Wayzata High School Student Turns Entrepreneur
Annabelle Winkel is an industrious and imaginative young entrepreneur.
“I love like being creative and taking things and making things out of anything,” Winkel said.
The real genesis for Annabelle’s entrepreneurial endeavors began last year. Anna started ninth grade at Wayzata High School and joined DECA. It’s a club designed to encourage and promote young entrepreneurs and leaders in business.
“So it was first going to DECA and like, I love it so much,” remembers Winkel. “How can I just use what I learned in my own life? And so then it just went hand in hand.”
Upcycling and Recycling
During the summer and the pandemic, Anna found herself with time on her hands. But those hands didn’t remain idle.
“I love being busy. And that’s what I totally lacked over quarantine. So it’s like creativity and being busy,” said Winkel.
Her creativity led to her making bags out of men’s ties she reuses. And she makes the pendants from designer buttons she takes from garments she finds second-hand.
“So then we’ll find like new buttons and sew those back on. And then donate it to homeless shelters or things like that,” said Winkel.
Annabelle created an Etsy site and brand with a catchy name.
“So that’s where we got Ellebanna …Annabelle backwards. My dad thought of that one,” said Winkel.
She made a how-to video last fall when she entered the Plymouth Arts Fair.
“Starting off with making the tie bags it all begins with choosing three to four ties that work well together,” said Winkel in a how-to video.
This helped in marketing and exposure. Throughout this, Anna has become a pretty good seamstress. Remarkably, when she started she didn’t even know how to sew.
“I’ve gotten better. I’ve gotten better. The lines are straighter,” laughed Winkel.
Between the Plymouth Arts Fair, her Etsy site, and a boutique where her bags are for sale in Anoka, sales have been brisk.
“Actually during the Texas snowstorm we had a ton of sales then, because people were online shopping. And then New York, Florida, just kind of all over the place,” said Winkel. “It’s not just about the product you are selling. It’s about the experience.”
Winkel is finishing up her sophomore year at Wayzata High School.