Three Riverside seventh grade students, Allie Burch, Jordan Miller, and Aubrey Davis, received notice their newly formed company, AJA Candle Company, is one of the top 25 finalist in the statewide business competition Y.E.S. (Youth Entrepreneur Showcase).
(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
The girls became interested in creating a business to enter in the competition and started planning. Jordan and her mother purchased the products needed to get started. The girls created a logo for their company and wrote a business plan to submit for judging. The plan includes the company's overview, product/service/ marketing plan and financial estimates.
The girls created their own signature candles with an objective to sell 200 candles by the end of the Christmas season.
In addition to creating homemade candles, they have a lot of stories to share as they were learning.
"Our goal is to cater to people who want a quality product at an affordable price," Jordan said.
The girls and Mrs. Freeman were excited to be selected in the top finalists. On Jan. 16 they will be in a Little Rock mall selling their products and introducing their new business. As part of the finals, they will receive a loan from a bank to help with the expense of the business. This is the second round of competition encouraging the students to create a comprehensive marketing piece and display booth that showcases their product.
"We plan on having 50 to 60 different scented candles to sell at the mall," Aubrey said. "We can make four of the same type candles at once. We learned by trial and error."
Last year 229 teams made up of 1,145 students from across the state competed in creating a business plan for an innovative concept so they could compete for an opportunity to turn their business ideas into reality.
Freeman said she had six teams from Riverside enter in the statewide competition.
"They all had excellent ideas," she said. "I'm proud of their efforts. They are all winners."
The other five business teams were: Simply Done Compact (for make-up); Stars and Stripes (purses); Tie-dye -- Back to the 70's; G&T Lawn Services; and Angel in My Pocket by Cadd.