Students in Vanier Collegiate’s Entrepreneurship Class 30 sold chicken and steak spices, recycled Christmas cards and jewelry handmade with ethically sourced crystals.
Joining the business world was a “baptism of fire” for a few Vanier college students this semester, especially since some of their equipment was malfunctioning and their product was not working with them.
Sow yourself later! was one of three business students created in their entrepreneurship class of 30. The company focused on producing Christmas and holiday cards made from recycled paper, these same cards containing wildflower seeds that have germinated after being planted.
Other companies included Spice Kings and Cristal-Li.
The three groups concluded their business at a final board meeting at the library on January 20.
From their profits, Seed You Later! donated $145.20 to Yara Community Gardens, Spice Kings donated $157.22 to STARS Air Ambulance and Cristal-Li donated $675.10 to Moose Jaw Transition House.
Steaming blenders, sprouted seeds
“We definitely had a baptism of fire in the business world. Our company was created before we even knew if our product would work,” said President Avery Seman. “We quickly realized how essential it was to support each other and communicate at all times.”
Creating these cards had never been done like this before, and while there were online tutorials for making seed paper, a lot of experimentation was required, she continued. Crafting the cards was also time-consuming, while the six-person team also struggled to find materials.
“So we were focusing on a million and three things that looked like…” Seman remarked. “It was just – a lot – jumping in head first and trying to experience everything at once.”
The company encountered two significant issues: the feed mixers that produced a smell of burnt rubber after four hours of continuous use, and the unexpected germination of the seed paper.
“These are not commercial mixers. They just weren’t meant to handle the capacity we needed to use them,” Seman said, adding that the group overcame these challenges and grew from making a few cards a week to more than 50 a day. .
The company’s net profit was $967.87, based on sales of 533 cards and 127 bookmarks.
“It was just great to bond with everyone,” she added. “…We made some amazing friends and unforgettable experiences and memories.”
A tasty proposal
The Spice Kings planned to sell 120 jars of their three flavors and eventually sold 227 containers, earning them a handsome profit of $1,048.10, vice president of finance Ashton Glova said.
Putting their product in public was a risk because there are already a lot of spices on the market while talking to customers was also difficult because they are young guys in high school, he continued. However, they made an effort to sell their wares before Christmas and succeeded.
One of the challenges the company faced was making sure everyone was organized and had enough to do, chairman Kendall Ebbett said. There were eight members, which made it difficult to distribute the work fairly. They also had issues managing and tracking their finances and sales, but overcame these issues.
“It’s truly an honor to be part of this group,” Glova added, “and to see these numbers (of sales and jars sold) it really shows that hard work pays off.”
A crystalline product
Members of Cristal-Li wanted to make jewelry handmade with ethically sourced crystals, but did not expect the massive demand that followed, said Cadanse Herle, vice president of corporate social responsibility. .
“We were a bit overwhelmed, but it all turned out fine in the end,” she said, adding that they were surprised at the attention since it was a small business.
The company wanted to sell 100 necklaces, 50 rings and 20 lots. He ultimately sold 230 necklaces, 85 rings, and 40 lots, bringing in $3,262.12.
Cristal-Li sold some of their wares at the Cornwall Center in Regina, but only had three hours and were in a corner that got little attention, which prevented them from having higher sales, a declared President Ann-Marie Rouault-Chedid. Students would love to resell there if they had the chance.
“It was a very good experience for us and it brought a lot of positivity to the group,” added Herle. “And having that like, overwhelming (watch out), we just got together to place orders and make our products.”