Thursday, October 30, 2014

Central Heights class strings together business success

By DYLAN LYSEN, Herald Staff Writer | 1/27/2014

RICHMOND — Lori Hower gave her class a goal based in capitalism: Make money, and make it fast.

Although Central Heights Middle School’s business essentials class meets for only nine weeks, eighth-grade students Jacob Dunnivan, Meg Hermreck, Josh Jamison and Noah Wadewitz have been able to reap the benefits of their endeavor in less than a third of that time, Hower said.

RICHMOND — Lori Hower gave her class a goal based in capitalism: Make money, and make it fast.

Although Central Heights Middle School’s business essentials class meets for only nine weeks, eighth-grade students Jacob Dunnivan, Meg Hermreck, Josh Jamison and Noah Wadewitz have been able to reap the benefits of their endeavor in less than a third of that time, Hower said.

After selecting a product, finding investors, advertising throughout the school, and setting up shop outside of Central Heights High School basketball games, the well-oiled machine now known as Central Heights Custom Bracelets started selling its handmade accessories at an increasingly high rate.

The student company now is faced with backorders.

“We sat out at the basketball game and made more than $100 in just a few hours,” Jamison said.

The investors — who all happen to be teachers and parents trying to help students learn by funding their endeavors — likely are happy. They’ll make their money back and then some, Hower said, because the students are learning the process of investment dividends.

“It went pretty well,” Jamison said. “We made all the money back in just a few days.”

Along with the funding help from private investors, the material the students used for the bracelets came from Take It Outside, 114 S. Main St., Ottawa. The students purchased the materials at a discounted rate, because Steve Geiss, Take It Outside owner, wanted to help the students start learning business practices.

“I thought it was a good thing they try to do that with the kids,” Geiss said. “More kids like that need to start learning business skills. I was just proud to see that the teacher was taking the opportunity to teach them. I just wanted to help out and be a part of it.”

The students designed and manufactured Paracord bracelets by using Paracord thread and an apparatus that helps them weave and tie the threads into a tight, comfortable bracelet. The materials used for the bracelets have the strength for survival necessities and a trendy style.

“So if you got lost in the desert or the woods,” Wadewitz said, “and you don’t have anything with you, you can take one of these bracelets apart for rope and use it.”

But the bracelets’ useful nature doesn’t stop there. The students also gave the option for customers to buy bracelets with pink thread, which would allow them to donate $1 of the proceeds to a Central Heights teacher with breast cancer.

Though the students already have covered the initial investments in their company — making nearly $300 in 10 days, Hower said, they will continue to run the company for the rest of the course, while also working on other small projects. At the end of the nine-week class, the students will have the option to keep operating the business.

“We weren’t planning on it being this fun. We were expecting writing and that kind of stuff,” Jamison said. “This is actually fun work.”

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