To say Lauren Bliss is ambitious would be an understatement.
At just 21 years old, she has already developed a new entrepreneurship club on Western Michigan University’s campus, is a member of Alpha Chi Omega, and has landed a marketing internship at a local chocolate shop. Oh, and we should mention—she’s also a business owner.
After working at her father’s sporting apparel and trophy store growing up, Bliss was inspired to start her own entrepreneurship endeavor selling custom-made items representing her hometown of Muskegon. “I love everything about business and starting my own company has always been a goal of mine,” Bliss shares.
And so Simply Bliss was born. Launched in 2018, Bliss’s online shop sells hand-printed shirts and mugs centered around Michigan and the lakeshore. Her experience working at her dad’s store served as the foundation for her inspiration, but the help of the Haworth College of Business was what propelled the business to where it is now. “The business college has helped me so much in learning how to start Simply Bliss and how to prepare for things I might run into along the way,” Bliss says.
No Days Off
While starting a business in your early 20s might sound like enough to keep most people busy, that’s not the case for Bliss. Her time at WMU has been spent getting involved any way possible.
“My advice for someone looking to get the most out of their college experience is this: get involved,” Bliss explains. “I don’t know how many times I heard that, but my first year I didn’t involve myself in anything because I didn’t think I needed to. After I realized how much I was missing out on, I put myself out there, and I met so many people because of it.”
One way she did that was through her involvement with the new entrepreneurship club, aptly called Launchpad. “The previous club was not successful, so this past semester we planned and developed a brand-new club that is focused not only on starting a business, but what members actually want to learn,” Bliss shares. “With so many details involved, being part of the creation of this club was almost like starting another business. I loved it.”
The Future is Bright
So, what’s next for a college student who already has an impressive list of achievements? She has plans to take Simply Bliss to the next level.
“I want to open an actual store in Muskegon with a coffee bar added to it,” she says. “And later, I want to franchise it along Lake Michigan and maybe even around the country.”