Kirwan’s passion for card-making grows into charity business

Freshman+Clare+Kirwan+started+making+cards+as+a+hobby%2C+but+after+seeing+another+HHS+student+use+their+hobby+as+a+business%2C+Kirwan+decided+to+do+the+same.+

Photo Republished with Permission From Clare Kirwan

Freshman Clare Kirwan started making cards as a hobby, but after seeing another HHS student use their hobby as a business, Kirwan decided to do the same.

In the summer of 2020, freshman Clare Kirwan started a card business. Her main inspiration for creating this business was junior Sophia Yoder’s baking business. Seeing Yoder donate her baking proceeds to charity inspired Kirwan since she made a hobby she loves into a way to help others. 

“I’d say, Sophia Yoder [was my inspiration]. She has a baking business, and she started it during quarantine and donates some of her proceeds so that was really inspiring to me because she just took a hobby and turned it into something [that can] make a difference and something that she could really enjoy. So that’s where I got some of my inspiration, and [also] my family really helped me start it and build it [as well],”  Kirwan said. 

Since Kirwan is a high school student who also manages a business, she finds handling both to be challenging at times. Kirwan wants to keep her business strong while also doing her school. 

“[Handling school and a business] definitely can [be challenging] because I want to keep my posts and my website updated, but I don’t always have the time because I’m busy with school and I feel like [school] should be my first priority, but I definitely want to keep [my card business] going too,” Kirwan said. 

However, one of Kirwan’s biggest motivations in creating cards is knowing that 20% of her proceeds go to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Yemen. Thus, when someone supports her business, they are also supporting UNICEF. 

“I know [that] when I make the cards, then 20% of my proceeds go to charities and most of them have gone to UNICEF in Yemen, which is a cause I’m really passionate about and that I’ve been educating myself on for a while. Knowing that when I make the cards and people buy them, [they] support my business [and] also [support] all the children and people suffering [in Yemen motivates me], even if it’s just a small thing,” Kirwan said. 

Kirwan chose UNICEF as the organization she gives her proceeds to because she found that UNICEF is a good organization to donate to after she did her research when she started her business. As UNICEF has many branches, the one that stuck out most to Kirwan was UNICEF in Yemen.

“When I first started [my business], I knew that I wanted to give some of my proceeds to charity. I think I just looked up what charities are good to donate to and what can really help make a difference and I think UNICEF popped up. UNICEF has different branches where they donate to, and I [found out] more about UNICEF in Yemen and the horrible things happening there and all the millions of children that are starving in Yemen,” Kirwan said. “I just thought it was something that I really wanted to help with. I continue to educate myself and I found that [UNICEF] was a charity that does really amazing work and was something I wanted to donate to.”

Even though Kirwan loves card-making, she still faces some challenges, one of them being that creating a card can be a time-consuming process as she does everything by hand. 

“It can be a lot of work because I don’t print anything out so I hand make each thing. I have to come up with my design and then sketch it and then erase the pencil marks and use pens and paint it and do all that stuff and then package [the cards], so it can be really time-consuming, but I love it,” Kirwan said. 

Despite her challenges, Kirwan’s favorite part of card making is that it can be very therapeutic to her. She makes cards as a way to get her mind off of something stressful happening in her life.

“I would say [card-making is] really therapeutic for me. Just art in general, I think, can be super relaxing and super fun. If I’m stressed about school or something, I’ll just go work on cards or manage my business, and that’s a really fun outlet for me,” Kirwan said.

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