What do you get when you cross an economic crisis with penniless teenagers?
For one group of Sixth Formers the answer is not riots and looting, but rather ideas and aspiration. Twelve lower sixth students from Ousedale school have decided to take the economic situation by the scruff of the neck, and have set about making their own company in a bold attempt to tackle the Christmas market. Not only this, but they’re also learning a thing or two about the world of business along the way.
After spending almost a month coming up with an idea for a product and brainstorming ideas such as “Duvart” (spraying art onto duvets) and Finger Gyms (to accomplish the ultimate goal in life of marginally stronger fingers) the team finally agreed on the more achievable, and perhaps more marketable, idea of handmade crafts. After an equally drawn out process with plenty of debates and U-turns, the name MasterCrafts was chosen and the company was created. Then the real fun began.
Following some quick thinking and creation of products, MasterCrafts were able to set up a stall at the Olney Infant School fete, and, although sales didn’t exactly go through the roof, it gave the group a good idea of what was needed to make an effective sales pitch. One week later at Dickens of a Christmas and the hard work paid off. The team set up their stall and worked tirelessly through the day - even dressing up for the occasion - to sell almost all their stock to passers-by, many of whom commented on how much they loved the idea of the personalised written frames on sale. One woman said that the personalisation of the writing “made [her] laugh” and that “the kids love it too...I’m really touched.” The handmade decorative hearts and handmade wooden trees also went down a treat with the thousands of shoppers that had made the trip into Olney on the 5th of December.
Looking to the future and MasterCrafts already have a few Sales opportunities lined up, as well as an email address and facebook page; both of which can be used to place orders. With other Young Enterprise groups hot on their heels, selling plastic bowls and leather phone cases, MasterCrafts have got a lot of work to do before the final sales are made in 2012, but if they continue as positively as they’ve started the future looks very bright indeed.