19-year-old college student starts clothing business

Local News

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – Starting your own business is something many people dream of doing. A local 19-year-old is making that dream a reality.

It’s been a busy couple months for Erica Bousema. In December, she opened Emerald Grace Clothing Company in downtown Brookings.

“I have had an awesome first couple of months,” owner, Emerald Grace Clothing Company, Erica Bousema said. “Most styles I have in come small through 3X, so you won’t find something different in plus sizes versus the small through large, you will find the same style of shirt in small through 3X.”

Not only is this business owner 19 years old, she’ll soon be an SDSU graduate as well.

“It’s so weird to look back within the last year even because I think it’s cool that I am 19, and it almost doesn’t feel like I am 19 sometimes just because most 19-year-olds don’t think of doing this as their job,” Bousema said.

A couple of her friends help take pictures and showcase her clothing.

“Erica will text me and Kate, our other model, and say are you guys free today, let me know when you’re available, and we’ll come in and try all of her new arrivals,” friend/model, Makenzie Stensrud said. “I think my favorite part of what Erica does is she does all the size inclusion, she includes small through 3X.”

“To see her in a store font with all this stuff and people coming in that she doesn’t even know, supporting her, it’s honestly incredible that she’s grown so much in such a short amount of time and I couldn’t be more proud of where she’s going in the future,” friend/model, Katelyn Louring said.

A future that Bousema is excited about.

“Once I get done with college I hope to be here, extend my hours, I’d love to have some employees jump on board, and there’s a couple other things I want to do,” Bousema said.

Prior to the physical storefront, Bousema was running her business online. While finishing her degree, she also works as a substitute and teacher assistant at area schools. She also completed her associate’s degree while in high school.

You can find more information about Emerald Grace Clothing Company here.

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