Local program teaches kids business leadership skills
By: Allison Chorney
| Posted: Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 10:33 am
For the last six months Alicia Laurin, owner of Cre8ive Ways in Yankee Valley Crossing shopping centre, has taught kids about the value of an idea in her innovative Entrepreneur Kids class at the store.
The children in the class pick what they are going to make and sell, then they discuss whether or not it is something that can be marketed to a wide group of people, they research what the cost is to make the item and determine what is a reasonable price they can sell it for.
“They’re involved in every step,” Laurin said of the kids’ involvement.
At the last class, which wrapped up with a sale of the products the kids made at Cre8ive Ways on March 1, the little entrepreneurs had made key chains and magnets, baking goods in a jar, mugs and mini marshmallow roasting kits.
The kids call suppliers to research how much the item they plan to make will cost. Once the cost of supplies is known, Laurin works with the kids to decide how many items to make and what price to charge for the product. She then uses her Facebook page to poll followers to determine if the pricing for the item is something they would pay.
She said by getting the kids involved in every step, they are more interested in the outcome.
Laurin also teaches the kids about taking out and repaying a loan and loans them the money they need to cover the costs of supplies to make the item and for packaging and displaying the item. At the end of the classes, Laurin allows the kids to use space in her store to sell the items they have made.
She said the kids know the money they receive from the sale will first go to repaying the loan they have with her, with any extra funds being profit that they keep.
Laurin said the class encourages the kids, “To develop a sense of business and develop an understanding of what they can actually do.”
At the March 1 sale, Elias Huery, 10, built upon his love for baking to create Awesomely Good Goods, his own brand of brownie mix and no-bake strawberry cheesecake in a jar.
Huery said the class was a lot of fun and he sold out his product and made a profit.
Sophia Kamke, 11, used paint markers to create colourful and imaginative mugs.
“I just started being creative and started drawing on them,” she said of her creative process.
She also sold out and made a profit before the end of the day was done.
Nathanial Spencer, 10, was inspired by the popular game Minecraft to make themed key chains and magnets.
Laurin said with only about 15 minutes left in the sale, Spencer still had a few items left for sale so he took it upon himself to approach customers in the store and offered them a two for $5 deal in order to clear out his stock, which Laurin said was very impressive.
She said the idea for the class came from her own experiences as a teenage entrepreneur when she would sell left over doughnuts for the bakery she worked in at school the next day.
“It’s something I’ve been trying to work with my own daughter on,” she said.
“Trying to find other ways of generating income other than traditional jobs because she is creative.”
She added she is always looking for ways to encourage young, creative people and is interested in starting a wall in Cre8ive Ways devoted to providing students a place to sell their art and asks interested student artists to contact the store at 403-912-2778.
The Entrepreneur Kids classes run every other month and usually have about three to five students each session.
The next one starts April 2, and will be held weekly from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the store.
The cost is $175 for the four-week class and the sale at the end.
For more information, visit www.cre8iveways.webs.com