by Jody Kerzman | Submitted Photos
It’s not unusual for a high school student to have a part-time job. It is, however, a bit uncommon for a high school student to successfully run her own small business. But don’t tell that to 16-year-old Morgan Salwei.
“I took an entrepreneur class last year in school,” Morgan explains. “We learned how to run a business. We sold bath bombs, which wasn’t really my thing, but I learned a lot.”
The St. Mary’s Central High School junior was so inspired she decided to start her own business. She created Sunshine and Mo after school got out for the summer and spent the summer baking and creating. Sunshine and Mo became a regular sight at BisMarket Farmers’ Market. Morgan committed to being there most Saturdays from June through October.
“I want to spread sunshine, happiness, and joy to everyone,” explains Morgan. “The stand was a great way to do that, because homemade goodies always make people happy.”
Morgan started with jelly, but quickly added more items.
“My dad and I made strawberry rhubarb jelly, and I sold that,” she recalls. “My aunt taught me how to sew, and I also love to bake and paint, so I just kept trying new things, including canvas paintings, pillowcases, tea towels, and even caramel rolls.”
Her items were a hit; customers started coming back for a second time, then a third. Morgan soon had customers placing standing orders for her goodies. She decided to set up shop at other vendor shows, including Urban Harvest in downtown Bismarck. She filled her booth with zucchini bread, carrot cake, cupcakes, cookies, and spicy pretzels and sold out.
“It was so fun to try new things.”
And while she tried new things, Morgan also learned a few things too, about business and about herself.
“I learned so much about expenses, taxes, and all that financial stuff,” she says. “But I also learned a lot about myself too. I have always been pretty shy, but after this summer, I’m not shy anymore. I’m much more outgoing.”
She’s also well on her way to paying for college. Morgan earned $5,000, money she’s already tucked away for college.
BisMarket has ended for the season, but Morgan is still creating and selling her goodies. Check out her Facebook page, Sunshine and Mo, to see what’s she’s cooking and to place your order.