Tarleton students become successful entrepreneurs


The JTAC/ Alex Huerta

The ULTRA statue located outside of the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts building.

Many students here at Tarleton have found creative ways to make money as they work through college. One of those ways being, through running a small business.

Since a lot of students are too busy with classes to work an hourly part-time job, having a small business allows students to work on their own time. This self sufficient way to earn income is also flexible with their class schedules.

Sophomore animal science production major, Sierra York, started her business, called Suds&Scrubs, in June of 2018. She makes handmade sugar scrubs and bath bombs. She also makes quilts, scrunchies, bandannas and mask ear savers.

York has always been a quilter and loved to make simple things for her friends and family.

“I had a teacher in high school comment on my crafting who told me that I should make a booth for our local farmers market to sell my products,” York said. “I wanted to be unique and make things that you don’t see every day.”

York’s products can be found on Etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/SudsandSweetsShop.

Sophomore agriculture services and development major, Zoe Carlisle started her business, called Rocking Z Beads, in July of this year. She makes a variety of different jewelry pieces including, beaded necklaces and bracelets, as well as clay earrings.

“I have always loved wearing statement pieces of jewelry, but I couldn’t afford the prices. I started by making a few things here and there for myself and my friends,” Carlisle said. “It was the perfect cure for my boredom and it also helps me pay for my education. I enjoy creating unique and personal pieces to add some color or pop to any outfit.”

After making a few pieces for herself and her friends, Carlisle decided to make a small business out of it. Carlisle’s products can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ rockingzbeads/?ref=nf&hc_.

Freshman animal science pre-vet major, Kaci Jackson, started her business called KJ Custom Leather, in November of 2018. She makes homemade leather earrings, keychains, duck lanyards and more.

After having a surgery in 2018 that took her out of her normal hobbies such as sports, Jackson took up leather working as a new hobby and things grew from there.

“I came across some pictures and videos of leather products and I was immediately interested. After researching and seeing different types of products, I wanted to start making my own version of certain things,” Jackson said.

Some of her work has even been displayed in a boutique in her hometown. Her products can be found on Facebook and Instagram as @KJCustomLeather.

Junior elementary education major, Reagan Smith, started her business, called Handmade by Rea, in July of 2020. She makes polymer-clay earrings of all shapes, sizes and colors. Smith also does photography.

“I started making earrings because I wanted to have earrings for all my outfits! I wanted to start selling my earrings because I had already been making them, and my friends and family all encouraged me to do so. I’ve always been very crafty, so I wanted to share my work with others,” Smith said.

Her products and photography can be found on Instagram as @ReaofSunshineCreates.

Senior agriculture industries and agencies major, JD Montague, started his business, called Lazy M Cutlery, when he started high school in 2012. He makes custom knives for all purposes with custom handles. Montague got interested in blacksmithing when he went to work with his dad, building fences on a ranch.

“The Foreman on that place worked as a blacksmith on the side. I was in the shop with him and he got me interested in all that goes into metal working,” Montague said. “Ever since then I’ve been teaching myself new skills and growing my business.”

Montague’s products can be found on Instagram as Lazy_M_ Cutlery.

Recent Tarleton State University Alumni, Logan Dick, who majored in agricultural services and development, started his business called, Lazy L Custom Leatherwork, in the spring of 2018. He started making leatherwork in January of 2017, but did not start selling products and creating his business until a year later. He makes everything from belts to wallets to livestock tack. Dick takes commissions for his products, and 90% of his orders are custom made.

“I get to try new things that I’ve never made all the time,” Dick said.

Dick’s products can be found on Facebook, as Lazy L Custom Leatherwork, and on Instagram as @LazyLLeather.

Supporting small businesses is one of the best ways to give back to the community, and in this case, helping students get an education while learning valuable life skills.