Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the struggles small businesses have encountered this year, there is an increase in effort to support them this holiday season. However, there is still a need to stay safe during the pandemic, so many people are looking for small businesses with an online presence. In an effort to help small businesses this holiday season, we wanted to highlight businesses that were started by FFA members.
For many of these students, their business started off as passion and turned into their Supervised Agricultural Experience. FFA members are very responsible, passionate individuals that want to advocate for the agriculture industry. As business owners, they are advocating with their crafty talents. Check out a few small businesses that are run by FFA members or alumni below.
- Plantkingusa: Owner Taylor Thigpen said, “Plantkingusa was founded in May 2020 during the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19. I started this business at 14 years old in order to better promote and provide horticulture education all over the country.”
- Trent’s Tropicals: Trent’s Tropicals is a small houseplant store in rural Missouri, run by a young 17 year old entrepreneur who wanted to bring high quality house plants, with an affordable price tag.
- Agvocate Apparel: Agvocate Apparel is a clothing company based in Tennessee designed to spread the word of agriculture through trendy, everyday attire.
- FriendlyFeatherFarm: The Findley Feather Farm is a hobby farm that resides in Southern Illinois. In addition to taking care of their animals and advocating for agriculture, they also have an Etsy shop where they sell t-shirts, neck gaiters, and stickers.
- The Valley Barntique: Founder and creator Ashlyn Rockey said, “I created my business for my SAE. I sell apparel that advocates for the agriculture industry.”
- The Twisted Cactus: Founder Citori Kramer said, “I make custom chokers, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc! I try to make them as affordable as possible.”
- Buckskin.beading: This store has handmade beaded jewelry chokers, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and more! Custom orders also available.
- Rocky Mountain Sisters Custom Leather: Custom leatherwork by two sisters living in the Rocky Mountains. Products range from earrings, dog collars, belts, camera straps and more!”
- Katies Corner: Katie Paynes said, “I’ve been making leather earrings and selling them and I can ship them out!” She also makes wreaths, mugs, and key chains!
- Jay Crafting Company: Founder Jaylynn Lamb’s motto is “Perfectly Imperfect, but always made with Love!” She sells FFA facemask, scruntchies, and stickers in addition to candles.
- Midwest ES: Entrepreneur Emma Brushwood creates FFA face mask, ornaments, keychains, tumblers and more.
- King of Diamonds Creations: Karlee Sailer sells car freshies — an aroma bead air freshener that gives a powerful smell that can be used in your car, your locker, your drawers, closet, etc.
- Freshies by Alyssa: Alyssa Chalfant makes custom freshies and body/room sprays. The freshies come in a variety of designs, scents, and colors to add some decoration to your car.
- The Crooked Cactus: Mackenzie Langley said, “I love making shirts and crafting. I figured what better way to start making and saving money than to do what I love!” Langley makes car freshies, t shirts, cattle tag keychains, and more.
- TBC Designs: Founder Teegin Crosthwait said, “In October of 2018 I applied for a grant from National FFA to start my dream vinyl business. Through this grant I was able to start my business as part of my Supervised Agricultural Experience.” TBC Designs offers shirts, earrings, freshies, and more.
- D&B Farm Boutique: On their boutique page, it says “Just two average teens who ‘Believe in the future of Agriculture.'” They carry jewelry, keychains, clothing, decals, tumblers/cups and more!
Any of the homemade items above would be the perfect gift for family members, friends, even yourself, but also your chapter officers, advisors, or members. When ordering from a small business, be sure to allow sufficient time for ordering — sooner is better than later. Now is the perfect time to start shopping for your loved ones at a small business.
According to Digital Commerce 360, “U.S. consumers are poised to spend $198.73 billion with online retailers this holiday season. That would be a 43.3% year-over-year jump from $138.65 billion for the same November-December period in 2019.” While the pandemic has driven us to shop online more, it doesn’t mean we have to shop from major retailers. Search small businesses before you buy from a mainstream retailer.
So when it comes to shopping this holiday season — think local, think small business, think FFA member-run businesses.