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Springer Memorial launches successful pop-up opportunity for students to display and sell products

By Brittany Brewster

Students and local entrepreneurs seized an opportunity on Thursday to showcase their budding businesses at the Springer Memorial School’s business pop-up event.

The pop-up at the Government Hill school, featured a range of young entrepreneurs aged 11 to 17, who set up shop with a wide array of products. The displayed items from the proud students included skincare and hair products, crocheted outfits, waist beads, and homemade delicacies.

Coordinator of the event and Business Studies teacher Helene Bend said the pop-up was put on with the help of the Barbados Public Workers’ Co-operative Union’s Thrift Club to equip students with the knowledge about how to run and market a business. 

Friends Keatelyn Roach (right) and Saraiyah Hackett, showcasing some of the items they sell at Chic Coutoure.

“This really started as a POB [Principles of Business] project where we were teaching entrepreneurship and working on business plans. We taught students how to go about getting funding from financial institutions and doing cash flow statements and then we invited other business persons to speak to the students.

“I’ve also encouraged them to set up accounts so that they understand the concepts of saving money and investing in their business if they want the business to flourish,” she explained.

Amiyah Estwick was inspired by her father who creates posters for businesses to create her own small business My My Creations Made with Love.

Bend added that through the process which started last year, she wanted to ensure that students knew they didn’t have to wait until the age of 18 to become entrepreneurs.

“This pop-up shop gave students a hands-on view. In school we typically let them learn from textbooks but having to set up everything on their own, they were then able to identify the strengths and weaknesses in managing a business,” Bend said. 

Owner of Jaziah’s fishcakes, Jaziah Smith said her fishcakes only contain natural herbs and healthier product alternatives.

Despite having some pushback from some students who wanted to make food but who had to follow the guidelines outlined in the National School Nutrition Policy, the teacher added that students learned valuable lessons about problem-solving and adaptability as business owners. 

A total of 22 booths were set up, each one displaying the students’ creations. Among the popular booths was Pretty on Point, a hair accessory brand owned by Amiyah Alleyne. She was full of gratitude for the opportunity to showcase her business, especially considering the recent slowdown in sales.

Within the first two hours of the pop up, owner of Jai’s Jewellery was practically sold out.

“I started my business in 2021 and recently I wasn’t getting many sales so when my aunt told me about the business pop up I was very excited especially since it is an all-girls school and that is who my products are for,” Alleyne told Barbados TODAY.

Another hit booth was Chic Couture, by first-formers Saraiyah Hackett, 11 and Katelyn, 12. The young business owners had a wide range of products including hair gels, scrunchies, jewellery and bonnets which were a hit at the busy booth.

Trinity Knight was ecstatic to show off some of the products her friends had on sale.

Jai Estwick also had a large crowd who were captivated by the jewellery and trinkets she had on display.

Within the first two hours of the event, her stock of croc charms, anklets, stickers, rings, and hair clips” was sold out.

An ecstatic Estwick said, more than the money gained from her business she was glad for the experience as she always dreamed of having her own business.

Owner of hair accessory brand Pretty on Point Amiyah Alleyne whose booth was popular said she was thankful for the opportunity to showcase her business since sales have been slow for her.

“I wanted experience about how sales in the real world actually go. I also wanted to learn about calculating expenses and profits so I’m glad I came today,” she said.

In addition to fashion and accessories, some students showcased their creativity with handmade skin and hair care products and culinary delights.

Four booths were dedicated to offering healthy food options.

Owner of Kari’s Signature Scents and Cosmetics 11-year-old Kari Arthur.

Maresa’s Fruit Kebabs by Maresa Carrington, was aimed at transforming the way people enjoyed fruits.

“I didn’t just want to sell fruits like apples and oranges and I realised that if it looks nice people will eat so that is why I put the fruit on a stick so it would make people my age want to eat fruit,” Carrington explained. 

Self-taught crocheter Shiloh Hoyte demonstrating how she creates the patterns for her crochet designs.

Jaziah Smith also wanted to contribute to having healthier alternatives so with the help of her mother, she created her fish cake business using all natural ingredients.

Smith said, “I used a lot of salted fish and we use herbs that we grow outside of our home so each batch has freshly-picked herbs. We also use salt fish water which is natural salt so we don’t have to use artificial salt. We try to limit the amount of oil we use and we also dab off as much oil as we can before we sell.”

Young entrepreneurs Deandra Walker (left) and Kayara Maynard (centre) created the Barbie Studio to make sure girls have vibrant hair ties and scarves for summer.

Inspired by her mother who was also a fishcake vendor, Jaziah said that she intends to keep the business going and hopefully have her batter sold in supermarkets.

Students Zajara Layne and Kenya Niles showcased their hair care products by Beauti by La Cara on display.

Acting Principal Cheryl Gill hailed the event as an “extraordinary success” and commended the participating students. She said she was glad to see the path on which the young students are embarking as the school continues its effort to prepare students for the world of work.

Some of the costumes for the Springer Memorial Costume band were on display at the business pop up.

“In the coming terms when more of our students are present, we are hoping to have more days like this for students to display their creations. We encourage our students in ventures like these and we will continue to guide them in the process with the help of parents and teachers as they grow as entrepreneurs who follow strict business practices,” Gill added. 

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