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TFHS students learn business basics


December 12, 2019

Shana Neesvig

YOUTH ENTREPRENEURS – Business students at Thompson Falls have been busy developing business plans and product development to bring goods and services to the community. Students will be selling their goods at the December 17 and 19 basketball games held at Thompson Falls High School. Pictured are, front row (left to right): Lilly VanHuss, McKenzie Robins, Daisy Ulrich, Ellie Pardee; second row: Maycie Anderson, Julissa Bonney, Angel Whiting, Caity Alexander, Brooke Bowlin, Belle Cooper; back row: Gracie Claridge, Dani VanHuss, Dreah Day, Donte Sullivan, Trevor Harris, Roman Sparks, Dane Chojnacky and Peyton Whiting. Not pictured are Nate Wilhite, Nathan Ostwald and Scarlette Schwindt.

Young entrepreneurs at Thompson Falls High School are looking to put a little extra change in their pockets. Through a Youth Entrepreneurs business course, taught by Darcy Farlan, students are learning the steps required to develop their own business.

Beginning with a business plan, 20 students presented Farlan with a marketable product, sales strategy and financial analysis of their marketing ideas. After reviewing the plan, Farlan determined if she should "buy into the business," students stated. Upon approval, Youth Entrepreneurs (YE), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping youth pursue their business dreams, invested in the business.

"They (YE) gave us a start-up loan to make our own products," explained student Dani VanHuss. With funds upfront, students were able to purchase materials needed to start their business. The students understand the start-up loan must be paid back, but many were excited that the loans are interest free.

Most students plan to make products available for purchase, but one pair has decided to provide a service. Staying in the spirit of the holiday season, Dane Chojnacky and Trevor Harris are providing Christmas tree cutting and delivery services.

Elli Pardee and Maycie Anderson had to change their original plan with only two days left before their deadline.

"We were going to do crafting with kids, but could not find a day that worked," Pardee said, realizing that something so simple could deeply affect their business plan. "We originally thought of candles, so we went with that," she concluded. Anderson shared they will have candle melts of various scents available for purchase.

"My grandma has a good recipe for cinnamon rolls," Peyton Whiting said. Lucky for him and Roman Sparks, grandma is willing to share her kitchen secrets with the boys who also plan to sell deep-fried Oreos.

Students will be setting up their own vendor market and selling their homemade products at the December 17 and 19 basketball games being held at Thompson Falls High School. Customers can expect to find bracelets, cupcakes, sugar scrub for the body and face, bath bombs, paintings, candle melts, French macaroons, tie-dyed Nike socks, t-shirts, cinnamon rolls, deep-fried Oreos, muddy buddies, Montana mud facial mask, watercolor greeting cards and portraits and custom wooden signs.

The high school kitchen is going to be a busy place the days leading up to December 17. If you are going to sell your baked goods in a store it must be cleared through the "head honcho," student Daisy Ulrich said. By head honcho she meant Health Department. To be compliant, the approved kitchen will serve as headquarters and students are ready to include a list of ingredients used in all baked and cosmetic goods, for allergy purposes.

After repaying their loan from YE, students vary on what they will do with their profits. Some plan to save for college, make automobile payments, save it or use it for lunch money.

YE was founded in 1991 to inspire students to "take control of their own futures and seize opportunities for good." The curriculum is free and high schools across the country take advantage of the staff support, mentorship and learning opportunities provided by the organization.

More information can be obtained by contacting Farlan at (406) 827-3561.


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