(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Grace Gregory isn't your everyday high school student. She's a senior at Benton High School in St. Joseph and she started her own online boutique a year ago.
"It's just crazy how it started," she said. "I had no intention of starting a business when I turned 18, but I hope it inspires people."
Gregory told her story to a room full of local business owners Wednesday morning. A group of entrepreneurs meets weekly to tell stories, network and support each other in St. Joseph. March features special presentations by student entrepreneurs in the community.
Gregory runs an online boutique called Simply Graceful through Facebook and Instagram. The store features clothing, accessories, and home goods that Gregory designed. She then markets and manages orders the social media sites.
Gregory said she didn't set out to start a business. Instead, a hobby and creative outlet blossomed into something more.
"I just started making stuff and people started messaging me about how they could buy my designs," she said. "Then it just kept growing and growing."
She said going to school and running a business can be stressful but she has a good support system to help her through it.
"I'm so glad that I have the support system that I do," Gregory said. "All of my friends and family are there if I need something; help, a big order. They are always hands-on and ready to be there for me."
Simply Graceful can be found on Facebook by searching "Simply Graceful."