Two young female entrepreneurs, Ellie Houston and Campbell Eggers, seized the opportunity of their unexpected free time and joined together to cultivate a small business during the pandemic.
The pair launched Creative Cuts in June 2020, inspired by their Cricut machine, which enables them to create handmade cards, clothing, and houseware items at the click of a button. The Cricut is programmed through an app on any device and enables users to create a plethora of items including cut-outs, stickers, and engravings.
The freshmen at Loyola Academy and Woodlands Academy, respectively, have known each other since preschool, but their friendship began to blossom in middle school during Girl Scouts. Partnering together to launch a business felt inevitable.
“We love making things, but sometimes don’t have use for all of it,” Houston says. “We thought that if we sold our products, someone else could use them.”
As for the design selection process, the 15-year-olds vacillate between choosing premade sketches on the Cricut and absorbing feedback from their peers and customers. They also enjoy adding their own creative touch as well.
“I like to play tennis, so we started making tennis towels and tennis socks,” Houston says.
Creative Cuts’ products were available at the Winnetka Farmers’ Market over the summer, where the duo was a temporary vendor. Following their debut, they received numerous accolades from shoppers and fellow vendors regarding their young ages and the quality of their handmade products.
“The director of the Winnetka Farmers’ Market says she received many comments about how other people loved seeing us,” Houston notes.
Each week, the pair sold out of their vibrant handmade cards featuring cheery “thank you” and “happy birthday” sayings. This popular product requires a multi-step process, from selecting the color scheme of the cut-out design to pasting it on the backing to choosing the enclosed envelope.
Now, customers can place orders for Creative Cuts products directly through emailing one of the girls, with their addresses linked on the small business’ comprehensive website showcasing their whimsical designs. If customers prefer to purchase in person, Creative Cuts cards are now available at Beat Street in Winnetka and Sage Explorers in Lake Forest.
Launching a small business amid a pandemic did not give the girls pause; instead, they have adapted by placing their own designs on top of face coverings and making them for small businesses, family members, and friends. The girls even made a customized mask for a fellow vendor at the farmers’ market who sold plants and wanted his logo featured on a mask.
The pair even have aspirations for Creative Cuts that transcend the pandemic. Eggers hopes their work at the Winnetka Farmers’ Market and this feature will be sufficient avenues to get their name out to customers and lead to the pair exploring additional outlets such as opening an Etsy shop.
With the girls’ impressive drive and tremendous versatility, their small business has been able to flourish, and they are even expanding their product line to feature customized engravings on necklaces. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
To learn more about Creative Cuts, visit sites. google.com/view/creative-cuts.