Keara Beal, who attended Ella Flagg Young in Austin. | Michael Romain

Keara Beal, 33, recently opened her own design store in west suburban Maywood. The Austin native, who attended Ella Flagg Young, 1434 N. Parkside in Austin, recalled how the school helped prepare her for entrepreneurship. 

On her new business 

“I do customized t-shirts, I bling out shoes, anything that you bring in here asking me to customize.” 

Beal said in addition to customizing, she sells her own items and is open to allowing other business owners the space to sell their products in her store. 

“They pay me a monthly rate and they can have a shelf,” she said. “We’ll have a designer here, another designer here, another designer here. So, it’s not just about me.” 

On her formative training that prepared her to work for herself

 In eighth grade I was in an entrepreneurship program and I worked at Soldier Field. IL had a job then, as well. And they were doing a popup entrepreneurship program, where we had to sell stuff. 

I go to high school [she had by then transferred to Proviso East in Maywood] and I was. In a program my junior and senior year that taught me how to own my own business. I’ve always known I wanted to own my own business. I knew this was my calling. I just had to trust myself and put myself out there. 

For more information on Beal’s store, Krafty Keys, call (708) 382-1352, email or visit the Facebook page: