10/13/17 Follow Your Path


I'm sure one of these days my go-to opener won't always reference another big week for $tart-Up! but for now, that isn't the case. We had another big week at $tart-Up! and it was one, hopefully our kiddos will never forget. 

Over the summer, when I set out on my $tart-Up! Kids Club journey, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by MIX 94.7, Majic 95.5 and 1340 TALK Radio host Matthew Alvarez. At the end of our interview, we chatted about the potential of having some of the $tart-Up! Kids who were interested record on air before one of our event. Little did I know, the incredible Mr. Alvarez not only offered to come and talk to the kids---but interview ALL of them (if they wanted of course). 

In groups of threes on Monday and Wednesday, interested $tart-Up! Kids headed down to the recording studio and had the chance to talk about their business ideas, goals, and their upcoming market. It was such a neat experience to be a fly on the wall and hear how each student talked about their ideas with pride though many were nervous. After each group was done, Mr. Alvarez opened up the studio and allowed for parents to grab pictures of their $tart-Up! Kid sitting behind the big mic! We can't wait to hear them on air this Sunday, October 22nd.

As if our radio debut wasn't enough, we still had class to look forward too! This week---and every week leading up to our market, class time is focused on product work; class structure remains the same, but now students really are getting into the grit of their unique, individual businesses. 

Our ice breaker this week was a game I called "Silent Interviews". Students paired with someone they didn't really know  and had to convey three things about themselves with NO words, sounds, or writing! It took them a few minutes to really figure out how they wanted to portray themselves, but once they did, it was entertaining to watch them over-exaggerate the characteristics about themselves they wanted to share. By the end of the game, each student was able to share at least one thing they successfully learned about their partner. 


Following the ice breaker, we were joined by guest mentor, Ryan Driggers, founder of PATH Salon. He warmed the crowd by asking the kids who has ever had a haircut. Of course, everyone raised their hand. After a few more questions, he asked students who had ever cut their own hair---I can't say I wasn't surprised when over 80% of the students still had their hands up and wanted to share their own personal horror stories!

Starting his salon in the Austin area over ten years ago, he shared with $tart-Up! Kids how it takes time and marketing to building a business. He showed pictures of his salon and helped reiterate the importance of presentation. Mr. Driggers, who for the entire Eanes class I called "Mr. Diggers" (still so sorry), was very open and honest with students about sharing with students that business isn't always easy---so its important to do something you love. 


Once we finished with questions, I reminded students of our upcoming market and encouraged questions. Both classes had some great discussions about what they should expect. We discussed the presentation of their business and what they would need to make it come alive. To help students learn the cost of business ownership, students will pay a $1 event fee and a $.50 electricity fee at the market. In exchange they get a table and the chance to bring the vision. 

During project work, Mr. Driggers made his way around the room to get to know each students vision and business. By the end of one conversation he had helped a student cut her supply cost by finding cheaper, but equivalent spray bottles. He didn't stop there though; PATH founder helped another group of students start their website and provided feedback about visual presentation. Our $tart-Up! Kids really loved having his feedback and mentorship. I must say, he was a natural! 


With our market less than four weekends away, I have extended the invitation for students to stay a little later to work if they would like. We absolutely want to provide as much support and resources to them as they need.

Going into the next few weeks, $tart-Up! Kids will be getting down to business---literally! I hope that you all have marked your calendars to join us on November 5th. These kids will knock your socks off. But if you're reading these, you probably don't need me to tell you that! :) 

Until next week, stay curious, 


Amber Wakem