From student-owned online businesses to Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s (NP) very own co-op store, there are many interesting shops for youths to patronize that originate from NP. In this article, I will share some promising businesses that are owned by NP and its students! If you are also interested in starting your own business venture, read on to learn about The Sandbox! 

Student-owned Businesses

Creative and entrepreneurial, talented NP students are using Instagram to sell clothes, accessories, art and baked goods! By starting their own small business, these students are not only earning money for themselves, but also preparing their portfolio for future job or education applications. Furthermore, having a space where they can freely express themselves and interact with their audience can be beneficial to their mental health!

Thrift/Clothing 

@paaintnugget 

paaintnugget_thrift_shop_np_businessSource: @paaintnugget

@paaintnugget is my Instagram thrift store that sells thrifted, vintage clothes as well as handmade items such as tote bags and bucket hats. Focusing on environmental sustainability and encouraging people to reduce their consumption of fast fashion, I curate clothing items from second-hand stores all over the world.

paaintnugget_painted_jeans_np_businessSource: @paaintnugget

Additionally, I also paint and embroider on various clothing items to spice them up. 

I started paaintnugget as a casual online shop, selling my unwanted clothing and some jeans that I painted for fun. As the shop gained more traction, I experimented with embroidering and reworking clothes as well. Painting, sewing and fashion are my hobbies, and I am glad that I could earn some money while doing the things I love!

Upcycling and selling second-hand has its environmental benefits. My goal with paaintnugget is to lead a more sustainable lifestyle and instill the same goals into others.  

Handmade Accessories

@thekayo.co

thekayoco_accessories_np_business.pngSource: @thekayo.co

@thekayo.co hand-moulds and crafts all of her clay earrings by hand. This is a tedious process as it involves mixing colours of clay, rolling them out, intricately designing them, baking, sanding and finally assembling them into earrings. 

For the amount of work that goes into making each pair, thekayo.co prices them reasonably, at below $35 per pair. She has also partnered with HCSA Community Services to support single-parent families during the Covid-19 pandemic through the sale of her earrings. 

Visit her website to purchase some earrings now!

@graphiceyesore

graphiceyesore_accessories_np_business.pngSource: @graphiceyesore 

@graphiceyesore is my other hobby-turned-business venture, where I hand-assemble jewelry using a variety of different agate stones, buttons, crystals, beads and more. What started out as a simple interest turned into a business where I can express my creativity freely by channeling it into a unique jewelry piece. Beading also helps me to destress, calming my mind down by focusing on the beading process. 

There is also an element of repurposing old, unwanted items and making them into jewelry, giving the old trinkets a new life. These old materials would otherwise be thrown away or left to collect dust, so why not make use of them? I have found many vintage buttons and beads to use in my accessories!

Art Prints, Stickers and more

@nakedlittleman 

nakedlittleman_art_np_business.pngSource: @nakedlittleman

@nakedlittleman draws her titular character in many different funny depictions and makes them on sticker sheets, postcards, WhatsApp stickers and post-it pads! She has also handmade Valentine’s Day clay pins and acrylic keychains to sell. 

nakedlittleman_clay_pins_np_businessSource: @nakedlittleman

Nakedlittleman started as a recurring character on her school notes, with a more lifelike appearance. Afterwards, a friend suggested making stickers with the cartoon and selling them, which was what kickstarted the creation of the Instagram page with all the nakedlittleman products.

Her work brings me a lot of joy personally, as I find the characters extremely interesting and hilarious. When nakedlittleman posts appear on my Instagram feed, it truly makes my day!

nakedlittleman_feed_np_businessSource: @nakedlittleman

Direct Message her on Instagram to order nakedlittleman products!

Baked Goods

@prislicelee

prislicelee_baking_np_businessSource: @prislicelee 

@prislicelee is a home baker who decided to further her hobby into an online business. She sells cookies, pound cakes, pastries and does custom orders as well. Her bakes do not include pork and lard, and use only high quality ingredients.

Her Dairy-Free Cookies look extra delicious since I am sadly lactose intolerant.

Prislicelee also offers a special Bake Box that includes egg tarts or scones, donut muffins, regular cookies and a pound cake. The flavours are customizable and the whole box only costs $20!

Pre-order her delicious bakes here!

The Sandbox

@npthesandbox

sandbox_np_businessSource: NP Innovation and Entrepreneurship Office

Start your own business with the help of The Sandbox, NP’s innovation and entrepreneurship office! They provide funding, lab facilities, startup incubator grants, services, support and more. The Sandbox was created to provide a safe environment for people to explore their business ideas and potential. 

makersacademy_sandbox_np_businessSource: Ngee Ann Polytechnic

The Sandbox is also related to the Global Entrepreneurial Internship Programme and PolyFinTech100, both of which provide students with opportunities to step out of their comfort zone and participate in overseas internships or a cross-Poly hackathon. 

One student venture startup is WeHiro, a social enterprise that encourages the community to come together and put in collective effort to bring about greater social change.

wehiro_sandbox_np_businessSource: WeHiro

The Ngee Ann Shop by Ngee Ann Co-op

@ngeeannshop

np_coop_shop_businessSource: The Ngee Ann Shop

This is where all NP students get our official T-shirts, hoodies, windbreakers and more! The timeless and unisex designs are suitable for all students, lecturers and staff. I personally own a few of their Dri-Fit T-shirts, which I found to be useful for the Sports and Wellness Module all Year 1 students have to take.

Set up by the NP Co-op, short for co-operative, The Ngee Ann Shop and other stores managed by the NP Co-op were established to provide affordable apparel, stationery, snacks and drinks to anyone who visits NP. 

The Ngee Ann Shop also helps the various clubs and societies in NP with bulk ordering of merchandise and printing of designs. 

Where to find The Ngee Ann Shop:

Blk 58 #01-06, Ngee Ann Polytechnic campus

Mon – Fri, 9am to 5pm

Have any of these small businesses caught your eye? Or are you thinking of starting your own business with a groundbreaking idea? I hope this article has helped you out!

I am definitely going to purchase some stickers from nakedlittleman to decorate my laptop. What about you? Leave your comments down below!


This article is brought to you by Loh Jae Yee. Jae Yee is a third-year student in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. She is currently interning with SNCF from March 2021 to August 2021. She is also constantly experimenting with fashion and making her own clothes and jewelry.

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