Spotlight: Two High School Students Use Entrepreneurship to Give Back

There is no age limit for entrepreneurship. Two Pennsylvania high school students embody that idea with their company, Apollow Pillow.

Their company sells whimsical pillows. But that’s not all. Instead of just keeping all their profits, the company includes a social element. Read about the mission and the journey of these young founders in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Sells and donates throw pillows.

Founders Olivia and Shayna told Small Business Trends, “We sell colorful throw pillows to customers and donate throw pillows to young cancer patients.”

Business Niche

Bringing a social element to the business.

Olivia and Shayna add, “People like to support the community through their purchases. And this way, they are supporting local fabric stores and cancer patients.”

How the Business Got Started

At a young entrepreneur’s class.

Olivia and Shayna attended YEA (Young Entrepreneurs Academy) together. Because of that experience, they came up with their initial business idea. They eventually presented it to other attendees as well.

Biggest Win

Making a big presentation.

They explain, “We presented our business idea at a young entrepreneur’s “investor panel.” And it was a big win to be able to talk to successful business owners.”

Biggest Risk

Getting started.

Olivia and Shayna say, “We wouldn’t be able to experience and learn these things if we didn’t start.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Marketing and events.

The two founders specify, “That money could help us with advertising and attending trade shows or fairs that could get our name out there.”

In fact, the pair learned so much at the initial event they attended that this remains one of their main goals. Since the pandemic changed their plans, they still hope to learn and network more in the future.

They added, “We wish that we could have attended more events pre-corona, as we only went to one.”

Fun Fact

It’s a true community effort.

The company’s fabric is donated by local fabric stores. Additionally, other local companies have reached out to provide supplies.

Olivia and Shayna said, “A flower shop owner donated us extra ribbon and lace to decorate our pillows because she wanted to support the social impact of our business.”

* * * * *

Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Image: Apollow Pillow

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.