By Elise Parrill
Most students look forward to Thanksgiving break because it brings good food and much-needed rest. For freshman Alex Henderson, Thanksgiving break brings the busiest time of the year: Black Friday. As the owner and founder of Quarterback Designs, a customization and accessory store on Etsy.com, Henderson rushes to fulfill the numerous orders she receives on the biggest shopping day of the year.
Henderson created her company five years ago. The name of her company, Quarterback Designs, has an origin story based on her first products.
“I love creating things and I started with necklaces,” Henderson said. “The first products I sold were necklaces with quarters on the back, thus my company’s name is Quarterback Designs.”
After her first product was a success, Henderson expanded her store’s products to tumblers, keychains and customized T-shirts and glasses. Her creative and imaginative mind continues to push her to create new original products and expand her company.
“The best part is that I can design and choose what I want to do. I can pick my hours. Whatever I put in, is how much I get out,” Henderson said.
Quarterback Designs’ remarkable success is attributed to its dedicated owner. Unlike large companies with many employees, Henderson is the founder, owner and sole worker of the company.
“It’s all me right now—a one man show—but I love doing it. It’s my job. I love what I do,” Henderson said.
Balancing schoolwork and running a successful business can be difficult. As a biology major on a pre-med track, Henderson does not have a lot of spare time. The holidays are especially busy times for Henderson. Before Black Friday arrives, she temporarily closes her store to prepare for the incoming orders.
“Black Friday and wedding seasons are my biggest times of the year,” Henderson said. “For Black Friday, I want to say my sales usually triple or quadruple. It’s fascinating to see the shift of how people start buying so much after Halloween.”
To stay organized both in school and at work, Henderson has a motto she always follows to help her stay positive and overcome challenges.
“You can do anything if you prioritize,” Henderson said. “Everything is about balance. You’ve got to balance your priorities.”
Despite her successful business, many people in Henderson’s personal life do not know about her double-life.
“Some of my friends know about it, but it doesn’t really come up in conversation,” Henderson said.
Henderson’s friends were impressed and shocked when they learned about Quarterback Designs. Nonetheless, they endlessly encourage and support their friend and her business.
Freshman Maddie Hoefflin said: “The first time she brought it up to me, she brought it up very nonchalantly. I was surprised that someone my age had a business to the degree of success that she has.”
Her friends admire Henderson’s dedication. They also emphasized her passion and drive.
Bellarmine student Sarah Berry said: “It’s a very proactive and advantageous thing to have and manage a business at a young age while in school. I think she is a model for anyone who is thinking about starting up their own business.”
Quarterback Designs can be found below: