Two teenagers have started the company called Kate’s Toy Barn. It focuses on handmade stuffed animals and has hopes of becoming a big toy company.
The company has been created by Kate Driscoll who is a student in Westfield High School and Jacob Wendler who is a student of Edison Intermediate School, TAPinto reports. Last week they participated in the Young Enterpreneurs Academy (YEA!) of Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce which was held during the Westfield’s Spring Fling street fair.
Currently Kate’s Toy Barn is focused on hand made stuffed horses. They are of pretty good quality and very detailed. “We are trying to expand to cows and pigs next”, Discroll says.
The idea is to create a full line up of stuffed farm animals, all handmade. At the moment the stuffed horses are made by Kate, but if the company expands more people will be needed.
YEA! is a program that helps local middle and high school students become real entrepreneurs. The students spent much of the school year generating business ideas, conducting market research and writing business plans. Then they presented their ideas and plans to an investors’ panel. “The kids have been practicing their pitches,” instructor Paul Hahn said as the students spoke to potential customers.
Hahn described YEA! as a boot camp that teaches not just entrepreneurial skills but life skills, such as writing, business etiquette and decision making. “We treat them like adults, within reason. I demand a lot from them, but I’m not unreasonable”, Hahn says.
There are companies that have started at YEA! and are still going strong. Like Jean T. Productions that makes custom phone cases.
Other interesting projects that were shown during this year’s event include E-Z Clean which is a disposable table cloth which becomes a garbage bag when it is time to clean up. Another interesting idea is Warm-Upz. These are custom throw blankets for businesses. They are 50″ by 60″ and are made of 100% acrylic. They are fully customizable and each can have up to four colors on it.