Toussaint Pegues is a teenage entrepreneur and plays volleyball year-round. But he really wants to go to college and study medicine.
Such wide-ranging ambition is common among teenagers, but the St. Mark’s senior is able to successfully balance it all.
On the court, Pegues was an all-conference selection for the Lions last season after shifting from middle blocker to opposite. In July, he competed at the elite USA Volleyball High Performance Championships in Florida.
“Out of the middle I was mostly a defensive player,” said Pegues, who stands 6 feet, 3 inches. “It’s a lot easier to get me involved now.”
The Preston Hollow resident chose volleyball in middle school after participating in baseball and basketball when he was younger. While that’s a way to get his competitive juices flowing, Dandelion Candles provides a quieter creative outlet.
That’s the name of the online company Pegues launched more than a year ago to sell his handmade arts and crafts, which range from ceramics to candles to a variety of crocheted items.
During his freshman year, Pegues needed a case for his videogame system. So instead of buying a generic case at the store, he made one out of yarn, after learning crochet from his mother.
“It pretty much went from there,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed making things.”
Pegues has crocheted everything from calculator cases to dog toys to hats and scarves. As a sophomore, he took a ceramics class at school and found a new passion. The following year, he started making candles.
He showcases most of his items on social media and sells them primarily to classmates or family members. He’s also made a few sales via Etsy.
“I’ve probably sold at least one of everything I’ve made to one of my classmates,” said Pegues, who also is on the Quiz Bowl team at St. Mark’s and writes for the school’s scientific magazine. “Most of my classmates set my prices.”
A year ago, Pegues started a St. Mark’s chapter of Spreading the Warmth, a Dallas-based charity to which he’s donated about 20 of his scarves. Others at the school have gotten involved, too.
For now, however, Pegues is mostly focused on volleyball season, where he hopes the Lions can improve upon third-place SPC finishes in each of the past two years. The conference tournament will take place Nov. 9–11 in Fort Worth.