Three Teen Entrepreneurs Secure Funding From WF Chamber

Summer Entrepreneurship Academy culminates in funding for three student businesses at Nov. 16 event

Delaney Skinner (pictured) holds check presented by the Wake Forest Chamber Foundation for her company, Scentsor.

Editor’s Note: Although the events related to this story took place over the summer of 2022 and concluded in Nov. 16, we wanted to revisit the story as the new semester begins to highlight the WF Chamber Foundation program and the achievements of the three student entrepreneurs. 

Have you ever had an idea or creative thought of what it would be like to have your own business? What if there was something that could help you make that dream a reality?

The Wake Forest Chamber Foundation (WFCF) held an Entrepreneurship Academy over the summer. Three students then pitched their business ideas to seven judges Nov. 16 in a Shark Tank type of event where they each received money from the Chamber Foundation to help them continue to grow their businesses. 

“Each student had eight minutes to present and answer questions from the panel. After all had made their presentations, the judges went into a private room and discussed which students should be awarded money and how much,” Ann Welton, a member of the WFCF said. “The decisions were based on the students ‘ask,’ and also whether or not the student was ready to take the next steps in getting their business launched. We awarded a total of $20,000.” 

Senior Delaney Skinner describes the product she presented to the judges. 

“I pitched them this idea called Scentsor, where it’s basically a perfume bottle but on your wrist, so that way you can always have perfume on you, and you can dispense the scent whenever you want it,” Skinner said. 

Similarly, freshman Ella Garlington pitched a jewelry business of her own design. 

“I’m pitching my jewelry business, which features my own designs, and eventually I’m hoping to feature other creators,” Garlington said. “I sell all kinds of accessories, so I have handmade jewelry products, some that are upcycled from antique previously existing jewelry items, and I also am an artist, so I sell stickers and keychains with my own art on them, and my plan for the future is to feature other artists’ products on those stickers, and also if there’s other jewelry creators who feature in the jewelry side of my shop.”

Freshman Katherine Toledo pitched a business called Snail Inkorporated, whose idea was presented to her by a banker who visited the school.

“I pitched a sticker business. My main pitch was static stickers. They stick with electricity,” Toledo said. “I design the stickers myself. I do custom as well as pre-made prints. They vary. I have cat collections. I’m working on a seal collection. I also have some ferrets, and basically, I usually draw them digitally, and then I will print them on sticker paper, and I’ll cut them out on my silhouette.”

But not all participants were presented with this idea by an outside party. Skinner first came up with the idea last year.

“It actually started last year in Mrs. Fuller’s class. She told us to like create a project that we could, like, present to the class, and I don’t know, it just kind of popped in my head,” Skinner said. 

Garlington also shared the story of her business, Simply Charming. 

“I’ve been creating for a long time, and I’ve been making jewelry for a long time, and eventually as I continue to do my art and creative work, I’ve found that jewelry was what I wanted to focus my business on, and I started selling ads at the young entrepreneur fair around five years ago, and I’ve grown into what I have today, and it’s called Simply Charming,” Garlington said. 

After participating in the event over the summer, the students continued to prepare for the pitch of their businesses with the support of mentors and their parents. 

“My mentor’s name is Miranda. She came from, well she was working with the chamber to do this program, and she’s a business owner as well, and she helped me with the marketing and getting a concept built for my website,” Garlington said. 

Toledo also mentioned a mentor who helped her. 

“Ann Welton as well as Kay Gamble. Kay Gamble was my main mentor. We met up at least once or twice a month to talk and get advice,” Toledo said. 

Skinner credits her parents as being her encouragement. 

“Definitely my parents have really supported me, and just kept trying, and telling me to, like, keep going no matter what, and keep pushing and making my product better,” Skinner said. 

Starting one’s own business as a high school student brings its own challenges, from juggling school and friends to calculating expenses and dealing with finances. Skinner reflects on a new challenge. 

“With this, it’s definitely like the prototype. Prototyping, which I’m still working on. I contacted NC State to see if they would make a prototype, and they said they can, but I’m currently working on getting more funds to build that first prototype,” Skinner said. 

Following their presentations, each student expressed gratitude to the members of the Chamber Foundation for helping them grow their businesses. 

“I have actually done my pitch, and I’ve gotten my investment, which of course will help me to build my business greater, because with funds, but I’ve also learned a lot of really helpful information that I can take, not just with business owning, but with the rest of my life,” Garlington said. 

Toledo reflected on how she was impacted by the Chamber Foundation. 

“I got $1,000 and I was able to buy a silhouette, which is a sticker cutter, and I was also able to purchase sticker paper,” Toledo said. 

Skinner shared how the funds she received will help her reach her next goal.

“They really helped me, like, create my business plan, and they helped me get money so I can start building up the funds to create the first prototype,” Skinner said. 

This is only the beginning for these students. Skinner looked forward to the future and shared what she envisions. 

“My long term vision would probably be to obviously have a very successful fragrance company and you know, have more than one band, and also a necklace that does the same thing, and possibly earrings that also do it as well,” Skinner said. 

Garlington also shared her vision for the future. 

“So, my long term vision is to have a successful website running that is my own, and to start getting creators on there selling theirs, and to have a following for just my shop and not to just get sales from Etsy and stuff like that,” Garlington said. 

Toledo shared that she is hoping to reach a high level of production for her business. 

“Probably to go to a level where I can be printing out at least 250 stickers a day,” Toledo said. 

Readers can find Toledo’s business online on the website They can also find Skinner’s business on Instagram @_scentsor_. 

Garlington shared different places to find her jewelry business. 

Garlington said, “I’m working on building a website right now that’s called It’s not up and running yet, but eventually it will be. I have an email and phone number that you can contact me with that I have on a business card which I can give you, and I’m also working on building a pinterest and instagram, but right now the only place that I have anything up is my depop, which is @simply_charming.”