Here are a few enterprising alumni who are making a difference in their communities by starting businesses built on the foundation of their education at Millersville University.

Editor’s Note: This version includes additional information from the Fall/Winter edition of the Review Magazine.


BloomBox (getblooming.com) 

Chase Hafer ‘13

Major: Business Management

Based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, BloomBox is the area’s largest e-commerce nursery that delivers plants, trees and garden supplies by hand to customers’ homes. BloomBox currently delivers to five states and the District of Columbia. BloomBox has over 15,000 customers and employees more than 30 people.

What was the most impactful part of your educational experience at Millersville?
I think the most impactful and useful parts of the business school at Millersville was when they brought in real-world businesspeople to discuss their jobs and life outside of college. I also thought that group projects were helpful, they taught us how to work with others who communicate and manage time/workload differently than I do.

 

Jasmin Leath ‘18

JASS ELAINE | BRANDING, MARKETING & DESIGN 

Jasmin Leath ‘18

Major: Communication studies with a minor in business management

As a Brand Coach + Marketing Strategist, I teach entrepreneurs how to unlock an authentic brand presence with storytelling that attracts loyal customers and increases visibility and sales for their business. With a combination of 1:1 coaching, graphic design, and social media management services, I work to provide my clients with support and a full-service brand-building experience to help them launch or rebrand their business and achieve their goals.

What was the most impactful part of your educational experience at Millersville?
In my third year at Millersville, I took a class with Professor Jennifer Wood from the Communication & Theater department. She shared with the class a bit of advice that stayed with me. “Work for someone else from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and find something to build your skill and work for yourself from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.” This advice stuck with me because at the time Jass Elaine Coaching was just an idea, but her advice gave me the courage to bring it into reality and create an outcome for my life that I had never imagined possible.

What advice would you give to students who may be considering a career similar to yours?
Do not be afraid to fail. Most people think failures means the end, but it could also mean the beginning of something amazing. It is ok to not get it right the first time but do not let that stop you – keep going until you find something that works for you!

 

Barsha Thapa ‘21

THE MORPHING ELEGANCE 

Barsha Thapa ‘21

Major: Accounting 

The Morphing Elegance is a semi-ethnic online shop, primarily marketed through Instagram. The Morphing Elegance sells ethnic clothes and jewelry from India. The Morphing Elegance has a subdivision called “With All My Heart” which includes T-shirts both and handmade items. The handmade items that consist of bracelets, resin accessories and crocheted items, among others. 20% of the profit from this division is donated to a cause.

Barsha Thapa ‘21

How did your degree help prepare you for your career?
Apart from running this business on the site, I also work full-time. As a staff accountant, my degree in accounting has prepared me to complete my task efficiently. As a business student, many business classes that I had taken in Millersville has help me make it one decision for my business.

What advice would you give to students who may be considering a career similar to yours?
The key is to believe in yourself and do what you love. I had never imagined someone like me with hardly any connections would be able to start an online business. But one day I decided to go for it without worrying about the future and the next day II went for it. One year later, the business is still thriving, and I am working on expanding it more.

 

PatchTown Films 

Casey Prosick ‘16 and Eric Griffin ‘16

Major: Government and political affairs (Prosick) and graphic design (Griffin)

PatchTown Films is a full-service production company, creating videos for all sorts of clients, ranging from recipe developers to small business owners, artists and musicians.

How did your degree help prepare you for your career?
Even though it may seem like my degree doesn’t apply to my current work, I always think back to things I learned in lectures in college and my experiences anecdotally to help me make decisions for my business. I also feel as though my critical thinking skills and my ability to analyze situations has been improved greatly by studying politics. I feel that studying politics could really be beneficial for so many different career paths.

What advice would you give to students who may be considering a career similar to yours?
I would tell the students that your major won’t narrow your career options- study what you love and what interests you, but remember that there is a whole wide world of career options out there, and as long as you’re dedicated to that career path, you can make it happen.

 

Elana Rapoport ‘15

Rhinestone Everything 

Elana Rapoport ‘15

Major: Social work

Rhinestone Everything is an Etsy shop selling rhinestoned accessories, home décor and customized gifts.

When did you launch your business?
I started my business back in 2014 and continued to 2018, when I took a brief hiatus because I had started a full-time job. During the pandemic, I started working from home and started back up again and now average three – five sales a month.

How did your degree help prepare you for your career?
My degree helped me with my career in so many ways. As I mentioned before, I was given several opportunities to intern, volunteer and work with a variety of communities through the social work program. I learned an immense amount of information from those experiences and it really helped me narrow down what career path I wanted to follow and what population I wanted to work with.

 

Rian Reed ‘11 

RIAN REED AND CO, LLC 

Rian Reed ‘11 

Major: Elementary and special education with a concentration in history 

Rian Reed and Co, LLC empowers individuals and organizations through career and business development strategy. Not only do they design products like websites, LinkedIn profiles, pitch decks, resumes and cover letters, but they coach their clients on how to best use these tools. They also conduct data analysis and compliance monitoring for state and federal grants impacting youth k-12.

When did you launch your business?
My business was incorporated in 2017, but building my business started way before then. It began during my days at Millersville, serving as president of the NAACP youth and college division for the state of Pennsylvania, president of the NAACP chapter at Millersville, and working at the Career Services Office at Millersville.

How did your degree help prepare you for your career?
Although my degree from Millersville was not in business, my education degree was and continues to be influential in my business growth. This includes influencing my decision to pursue an MBA. My education degree influenced my decision to make coaching a service of my business. I didn’t want to just design products for my clients, but I wanted my clients to be supported in using those tools effectively for their own growth.

 

Adam Roth ‘02

ROTH PRINTING & DESIGN, LLC 

Adam Roth ‘02

Major: Bachelor of Science in Technology Education

ROTH PRINTING & DESIGN, LLC 

Roth Printing & Design, LLC specializes in high quality custom screen prints featuring appealing graphic designs on many different types of apparel. It’s Roth’s goal to provide clients with the best experience through the screen printing and graphic design process.

How did your degree help prepare you for your career?
My degree provided a diverse, hands on approach to a variety of engineering, materials, design and production processes. The AEST Labs and facilities were top notch, allowing access to the most current technologies and equipment.

Adam Roth ‘02

What advice would you give to students who may be considering a career similar to yours?
Build relationships within your community. A good deal of my business comes from word of mouth within my local business community. Build your business slowly and sustainably, with that solid foundation you will have room to grow over the long term.

 

 

 

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