A New York Teen Paid for College by Selling on Etsy

LeiLei Secor lives in upstate New York, but attends the University of Virginia, meaning she pays out-of-state-tuition. Secor has scholarships, but still pays a high price for her education. Her tuition ends up to be around $40,000 a year.

Secor has not yet chosen a major, but is planning to apply to the school’s business program. According to Entrepreneur, if Secor does not get into the business program she will study economics and foreign affairs. Taking her online business into consideration, it is very unlikely that she will be rejected.

In the past 3 years, Secor has made $100,000 by selling handmade jewelry on her shop, DesignedByLei. Her jewelry consists of dainty necklaces, knuckle rings, and wire jewelry. The success of her business has given her the opportunity to receive the National Federation of Independent Businesses’ Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2014. Secor was also able to launch her own website.

Secor says, according to Entrepreneur, “A lot of jewelry looks similar, but the way it’s marketed and photographed is what makes or breaks it on Etsy.” She found that the best way to photograph jewelry is in natural light on a cloudy day. She also suggests using a plain background.

Secor says that her shop is a great way to pay for her tuition, but she just wants to enjoy it. It is a nice break from school work, and she wants to continue.