Rocklin High grad earns Young Entrepreneur scholarship

Niki Silveria and friends start business selling anime-themed items
By: Amanda Calzada, Placer Herald Correspondent
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When a tsunami struck Japan in 2011, recent Rocklin High graduate Niki Silveria was struck with an idea. “It was a spur-of-the-moment decision,” smiled Silveria, whose efforts to start her own business earned her one of the ten Young Entrepreneur scholarships given to California high school seniors each year. For more than nine years, the National Federation of Independent Business, California, has worked to promote entrepreneurship and small business as a career path for students. “We achieve our mission primarily through our annual scholarship program recognizing graduating high school seniors who have started their own business,” said Michelle Orrock, spokesperson for National Federation of Independent Business, California. Silveria was honored by the federation at a luncheon held in July. The 2012 Rocklin grad and her three 18-year-old friends — Caroline Kilby, Michaela Blagg, and Tabatha Sartain — decided to set up a booth showcasing artwork after the creators of Sacanime announced plans for a small convention to raise funds for the American Red Cross’ disaster relief fund in Japan. “We had all visited and explored several anime-related conventions in the past and the artist owned booths located there had always provided a source of enjoyment and curiosity,” Silvera explained. “While we had not yet seriously considered taking the time to start our own ventures, we had all contrived several ideas that could be put to use.” After paying for the booth and admission to the convention, the friends decided to donate one-half of their profits to the relief effort. The business, Majestic Quartet, honors the four entrepreneurs who were surprised by the amount of hard work invested and the amount of enjoyment received. Each one manages a different aspect of the business — finances, inventory, transportation and artistic creation. Silveria, who heads up the Majestic Quartet, also crochets items to sell. “She certainly has found her niche,” said Michelle Orrock, spokesperson for National Federation of Independent Business, California. Scarves, key chains, and bookmarks are the primary items the Majestic Quartet have offered at the four anime conventions since that first run. All products have anime themes and characters — both classic and contemporary. As consumers, the artists find the booths have become a source of “enjoyment and curiosity.” “It’s a bit different; it’s so versatile,” said Silveria. “The style of art can be used for children’s shows or dramas. I think it’s interesting that someone can convey so many different types of emotions and reach different audiences with the same style of art.” Drawing, textile arts, and crocheting have always interested the 2012 Rocklin High graduate. She derives inspiration from nature – using flower and leaf patterns in her crocheted items. Silveria joined the Textile Arts Club at Rocklin High around the time the other members of the Majestic Quartet introduced her to anime. “It’s a lot deeper than the usual television series,” she said. “There’s a lot more styles than you think would exist,” she said. And the variety of styles in the artwork poses the most challenging aspect of the business – selecting a few ideas from a plethora of possibilities. The most rewarding aspect is working with the close-knit members of Majestic Quartet, who meet once or twice a week to put together ideas. Although Silveria will begin working on a computer science degree at the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall, her entrepreneurial endeavors will not cease. “It gives us hope for the future of our state when we meet students like Niki,” said Orrock. Inventory of the Majestic Quartet can be viewed at majestic-quartet.deviantart. com