Students launch businesses after quarantine, online classes create more flexible schedules

Tori Duff

Some students have used their time at home during COVID-19 as an opportunity to launch new businesses based on their hobbies and passions.

Public relations sophomore Alyssa Torres said the flexibility of online classes made it possible to begin her coffee business, Busy Bean Cafe, from her apartment.

“I used to get Starbucks, but I think it’s a hassle to have to stand in a long line with tons of other students,” Torres said. “It's such a hot spot, and hot spots during (COVID-19) are tough because you want your coffee, but you don't want to be in crowds of people.”

Torres uses social media for her company and said students order their coffee the night before through her Instagram page and pick it up outside her apartment. Torres said she sometimes fulfills 25 orders per day.

“I'm the only person they see in their morning routine,” Torres said. “There's really no way that I can keep this up if I'm going to have in-person classes, but for the most part, it's fun right now.”


Marketing junior Emma Tran started her clothing tie-dye business, To DYE For, to make money during quarantine and also advertises it through an Instagram page. 

“It honestly just started out as a random hobby, but then (COVID-19) hit and I had more time and I had bought these big bottles of dye,’” Tran said. “I had moved back home during quarantine and I had a space to actually do big batches versus in Austin, where I would have to do it out of my bathtub.”

Tran said setting aside time for her business became a relief from the environment around her during quarantine.

“It helped me clear up my mental space,” Tran said. “For a few hours, I can go outside to work, which is nice when you're stuck inside doing class all the time.”

Leo Gutierrez, a human dimensions of organization senior, said he is creating a fitness clothing brand, Prodos Project, with his friend after feeling inactive during quarantine. Guttierez said the clothes will feature his fitness motto, to “move purposefully.”

“I felt like I entered that normalcy of being like everyone else, where you start binge-watching Netflix,” Gutierrez said. “After a while, I started to think more about using time during COVID-19 and using a time of isolation as something that's going to contribute value, rather than something that's just going to kind of keep me stagnant and comfortable.”