Ella Ferguson

Starting a business and showing kindness

At the onset of the pandemic, the world was staying home and slowing down, but Ella Rose Ferguson was busy creating a global business at the age of 15.

Her creation has become a hand-drawn planner-journal hybrid she calls the “plournal.” Approximately a year and a half later, Ferguson’s plournal has sold hundreds of copies in countries all around the world, including Canada, Vietnam, China and Japan.

“It’s so cool writing international [on the address], and going to the post office and saying, ‘Can I have a customs form?’” Ferguson says.

The plournal started with a Christmas gift: a bullet journal and a new set of pens. Christmas night, Ferguson spent hours filling up eight pages of her journal. When Ferguson’s mother saw the pages, she suggested Ferguson turn it into a business; once the lockdown began in March 2020, the dream became reality.

Ferguson gives a lot of credit to her mother, Raelenna Ferguson, for helping with the business side of the plournal. They sent sample pages to a publishing company, and when the company said they were interested, Ferguson could not believe it.

“[At the time, I thought] ‘What is going on?! I’m 15. This is crazy,’” Ferguson says.

The pair scheduled meetings with the publishing company while Ferguson spent hours in her parents’ office designing pages. Every page was hand-drawn, so if one small detail was messed up, Ferguson had to redo the entire page. It took five months for Ferguson to complete the plournal and release it under her business, Ella Rose Originals.

The 12-month plournal includes a daily planner, monthly mood tracker, and pages for summer bucket lists, reading goals, and more. Each month is decorated in a different design, ranging from cow patterns to outer space. Ferguson currently sells the plournal on the e-commerce website Etsy, but in the past, she’s set up pop-up shops in the local boutiques Atelier and Wish.

Not only is Ferguson busy running her business, she’s also a junior at Cape Central High School.

“I love my school so much,” Ferguson says. “I want to be involved and make everyone feel known as much as possible.”

Involved is an understatement, as Ferguson’s list of activities includes, but is not limited to, Student Senate, FBLA, FCCLA, swim team and serving as editor of Cape Central’s school newspaper, “The Tiger News.” Ferguson also volunteers frequently at her church, LaCroix.

Ferguson says she is constantly texting Cape Central’s principal throughout the day as she notices ways to improve her school. According to Ferguson, getting involved and building strong relationships with faculty and administration is one of the best ways to change the school environment. Ferguson lives by the notion showing kindness can change anything.

“The smallest things for someone you don’t know can change so much,” Ferguson says. “Meeting people and being nice, that just is a ripple effect on everyone else, and it just changes everything.”

After she graduates from high school in 2023, Ferguson plans to become a lawyer. She has a passion for social justice, looks up to former Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and lives by her quote, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” Ferguson wants to be an advocate for women and minorities, and she’s specifically interested in pursuing immigrant work.

“[I want people to see] that I’m fighting for people's rights, and they’re like, ‘If I had a problem, I’d want her.’” Ferguson says. “[I want to be] helping change the world and making it a better place for everybody.”

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