A Douglass Student Finds Success as a Businesswoman
While Natalie Shultis DRC‘21 may not be majoring in entrepreneurship or finance, she’s turning her creativity and love for technology into her own small business.
Shultis is a mechanical engineering and French double major and a member of The Reilly Douglass Engineering Living-Learning Community. Throughout her academic and professional career, Shultis has had both externship and internship positions in the Tactical Behavior Research Laboratory at Picatinny Arsenal. While there, she lent her talents to research involving innovation in the army. In addition to her ambition to succeed in the engineering industry, Shultis also has entrepreneurial pursuits. Her childhood love for making beaded necklaces has evolved into a fully functioning business in which she designs, produces, markets, and sells her own laser cut jewelry—an operation that requires a well-rounded business mind.
As a twenty-first century entrepreneur, Shultis primarily runs her business through online market places. To sell artistic products like handcrafted jewelry, she turns to Etsy. She also capitalizes on the unique reach of social media, and advertises her products to targeted audiences.
“I market my jewelry towards people with like-minded opinions on social and political issues such as women's rights or immigration,” Shultis said, “I donate 100% of the profits to corresponding organizations and charities.”
For Shultis, creating jewelry is the perfect combination of her interests.
“I love laser cutting jewelry because it is a form of self-expression, allowing me to connect my passion for social justice and politics to technology and machinery,” she said.
Douglass has provided the intellectual and social environment in which Shultis’s business thrives. In part, she attributes her success to the network of role models she has access to through the College. Additionally, Shultis’s drive for social justice, which is an integral part of her business plan, arose from her Douglass education on social awareness.
“Douglass is home to so many driven students and alumnae; hearing the stories of other women during my time here has inspired me to take control of my future and pursue what I am passionate about,” said Shultis, “I am thankful to belong to a community of strong, supportive women, but realize that many groups of people do not have that support system in their community or government. Douglass always demonstrates that giving back is key, and I've adopted that same theme in my business.”
Shultis encourages all incoming students to take advantage of the variety of opportunities Douglass has to offer.
“If you're interested in making something—go for it, no matter what your major is!”
Ultimately, Shultis’s work embodies Douglass’s core ideals.
“I joined Douglass to break glass ceilings and support other women as they do the same,” Shultis said.
By making the most of her creativity and becoming a campus leader in entrepreneurship, Shultis is doing just that.
Shultis’s embrace of the juncture between business, jewelry making, technology, and social justice is not the only place where her interests intersect. In fact, she seems to have a knack for combining disciplines, that to many, may seem to be polar opposites. After graduation, Shultis will pursue a career that combines her two majors—French and engineering. She hopes to use the unique intersection of her skills to work abroad or for a defense firm. As her success here at the College and out in the working world proves, Shultis’s intellectual open mindedness and ability to master multiple practical skills will make her a valuable asset to her future employers.