A Spotlight on Alameda’s Teen Entrepreneurs

Qiara Houston celebrates her one-year anniversary in business as Qiara Creations, which she has been doing for the smiles.
Oralia Cecaci

A Spotlight on Alameda’s Teen Entrepreneurs

Qiara has donated and worked with organizations such as the Midway Shelter for Women and Children, through Building Futures and other local restaurants.Qiara has donated and worked with organizations such as the Midway Shelter for Women and Children, through Building Futures and other local restaurants.

Qiara’s Story

Qiara, 14, launched her business, Qiara’s Creations, a little over a year ago. With the help from her family, She was able to start her new business to distract herself from the fact that she was apart from friends and family due to the pandemic. The incoming high school sophomore got the idea to start her business when her family encouraged her to make balloon columns for her brother’s high school graduation in 2020.

She adds, “My brother wasn’t able to have the proper celebration due to quarantine and I felt the need to lift my family’s spirits.” She surprised her brother by making unique balloon columns that he mistook for something she purchased.

Qiara realized how happy these balloon creations made her brother and decided it was her mission to bring smiles to faces through her amazing work! She now bakes sweet treats along with creating these special balloon decorations.

With staying up long nights baking and juggling her school¬work, she maintained keeping her grades up with the use of her organizational skills along with her support system, her parents.

“I am really blessed and grateful to have the support my family provides because without them my business would be just an idea and not where it is today,” Qiara expresses. As orders consistently flow in, she makes it a point to give back to her community.

Qiara has donated and worked with organizations such as the Midway Shelter for Women and Children, through Building Futures and other local restaurants.

The self-taught entrepreneurs’ services include Cake Cups (cupcakes), custom cakes, balloon towers, balloon arches, and much more! Check out more of her impressive work on Facebook: Qiara’s Creations and @qiarascreations on Instagram. For any business inquiries, contact qiaracreations09@gmail.com.

Katrina Chan poses with her camera, the tool of her craft.

(Katrina’s) most prominent project is called, Not the Enemy, which was featured on many media outlets such as UNICEF, FOX News, ABC News, NBC News, and CNN News

Katrina’s Story

Katrina, 17, has been expressing her creativity through her camera lens since 2018, and her passion has quickly turned into a small business. Her interest in photography began when she snapped pictures of her family on vacations, her sister then encouraged her to pursue it.

Inspired by the encouragement and spurred by the opportunity to try something new, she utilized her smartphone as her camera to capture photos.

Katrina quickly acquired a camera through a relative to practice her skills. Now with an actual camera in hand, she discovered how much she enjoyed making people look great in photos. This transition was essential to Katrina’s journey as a photographer since she felt this was her first step into genuine photography.

While being a full-time student with many extra-curriculars, Katrina takes time out of her schedule to work on her craft during the weekends and after school.

She primarily focuses on shooting casual, family, and editorial portraits to capture special memories for her clients such as prom or graduation events. This amateur photographer’s most prominent project is called, Not the Enemy, which was featured on many media outlets such as UNICEF, FOX News, ABC News, NBC News, and CNN News.

This project is a photo taken during COVID-19 when Asian American hate crimes spiked tremendously. “I created this for the message that no matter where the virus emerged, nobody should be persecuted for it,” Katrina conveyed.

By reaching out and asking her friends to model for her, Katrina was able to develop and hone her abilities. Her great communication skills helped open up many more opportunities.

She has had small companies and individuals contact for her stunning photos. This led to the creation of her business. She would not have evolved into the photographer she is now without the sup¬port of numerous friends and fellow photographers online.

“I look forward to capturing more happy moments for friends and families in Alameda,” Katrina exclaimed. You can find Katrina’s work @katchyaphotos on Instagram! For more information or business inquiries head to https://katchyaphotos.wixsite.com/jpeg.

Cassidy Chan and Qiara Houston are participating in the Girls Inc. Eureka! program.