cool that she’s doing that; it’s good life experience,” Rocha said. “It definitely gives her some experience so that way if she wants to make a business when she’s older, then she has some experience to go back on.”

Annie is grateful for the experience she is gaining and the lessons she’s learning.