By David Fleet
Atlas Twp. — Kaitlyn Barclay has a plan. Keep glass out of landfills, provide therapy through DIY art projects at the same time create a useful home décor item.
For Barclay, a 15-year-old sophomore at Swartz Creek High School and first year member of the school’s entrepreneur club, her plan spawned Kaitlyn’s Treasures, which now utilizes recycled glass to make a variety of home decor items which she sells.
Barclay is just one of about 15 local youth that will participate from noon- 2 p.m., April 23, the Young Entrepreneurs Market Day. The event is coordinated by Bring More Good Inc. and hosted by the Atlas Valley Golf Club, 8313 Perry Road.
Marcia Thomas, is a former Grand Blanc teacher and the current advisor for the Goodrich High School Entrepreneurs Club.
“The young entrepreneurs have the mind-set to start a small business with their ideas,” said Thomas. “Many have a desire for problem solving and create products that make life easier.”
Thomas said a recent entrepreneur created an app to regulate their younger siblings’ sugar levels, while others created devices for the elderly. The event will feature middle and high school young entrepreneurs from Goodrich, Grand Blanc, Swartz Creek and Linden along with a variety of products they created.
The clubs are through the Genesee Intermediate School District, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, the Young Entrepreneur Institute and is funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The entrepreneur’s tables are sponsored by local businesses and funds raised support local and surrounding community needs.
On display are a variety of products they created including bracelets, 3D printing products, blankets, pillows, scarves, paintings, bakery items such as breads, rolls, cupcakes and cannolis, DIY craft kits, recycled glass home decor, clay bead accessories, wood and metal work, baby-sitting services and lip gloss. The Goodrich High School Horticultural Club will also attend.
Ian Harvey, 16, is a junior at Linden High School and in his first year as an entrepreneur.
“My goal is to learn the skills necessary to open my own business,” Harvey, 16. “My parents purchased me a 3-D printer on my last birthday. I came up with a plan to print items for friends and make money doing it. Depending on the individual I print the keys caps (for keyboards) and fidget toys, for those with ADHD or those feeling anxious. I can do the printing job at a lower cost compared to most modern products, and it’s more durable too.”
Quinten Flood, 18, is a senior at Grand Blanc High School and started his own business, Hometown Metal & Woodcraft in 2019. Flood found inspiration from Youtube videos featuring Alex Steele and John Malecki. He started making cutting boards for Christmas, marketing the products on Facebook and studied woodworking in high school.
“My advice to entrepreneurs starting out, whatever you envision as a project, just go for it,” he said. “Stay with it and someone will love your product out there.”
By David Fleet