This is part of a series that highlights young entrepreneurs, under 30 years of age, in Bourbon County. If you would like to nominate a young entrepreneur, submit to [email protected] the name and email/phone number of the person, along with why you are nominating them and your name.
Taylor Qualls, 22, is the owner of her own business, Hazel Bee Ink.
” I create customized gifts and hand-lettered products,” Qualls said. “I have also created wedding invitations, signs, and decor. I have made a little bit of everything. I mostly do calligraphy, but I also make custom dip mugs and coasters, pet portraits, home illustrations, and wall signs. I have also made wedding invitations and I address envelopes! “
Qualls is currently attending Pittsburg State University and will complete her bachelor of music education with an emphasis in vocal music in December 2020. She and her husband are living in Pittsburg. She is from Fort Scott and graduated with an associate of arts from Fort Scott Community College in 2016.
“I have always been one of those people who doodled in their notebooks,” Qualls said. ” During the summer, I would change my handwriting, and then practice it over and over again until it became muscle memory just because I thought it was fun.”
Her first job using her penchant for drawing was for a friend.
“My first hand-lettering job was for a friend, Kristian Brennon’s, wedding,” she said. “After that, I got married and ended up making all of the signs, wedding party gifts, bouquets, programs, and centerpieces for my own wedding.”
“I honestly didn’t plan on pursuing it until my husband, family, and friends began encouraging me to,” Qualls said.
In January 2019, another young entrepreneur, Delynn Abati. asked her to make a cake topper for a customer of hers. She is a local Fort Scott baker.
“Then she asked me to make a couple more,” she said. ” One day, she asked me if I had a business name so that she could tag my page in it. That’s when I finally decided to go for it.”
Eight months later, the business has grown “beyond my wildest expectations,” she said.
“I used to dream about having my own business one day, and now it’s a reality. I am so thankful for all of the support and encouragement I have received from my people on this wild journey of mine. I would list them out, but there really are so many important people that helped me create Hazel Bee Ink.”
Qualls has no employees, “but my husband, friends, and family have helped me out tremendously!”
Qualls is expanding her business to retail.
“I recently started selling products at a store in Pittsburg named Sonder & Co. and it has been such a blast,” she said. ” If you haven’t heard of them, I would highly recommend looking them up. I have started looking into opening an Etsy store and I will hopefully be setting up booths at some craft shows and festivals in 2020!”
Her family consists of her husband, Levi Qualls and their pup, Hazel.
Her extended family include her parents-Travis and Tina Schilling,
grandparents-Dale and Donna Schilling, Ed and Ladonna Cox and her in-laws, Rex and Michelle Qualls.
Qualls was recommended by Kasey Eaton.
“She did a cake topper for my daughters graduation cake,” said Eaton. “She is very talented and artistic.”