Something from Nothing

Like many aspiring entrepreneurs, Ken Jones (IAA 96-98) and Ron Morris faced a daunting challenge: starting a business with limited resources, zero savings and no investors. Yet, in less than a decade, the pair have transformed a $500 loan from Ken’s parents – along with countless hours of work – into a thriving business called Mercantile Home in the heart of Easton, Pennsylvania.

How did they do it? Their creativity – an ability to make something from almost nothing – proved to be their most valuable asset. It was a skill that Ken developed in high school as a visual arts student at Interlochen Arts Academy. Their business, Mercantile Home, has become a center of creative life in Easton, serving as a store, a studio, a classroom and even a music venue.

“My adult personal and business life is very much a direct outgrowth from my experiences while at Interlochen. There's not a day that goes by that Interlochen doesn't enter into my thoughts.

Recently their business was featured on the MSNBC program “Your Business.” Check out the video below to see how one Interlochen alumnus has channeled his creative energies to launch a successful business and spark creativity in his own community.