Business

Broadwater teen a bona fide entrepreneur

SAVVY STUDENT: Tahlia-Jae Cartwright is just 14 and already has a profitable business selling designs on iPhone cases.
SAVVY STUDENT: Tahlia-Jae Cartwright is just 14 and already has a profitable business selling designs on iPhone cases. Hamish Broome

ARMED with an iPad, an Instagram account, and a good idea, 14-year-old Tahlia-Jae Cartwright is already a bona fide entrepreneur.

A little over a year ago the Broadwater teen had a simple idea which, with a bit of business savvy, she has transformed into a profit-making business better than your average part-time job.

Bored with the background images available for her iPad, she created designs and uploaded them on the booming image-based social media site Instagram.

The simple designs, which use repeating motifs such as pieces of fruit, pink donuts, and smiling aliens, became incredibly popular.

In just a few months, her Instagram account amassed about 200,000 followers.

Then came the enterprising twist - from her own followers came the idea to print the designs on iPhone cases, and the business was born.

"Tahlia sourced them all and jumped online and found out where to get them made," dad Marc said.

It's an idea which appears to have captured the picky young teen market.

Tahlia-Jae has sold hundreds of cases on her website, backgroundstuff.net, and they're going all over the world for just $12 each plus postage.

Instagram serves as the perfect market research site with her followers telling her which new design they like the most via a simple poll.

"I'll ask them and whatever ones they like the most I'll make," she said.

Because Tahlia-Jae gives away the designs online as background images, her customers can have matching cases.

The covers are sent all over the world, including South America, Europe and the Middle East.

Marc joked: "In the same orders, she's filling out Egypt, the UK, Israel and ... Wollongbar."

The business website began in September, although her Instagram account had been going for about a year before that.

One side benefit is Tahlia-Jae has attracted the attention of other businesses wanting to sponsor her to give their products a "shout out", and she's being inundated with products in the mail for free.

Almost every day she's receiving items including chocolates, sunglasses, clothing, and candles.

She doesn't have a Facebook or Twitter account.

Tahlia hoped to find a marketing mentor to help expand her business, and planned to apply her images to a range of other products next year.

Mum Susan said: "She's done this all on her own."

"Her choice was to get a job at McDonalds or the BP... and she chose this," she said.

Topics:  business instagram



Anzac Cup kicks off the new season for soccer

READY TO GO: Greg McMahon of Tursa and Richmond Rovers coach Todd Jones with the Anzac Cup men's premier trophy this week. The competition will kick off tonight.

THE Anzac Cup soccer competition is in it's 68th year

Senator urges residents to fight for more govt jobs

Northern Star Photographer Jay Cronan flys from Lismore to Lennox, then to head south along the coast in the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter to take aerial photographs of the Northern Rivers. Richmond River, Ballina Bar Emigrant Creek Pacific High way Teven Interchange. Photo Jay Cronan / The Northern Star

Richmond electorate can lobby for relocation of Commonwealth agency

Police block business for on-line drug supplier

Drugs that were to be sold online.

Man arrested after investigations into internet drug business

Local Partners

Orientation gets an A from Sydney students

AFTER just four days of living in Lismore, mates Flynn Colby and Ryan Jones are having the time of their young lives.


Anzac Cup kicks off the new season for soccer

READY TO GO: Greg McMahon of Tursa and Richmond Rovers coach Todd Jones with the Anzac Cup men's premier trophy this week. The competition will kick off tonight.

THE Anzac Cup soccer competition is in it's 68th year

Netball champion to have breakfast in Lismore

Liz Ellis will be in Lismore for a breakfast event.

Business owners are invited tobreakfast event with Liz Ellis

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

BINDI Irwin has paid tribute to her late dad, Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, on what would have been his 55th birthday.

Reality TV show gives Maryborough a boost

*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9.15pm Monday January 30* Sean Hollands and Susan Rawlings pictured after their wedding on the TV series Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

Maryborough looks good on reality TV show.

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

LOVERS: Grant and Chris have been together for more than three years, and Chris' parents refuse to acknowledge their son's fiance.

Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Selling Houses renovate for Salvos in 100th episode

Charlie Albone, Andrew Winter and Shaynna Blaze return for season 10 of Selling Houses Australia. Supplied by Foxtel.

Selling Houses launch 10th season in volatile property market

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!