Tiffany Lowe grew up watching her mom make sweet treats in her Reedley kitchen. So when it came to her business, The Caramel Company, she already knew the recipe for success: "The response I get from a lot of people. Like once they try it they're like I can't stop eating this, I can't put it down." While still enrolled at Fresno State... Lowe started hand-making gourmet caramels. Her degree is in Entrepreneurship, but that was no substitute for the trial and error that comes with hands-on experience: "There are things in school that I didn't learn that I'm having to learn now fully in it. Especially balance. There's no class that says how to balance your life between work and school."
Fellow Fresno State grad and Lyles Center alum Laura Facciani couldn't agree more. She recall, "I came into college with the intention of owning a photo business but I was naïve to pursue it. I had no idea, you know, the work, the effort or the competition." As an 18-year-old, she started Facciani Photography with her family's blessing. Three years later -- she's profitable and busy! In December it became her single source of income. Her mentors were so impressed -- she was awarded the College Entrepreneur of the Year award by Fresno's Chamber of Commerce.
20-year-old Quentin Sanford founded California Creative Group last year -- working with fellow freelance web-design-and video artists out of this downtown Fresno loft: "I'm very fortunate that when I went into college, really when I went into high school, I knew what I was passionate about and I figured out the best way to achieve that. In between balancing classes at Fresno City College -- Sanford is balancing staff meetings and high-profile clients. He says age is never an issue -- in fact it works to his advantage: "And they come to me knowing I'm young because they want a fresh idea but they continue to work with me because it's a professional work product.
Proving you're never too young to be good at what you do and do what you love.
The Caramel Company
California Creative Group
The Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship