We recently met an amazing cheerleader named Andrea. She is 15 years old and does competitive cheer in Las Vegas. But what stands out to us, is the fact that not only is she in school and doing competitive cheerleading, but she runs a business as well. Her business name is Andrea's Cheer Bowtique. She has not only been a pleasure to get to know, but her cheer bows are very high quality and you won't find a better person making them. Below is an interview we recently had with Andrea. You can find her bows online at http://www.andreascheerbowtique.com/. Make sure to visit our Local Deals page for a coupon as well!
1. How did you come up with the idea to start making bows?
About a year and a half ago, when I was 14, I started making ribbon bows for myself. After buying a few fancy ones and paying a lot for them my mom said I needed to figure out how to make my own so we started experimenting and eventually figured it out. My friends started buying them and asking for custom bows in different colors with their names and logos, so I did more research and figured out what I needed to make the bows better. It was nice having my own money, a little extra cash spend on what I wanted. Since my friends were constantly placing orders, my mom told me I needed to start marketing my bows since there seemed to be a demand for them. It was never my intent to have a full blown cheer bow business when I started out, but with my mom’s constant encouragement and support, I eventually made a FaceBook page, then an Instagram account and finally a website that is personalized to me and my bows and now I sell to people all over the world.
2. What all items/products do you offer on your website?
Every kind of cheer bow you can think of. I have cheer sayings, names, team logos and names, holiday bows, awareness bows, competition bows, national bows, autograph bows that you can write on, just about anything my customers dream up. I also sell bow key chains to hook on your back pack. The key chain bows are on 1 1/2" ribbon or 2 1/4" ribbon. All the cheer bows are on 3" ribbon, although I had a gym in Canada that placed a large order and some of the bows were on 4" ribbon.
3. What is the most rewarding aspect to running your own business?
There's a few things that give me a great deal of gratification, but first I have to say that I would never have been able to do any of this without my mom’s love, support and encouragement. She’s not only taught me a lot about running a business, she’s also sacrificed a lot of her time and made this all possible for me to benefit from doing something I love – being creative and making works of art. I love the independence of having my own money and bank account and being able to afford all of my cheer and travel for me and my mom. I'm also starting to save for a car and college. Also, the satisfaction of knowing that I've created something unique that people like and want is a great feeling, but most of all I'm amazed at the fact that so many girls, young and even older than me and even parents, look up to me and write me to tell me how much I inspire them because of all I do and the fact that I'm living my dream.
4. I read on your website, you recently moved to Las Vegas for cheer. How has that transition been and tell us more about your team.
When your life as you know it changes dramatically and you have to start all over again, it’s pretty darn scary. I left the dream home my parents built and I grew up in, and all my friends so I could fulfill my dream of being on a well-known level 5 All Star cheer team. It was a lot of pressure having to start all over with my life but I kept telling myself, I could do it, and being on the California All Stars Aces team was what I wanted to do, so I knew it would all be worth it. My new high school is a lot of fun and I've made some good friends. The teachers I had were great, I managed to keep a 3.8 GPA and some of my teachers wanted to know all about my cheer comps when I was gone from school competing. The year has gone by so fast. I still keep in touch with all my friends from California and a few come to visit and are coming this summer, so I’m excited about seeing them. My cheer team was amazing. There were only a handful of returners on the team last year and the rest of us were all new so we quickly became good friends. We all love each other and care about each other and that really makes all the stress and pressure of feeling scared a lot easier to deal with. I couldn't ask for a better team and can’t wait for this year’s season to begin.
5. How did you get started in cheerleading?
I had been in gymnastics since I was 4. When I was 9, we were at a gym in Fresno, California, where I took gymnastics lessons. One day the coach for the All Star Cheer team told my mom they needed me on their team. We didn't know anything about All Star cheer, but I was on my 4th grade school cheer team and really liked it so my mom signed me up. I started on a level 2 team and had a lot of fun that year and liked going to competitions. I continued doing school cheer as well as All Star Cheer. Every year I acquired new skills and moved up a level and worked really hard and it all paid off since I'm living my dream of being on the California All Stars level 5 team.
6. What do you enjoy the most when competing at cheer competitions?
I can’t wait to get on the mat and shine. Seeing all the people and performing to my best ability is an amazing feeling I just can't describe. Also, I really enjoy getting to meet the people I talk to on-line who are now friends and meeting some of my customers. Of course exploring new places and shopping afterwards is always fun too.
7. What is your favorite memory from cheerleading?
Experiencing Worlds was unbelievable. Taking the floor knowing that the entire world was watching or would be watching was my dream come true. Also, walking the red carpet at the Champions League and going to the movie theater and seeing my team in a movie is something I’ll never forget.
8. Outside of cheer, what are your favorite things to do in your free-time?
Now that's a funny question considering 11 1/2 months out of the year my life revolves around cheer and any extra time I have I’m usually working on bow orders! But I would have to say I love hanging out with my friends and shopping and occasionally I even get to go hiking in the mountains at Red Rock.
9. Whats your favorite thing about Las Vegas?
Going to concerts. Everyone come here. Hanging out at the strip when my friends come to town, shopping at the Fashion Mall and all the great outlets.
10. That leads us to favorites:
Movie? All my friends know this one. I love the Polar Express. I know it all by heart, I’ve seen it so many times!
TV Show? Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl and Teen Wolf
Music? Alternative - Austin Mahone and 1Direction are my idols
Food? I eat just about everything. My mom is pretty amazing cook - I love all her food, especially pasta.
Sports Teams? Giants and 49ers! I’m a Cali girl.
11. Going to school, having a business and doing competitive cheerleading, how do you find time for it all?
Being organized is the key, but I’m not very good at that so my mom really has to stay on top of me. I have a schedule that lays everything out so I know what needs to be done, where I need to be and when.
12. What are you plans/goals for the future?
This year, my goal is to win a Worlds ring, so time will tell if that becomes a reality. I’ll continue making bows and will probably cheer until I graduate from high school in two years, if my body isn’t broken by then. I would love to travel the world. College depends on who offers me a scholarship. I plan on getting an MBA and maybe work in hospitality or marketing and hope to spend a semester or two in Europe.
Thank you Andrea for taking time to interview with us. We really love working with you and have really enjoyed getting to know you!
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