Spotlight on some of our student entrepreneurs: business owners, service providers, and artistic creators!

I started commercial fishing when I was 12 years old. My older brother was working on a 65-foot ocean dragger and a friend he was working with was selling 100 crab traps that he used to work with as a kid. So my brother called me and asked if I would be interested, and I immediately responded yes. So I took a 17-foot boat that I had bought when I was 10, for $500 with my communion money, and got it ready for work. My dad lent me the money to buy the crab traps (I was able to pay back within a couple weeks of working).

My boat was junk. It was not suitable to be on the water, let alone be used for work everyday by a 12-year-old kid. The floor wasn’t attached to the boat, all of the flotation was taken out, and the bilge pump didn’t work. There was no GPS and no compass on the boat; I could only navigate by looking back at land and recognizing different landmarks. This made it very difficult to work in the fog or rain, when sight was very limited. After my first season I junked my old boat and bought a 24-foot boat that was designed for work, and increased my operation from 100 crab traps to 275. And I was no longer working alone; I had a friend working for me so I could get through all of my gear efficiently.

Today working with 450 traps, pulled every single day. The only days we don’t go out to work is when the wind is blowing too hard. If it’s just raining or thunder and lightning, we just put on our rain gear and continue to work. I run the second largest operation in the bay.  Matthew Haag, freshman in Surveying Technology.

I have been dabbling in jewelry making for a while and have recently been making earrings out of porcupine quills. I am selling each for $15. The best way for people to contact me is ehill@s.paulsmiths.edu. These photos are only some of my products, and I am willing to provide more to those interested.Thanks for this opportunity! – Emily Hill, senior, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, with a wildlife concentration.

Pyrography is the art of drawing on wood with a high temperature heat source. I’ve done a variety of woodburnings of different scenes, and have also burned on various species of wood. 

I have been wood burning since I was 14 but didn’t start doing it as a business until two years ago. It began just simply as a hobby, but then more people became interested in them and it became a source of profit for me within the last year or so. It is a very small business, but many of my wood burnings are displayed in hardware stores back home. – Nick Forcier

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