Behind the table covered with turquoise bangles, colourful rings and beadwork necklaces, Miranda Frison studies her customers’ reaction to each accessory.
Frison is studying biology at Dalhousie University. She started her new business, Sea Blue Jewelry, at the lobby of the Student Union Building.
She has two dreams for her future. The first one is to become a doctor. The second one is to launch a jewelry store. In her second year, Frison decided to connect her paths to two goals together at the campus.
She says she has wanted to become a doctor since she was a child. Also, she wants the revenue from her business to support her to pay the tuition for medical school.
Dalhousie University’s official website says the annual tuition fee for medical school is almost $10,000. To become a doctor, Frison will have to pay at least $60,000 over six years.
Since her business has just started, Frison says she’s not sure how much the revenue will be.
However, for Frison, the adventure with her new enterprise is more than just earning extra money.
Having gown up watching her mother working in retail, Frison finds passion and joy engaging in the family business.
“We got an idea to help pay for my degree and do something on the side … (and find) some interesting things to do,” she says.
To attract customers at Dalhousie, Frison has carefully selected her products and the location.
Based on her observation, she calls the fashion trend at the campus “modern and Boho Chic.”
Frison says she picked accessories suitable for a party or ones that make people look professional at a job interview or even at some classes.
However, there are also a couple of challenges for her business.
Jude Robertson, Meeting & Events Manager at the Student Union Building, says there’s a lot of competition for the space in the building.
Robertson points out the Student Union Building sets the rental fee lower than other places in Halifax. She says she receives approximately 200 applications for 40 available spaces every month.
Although Frison had used the lobby only once in October, she says the place can be a good location for her business as it gathers people’s attention.
“Everyone was friendly and really interested,” she says. “I’m looking forward to come back again.”
Frison has a strong business partner—her mother, Candace. She says she loves her daughter’s idea to bring their business into the school.
“For me it’s really good to judge how much people are willing to spend, what people are more drawn to,” she says. “There’s so many different people of different ages.“
Using social media and balancing her time with schoolwork, Frison says she will to continue her business, even after finishing medical school.
“School is the main priority,” she says.
“But having this side business is very rewarding.”
About the author
Lisa Takagi is a journalist and artist living in Halifax. Takagi has covered culture and cultural issues in Nova Scotia since she moved from...