We are excited to have students share their stories of innovative projects and entrepreneurial endeavors! If you'd like to contribute a story for our Spotlight, email email@example.com.
Sean Louhisdon '19
Sean Louhisdon ’19 is a Marketing major and founder of Divine Cartel and Automate.AI. In this interview, Sean discusses his passion for entrepreneurship and his plans for the future.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
Ever since I was a child, I’ve had a desire to make money by my own means doing something I enjoy. In 2015, while I was still in high school, I started a clothing brand and creative collective known as Divine Cartel. This brand was established to express individualism through style and creativity through music, photography, and clothing. I’m proud to have markets in Baltimore, New York, Los Angeles, and Dubai.
What other ventures have you been involved with?
During my sophomore and junior years at Loyola, I worked with local businesses to provide them with marketing services that I had learned through my coursework. These included SEO/SEM, Google AdWords, Facebook Ad Campaigning and Email Marketing/Marketing Automation. Through this business venture, I consulted with ten clients in Baltimore and New Jersey including restaurants & pubs, chiropractors, and beauty brands. This business expanded my knowledge about digital marketing and what it means to have a strong and sustainable online presence.
What is your current entrepreneurial focus?
I am currently involved in a start-up known as Automate.AI. A friend and I started this endeavor to build conversational interfaces or 'chatbots' to improve the customer experience in small businesses around Baltimore. Our goal is to help business owners save on customer service costs, make customer interaction more efficient, and aggregate customer-specific data. We recently competed in a Community College of Baltimore County business competition and won $7500 in seed money for this idea.
How has your Loyola education influenced your entrepreneurial outlook?
There are two very important lessons about running a business that I would put on a list of essentials, both of which I have learned at Loyola. The first is that goal setting is integral in making progress in any venture. Without having concrete goals in any group-oriented project or venture, work becomes erratic and often counterproductive. The second is that communication and collaboration are foremost in building a successful business. Building a team with a diverse set of skills is more effective than having a team with similar skills – at the end of the day, our strengths lie in our differences, not in our similarities.
Visit the Divine Cartel website, or email Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brittani Borden '19
Brittani Borden ’19 is a psychology major and owner of photography business Borden Media. Brittani also works as a photographer for MarcommPound, the student marketing and communications team at Loyola. In this interview, Brittani describes her experiences as an innovator through photography.
How did you get your idea or concept for Borden Media?
As I entered college in 2015, I created my Instagram page to share the world as I was seeing it, but I have been taking photographs since childhood. I began with only a $10 battery powered flash ring, a standard Nikon, and a white sheet for the backdrop of the small studio I built in my dorm for headshots. Now I’m happy to say I have upgraded my equipment to a larger studio (still in my dorm), professional lighting equipment, a Canon 6D full frame, and three industry standard lenses - all with my own earnings from the venture.
What are your future aspirations for Borden Media?
I’d like to continue to promote my business to those looking for a photographer with affordable pricing, a flexible schedule, and a positive outlook throughout the shoot. In the future, I hope to expand Borden Media so that I can mobilize whenever I want from state to state, bringing my creative services to a larger network.
How has Loyola been able to provide you opportunities in your business venture?
Through Borden Media, I have been able to work closely with non-profit organizations and local businesses to help create crisp and fresh media for their professional outlets. I’ve also been lucky to do photography for Loyola’s SGA, CCSJ, the Fine Arts Department, athletics, as well as a Capella groups the Belles and the GreySounds.
For the coming graduation season, I am excited to be offering my services for graduation & event photography, professional headshots, Landscapes/ Urban Photography, Professional and even Fashion Photography, year-round and in NY, NJ, and MD, and manage marketing for some other local businesses.
Visit the Borden Media website or email Brittani at email@example.com.
Aeliana Lomax '19
Aeliana Lomax '19 is an International Business major and Spanish minor, as well as founder of LOMAX Talent Acquisition Co. LOMAX, a professional development and talent acquisition consultation firm that launched in January 2019, aims to deliver innovative yet pragmatic strategies for those on both sides of the recruitment process. In this interview, Aeliana discusses her Loyola experience and her passion for entrepreneurship.
How did you get your idea or concept for LOMAX Talent Acquisition Co.?
When beginning my own career search, I identified pain points that I saw as opportunities to improve on the existing market solutions. Some of the career platforms we use today, like LinkedIn, Handshake, and Indeed, are simple to navigate, but lack the personal link and individualization that would help professionals get the most benefit from them. My goal is to maximize the output from these platforms tolaunch individuals to the next level of success, whether starting a new career, or changing paths.
What is your mission for LOMAX?
Lomax will lower (LO) search times and maximize (MAX) results for job seekers by staying up to speed on a recruitment process that is changing by the day. On the employer side, our value add will be to scout and place uniquely skilled candidates to improve retention of employees, and diversity and inclusion in the workplace, leading to more innovation and success for any employer.
How has Loyola been able to become a chapter in your entrepreneurial venture?
I became an entrepreneur at an early age, when I started a music theory business at age 10 and taught neighborhood kids my craft of music. Fast- forwarding to university, I found that I could apply my passion for entrepreneurship to make a difference for those around me. As an International Business major and Spanish minor, much of my coursework is rooted in cross-cultural collaboration and global strategy, and I enjoy working collaboratively to problem-solve.
Loyola has provided me with the tenacity to sit at the table to advocate for positive and innovative change in our community. I’ve developed my leadership skills and networking know-how as Co-Vice president of the SGA, writer for The Greyhound, and member of the International Business Club.Some of my most supportive professors and role models include Dr. Irem Demirkan, Professor Lynne Elkes, and Dr. JP Krahel. I have been blessed to be able to learn from and be supported by the remarkable professionals here at Loyola.
What is your motto?
"Passion paired with grit transforms a vision into reality."
Visit the LOMAX website or email Aeliana at firstname.lastname@example.org.