The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Fresh faces of the American Dream

By Ashley Subphamitra/reporter

A model shows off Firewheel Clothing created by entrepreneur Jon Koehling, who started the line in 2011. Firewheel also endorses bands from across the United States. Koehling says he enjoys being the one responsible for his success.  Photo by Ashley Subphamitra/The Collegian
A model shows off Firewheel Clothing created by entrepreneur Jon Koehling, who started the line in 2011. Firewheel also endorses bands from across the United States. Koehling says he enjoys being the one responsible for his success. Photo by Ashley Subphamitra/The Collegian

The American Dream is to prosper and achieve goals through hard work. From big businesses to a local coffee shop, all share one common thing — an entrepreneur owns them.

But entrepreneurs aren’t just big figureheads in business. They are friends, colleagues and classmates.

TCC student Andy Katzianis was born into a family of entrepreneurs who paved the path of running a business. The Katzianis family owns and operates Two Brothers Bistro, a gourmet Greek bistro in Fort Worth.

“We have owned the bistro for three years and previously owned The Parthenon, our other restaurant downtown for 11 years,” he said. “To say the least, we’ve been in the restaurant business for a while.”

Operating a business with multiple employees has its own difficulties, Katzianis said.

“It’s difficult to manage a restaurant because you gain a lot of responsibility and have to make sure everyone communicates in order for the correct orders to be given to the customers,” he said. “It gets pretty stressful.”

Ryan Pollack
Ryan Pollack Photo by Ashley Subphamitra/The Collegian

Ryan Pollack created his business with a simple idea: to capture the world around him. With just a camera in hand and a drive to achieve his goal, he created Ryan Pollack Photography at the age of 19. Five years later, he has more than 1,000 fans and huge local support in the music industry as a concert photographer.

“I wanted to get paid for doing something that I am passionate about,” he said. “No one tells me what I can and can’t wear. And, honestly, the creative freedom and the amazing people I get to meet and work with are the best things that come with the job.”

Jon Koehling
Jon Koehling Photo by Ashley Subphamitra/The Collegian

Like Pollack, Jon Koehling also had a dream to be his own boss by starting his own clothing brand. Koehling started Firewheel Clothing in 2011 and has since gained many fans and supporters of his clothing. His brand, which also endorses bands around the nation, is independently owned and operated by himself.

“It’s great being able to make your own rules and not have to worry about any employees or anyone making errors other than yourself,” he said. “Being a business owner really makes you appreciate how much freedom you have.”

Between the stress, blood, sweat and tears, the American Dream is not an easy one to achieve. But these young entrepreneurs are continuing to create a name for themselves, their families or their industries.

Pollack offered advice to new business owners.

“Stick with it,” he said. “No matter how hard it gets, don’t give up. In the end, it is worth it.”

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