The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

A passion for fashion

Junior Lexi Lutz and senior Claire LeDuc jump-start into the industry
Posing+for+a+picture%2C+junior+Lexi+Lutz+wears+thrifted+clothes+to+promote+her+brand%2C+Divine+Minds.+Junior+Thomas+Anderson+and+Lutz+ran+similar+businesses+and+collaborated+to+advertise+each+others+items.+%E2%80%9C%5BIn+Spark%21%5D+we+get+unstructured+business+time+to+work+on+our+business%2C+so+Claire+%5BLeDuc%5D+and+I+went+out+and+did+a+photoshoot+in+our+clothing%2C%E2%80%9D+Lutz+said.
Claire LeDuc
Posing for a picture, junior Lexi Lutz wears thrifted clothes to promote her brand, Divine Minds. Junior Thomas Anderson and Lutz ran similar businesses and collaborated to advertise each other’s items. “[In Spark!] we get unstructured business time to work on our business, so Claire [LeDuc] and I went out and did a photoshoot in our clothing,” Lutz said.

When junior Lexi Lutz and senior Claire LeDuc went shopping, they felt like they couldn’t find what they wanted. So they decided to create it themselves. LeDuc and Lutz started a clothing business through resale consignment called Divine Minds and hope to eventually design their clothes. 

This year, Lutz and LeDuc enrolled in the Parkway Spark! business entrepreneur program off-campus. Through the program, they learned how to manage sales and advertise. 

“[Starting Divine Minds] made me feel great because I was creating an opportunity to help other people. I have always wanted to do something to help others, but I didn’t know where to start. Spark! pushes me to be the best person I can be, be productive and get stuff done,” Leduc said. 

In Spark! you take a quiz about what kind of person you are in the workplace. This quiz then pairs you up with a partner. When LeDuc and Lutz matched, they looked for things that they had in common so that they could stick with for a year and beyond. 

“[My goal for Divine Minds] is to give teenagers a way to express their individuality and find their own style. Lexi and I both struggled to find clothes that we liked, so we wanted to be advocates and help girls, and soon guys, find their own [way to] express themselves,” LeDuc said. LeDuc and Lutz made it a goal for their business to help the global issue of fast fashion. Divine Minds repurposes clothes, using bleach or paint, to make them different in a new way. They also do consignment, allowing consumers to avoid waste.

“Every purchase makes an impact. We both love shopping and getting creative with our styles so, we thought, why not make a business where we resell cute clothes that people will actually like and buy,” LeDuc said. 

Since August, LeDuc and Lutz have been working on this business and believe that effort is what leads to success.

“In Spark!, they tell you to take all these steps. [However, we found] that you just have to be spontaneous and have drive and hustle,” Lutz said. “The way to start a business is to have an idea and make it happen. You have to be really set on making it happen. You have to be like, ‘okay I’m going to do this.’ You have to devote your energy and time into developing a website and getting your name out there to other people.”

Since elementary school, LeDuc had an interest in making her own business. She started random businesses like a play-making business, selling her drawings and hosting lemonade stands. In the sixth grade, LeDuc went to her older brother’s Spark! pitch competition and saw everyone selling their things. She knew that she was going to join the program down the road. 

The way to start a business is to have an idea and make it happen. You have to be really set on making it happen. You have to be like, ‘okay I’m going to do this.’ You have to devote your energy and time into developing a website and getting your name out there to other people.

— Lexi Lutz

“I have always wanted to start a business, and with Spark! I knew it was a perfect opportunity to do so. Seeing how Spark! can be an actual job and career, I realized it was the perfect way to get a real business off of the ground. It is nice to have something accountable for me to be able to pursue my hobbies and interests,” LeDuc said.

Lutz’s immediate family are entrepreneurs, and she has aspired to follow in their footsteps. Her family was the ones that got her interested in clothing and creating her own style. “I have always been interested in fashion and style. I love expressing myself through style, and I thought it would be cool to make my own brand and design clothing. I thought that thrifting at first would be good because it is easier to start there,” Lutz said.

Spark! hosted a pitch competition, and Divine Minds won first. 

“The amount of energy you put into it is how good it is going to be. So, for me, it was just deciding how much energy I wanted to invest while weighing how much I wanted it to grow,” Lutz said. 

LeDuc and Lutz advertise their brand on Instagram and keep in contact with customers with their posts. Finding clothing models and photographing their inventory are top priorities. In addition, Lutz and LeDuc regularly shop for new merchandise.

“My favorite thing is going onto a caption and putting ‘sold’ on an item. You put so much effort into getting that item, taking pictures with it, putting it up on Instagram, contacting the person who wants to buy it and delivering it to them. You did all of that and put so much work into this one item and someone finally bought it,” LeDuc said.

Recently, Lutz and LeDuc created a brand website. To do this they had to create a legal LLC, buy a domain, write a business statement, create a bank account and split the money with each other.

“I wish I would have known how to set up my website from the beginning because that is something I really struggled with,” Lutz said. 

Lutz and LeDuc believe that they have learned how to fail fast and jump right back into it when they mess up. 

My favorite thing is going onto a caption and putting ‘sold’ on an item. You put so much effort into getting that item, taking pictures with it, putting it up on Instagram, contacting the person who wants to buy it and delivering it to them. You did all of that and put so much work into this one item and someone finally bought it.

— Claire LeDuc

“It is all about pivoting and being versatile and adaptable,” LeDuc said. “Getting a headstart in the business industry gives me so much more appreciation for other businesses. I am already getting a feel for what owning a business is like when people in their 30’s and 40’s are just starting,” LeDuc said.

LeDuc and Lutz are proud of their business growth and are hopeful for what the future holds.

“It feels really rewarding when I sell something. It’s just so cool. It feels really cool to be able to say I have a business even though it is small. I am new [to the industry] and am working and learning how to do everything. I feel like I am really moving forward in life, and I see a lot of success in my future,” Lutz said.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Pathfinder
$175
$800
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Parkway West High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ava Prsha, CJ1 Writer
Pronouns: she/her I am a freshman and this is my first year on staff. When I am not at school I am usually playing soccer, hanging out with friends and family or practicing field hockey.
Donate to Pathfinder
$175
$800
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

Please use your own name and keep your comments respectful!
All Pathfinder Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High
A passion for fashion