Student Business: Precious Scraps Papercrafts

Class completes research, creates product to market

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Seed money from a raffle and sweat equity are two components of the business model for Precious Scraps Papercrafts.

Last year the Payson Education Center business class researched the marketplace and now 16 teenagers are ready to build a business.

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Brooklynn Ryan consults with instructor Connie Smith on the class business Precious Scraps Papercrafts at Payson Education Center.

"We checked out our target audience to find out who would be interested in this type of business. We found out that most people here are older and like getting into crafts, so we figured this would be a success," PEC student Jonathan Engels said.

"We had our hearts set on this business because our target audience was 40-year-olds and older," PEC student Consuelo Pacheco said.

The class met Jan. 25 to discuss the first product they will offer for sale and and to plan the scrapbook "retreat."

Their product line will open with handmade perpetual calendars they will spend a couple hours per week assembling.

Each student on the creative team has to come up with four design templates for the calendar tops.

Paper, printing and craft supplies should bring the cost of each calendar, not including labor, to $7 (unless the students decide a more elaborate calendar has the potential for better sales).

Scrapbooking is a tradition in Pacheco's family, but the last time most of these teenagers have worked with paper and glue was elementary school. Some have never scrapbooked, yet they are eager and enthusiastic.

The students will sell the calendars on their own time, outside of school hours, and the sales team shows no fear of cold calling.

"I'm going to ask family, friends and people I encounter to buy the calendar," Maria Bustamante said.

"I went door to door with selling raffle tickets last semester. I can do the same with the calendars," PEC student Brandi Taylor said.

Other students in the business class are responsible for accounting and putting together a Web site to market the calendar and future products.

Scrapbook retreat

The Heart and Soul Scrapbook Retreat is another way the owners of Precious Scraps Papercrafts have decided to raise awareness of their business, have fun and show off their school.

The all-day Feb. 16 retreat will include three make-and-take classes, goodie bags, games and snacks.

In keeping with the theme, the make and takes will include an origami heart.

The retreat lasts from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., so in addition to the setup and tear-down, students will be responsible for serving two-hour shifts, teaching projects, serving snacks, hosting games and making certain their guests feel their $20 entry fee was well spent.

Precious Scraps Papercrafts started with four teens on-board and has grown to 16 students, split between morning and afternoon school schedules.

"No matter what you do in life, you are involved in business. Many of these students have jobs in customer service, so Precious Scraps gives them the opportunity to be involved in something artistic and see that they can make it profitable," said PEC life skills teacher Diane Greer said.

The teens have met scrapbook teacher Connie Smith's expectations so far.

The business adds diversity to the lives of teens who spend their free time hanging out with friends, and maybe working at other jobs.

"They're at ease, bouncing ideas off one another," Smith said.

Student discussion was lively over the business name. Peaches and Cream Scrapbooking and Full of Scrap were two of the many possible names.

What's in a name?

Ultimately, the students want consumers to take them seriously.

"They don't quite understand deadlines, but they will," Smith added.

Eventually the students plan to consult with clients and make scrapbooks for them. They will also create more products to market.

Students earn one credit towards graduation for participation in the business.

"Like any business owner, the students have to put extra time into this," PEC principal Carol Moore said.

Those students, who choose to knock on doors in the community, will be wearing a name badge to show they are serious about success.

"I think we can pull this off," Pacheco said.

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