Unexpected inspiration prompts student to take chance as an entrepreneur


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A ray of sunshine appearing on a sidewalk on an overcast day helped spark a business idea and created a new mindset for a Penn State student.

Chloe Sobel, a senior majoring in psychology, started a business called Stay in the Light a year ago when she witnessed the light on the sidewalk.

“I was able to take in my surroundings and had a moment of appreciation,” said Sobel, who walked towards the light to keep warm on a cool day.

The graphic for her inaugural clothing line is inspired by that moment. A triangle represents the sidewalk, and the font is what Sobel saw on a nearby street sign. The sweatshirt and tote bag colors posted on their website are gender neutral.

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Sobel’s mother, Allison Sobel, said her Chloe always tried to include everyone in her life. In preschool, her teachers saw her playing with a boy when no one else did. This give-and-share approach seems to define Chloe Sobel.

“Every drop has an intention behind it. There’s no point in climbing that ladder if you can’t give back,” Sobel said.

While running her start-up company, she developed an approach and mindset that others are noticing.

“She has always been curious about life and bigger things. She believes in connecting with purpose and unveiling other people’s purpose in life,” said Allison Sobel.

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A portion of Sobel’s sales proceeds go to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). With people suffering in Ukraine and around the world, she likes to do something to help.

Sobel, a resident of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, runs her own business, including her social media efforts. She created the graphic on Adobe Spark because Penn State offers this software for free for students. A family member in Los Angeles prints their clothing and merchandise.

Sobel also leveraged other Penn State resources, like the Happy LaunchBox, to aid in her efforts. She happened to go to the LaunchBox to do homework and being in the building led to a tour and business consultation. In addition, the entrepreneurial atmosphere helped.

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“It was about being with people who inspire me and I found that at LaunchBox. I absorbed her confidence and entrepreneurial skills,” said Sobel.

All of this support helped her believe that her business could become a reality. And that influenced her mother. “She’s my greatest teacher on this planet,” Allision Sobel said.

Chloe Sobel is a member of the Creative Writing Club, LifeLink and Kappa Delta Fraternity. She also recently started an internship at a publishing and consulting company.

“I’m proud of myself and how my business became a reality is a dream come true,” said Sobel.



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