The novel coronavirus left us to the confines of our homes this past summer, and with hours and hours of spare time, some students seized the opportunity to start new creative projects. It seems as if one good thing came out of quarantine after all.
Meet Alex Tran and Kayla Tran, Fountain Valley High School sophomores and best friends, who picked up an assortment of paints and brushes during their summer quarantine to start A&K Paints, one of FVHS’ newly established student businesses.
“A&K Paints is short for Alex and Kay Paints, and we paint custom clothing, accessories and canvas paintings,” Alex said. “Basically, you can place an order with us through Instagram direct messages or in our Google Form and you describe what you want us to paint.”
Alex started the business in early August alone, selling painted clothing and accessories before asking her friend Kayla two weeks later to partner up with her to sell canvases.
“I wanted to start this business because it was always something I was passionate about. I love interacting with others and something that I picked up over quarantine was painting. Lots of friends and family saw my work and encouraged me to start selling pieces,” Alex said. “As for Kayla, she enjoys painting as a hobby and painting together is fun.”
Only two months after the opening of their business, A&K Paints has received several orders and numerous compliments and satisfaction for their work.
“The second Alex posted her insane Killua jeans, it automatically caught my attention and I wanted to get a pair of my own jeans customized for myself,” junior Ethan Exequiel, a customer of A&K Paints, said. “After it was finished, I received the pair and everything about it was actually so good. She went all out with it and even the packaging was nice so you really know that this business is important to them.”
Another customer, sophomore Brandon Vo, said that his expectations were “definitely met,” when he received his piece, an Itachi/Akatsuki themed backpack, from A&K Paints.
“They did everything that we [had] discussed and I was very happy with my product,” Vo said. “I use it every time I go out.”
Knowing that they made their customers happy is the main reason Alex and Kayla are continuing their business.
Of course, running any business is always a difficult endeavor, especially for two high school students who are juggling honors classes and other extracurriculars. Despite the difficulties, Alex and Kayla have found a way to balance everything.
“Sometimes, school can get in the way with our business, but we find time to manage both,” Alex said. “We also stay in contact with our customers throughout the process to let them know how it’s going and most of the time, they’re super understanding that we have other priorities too.”
Alex and Kayla aren’t looking to extend A&K Paints far into the future, especially since running a business is a huge commitment. As of now, they are happy with the way things have been going and are taking as many orders as they possibly can every week.
“We want to thank everyone who has supported our business,” Alex and Kayla said. “We’re super grateful we can continue making the pieces that you love!”
Here’s how you can purchase one of their beautifully custom hand-painted pieces:
For clothing and accessories, you can contact A&K Paints through direct messages on their Instagram @alyxnkaypaints. You have the choice of sending them a selected item or they can purchase it for you for an additional fee. A&K Paints will then reach out to you later on for details of your piece, like design and cost.
For canvas paintings, there is a selection of three sizes: small, medium and large. Prices can be found on their Instagram highlights.