Once again, SCH Academy's student entrepreneurs from the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) will have their products for sale at Serendipity on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill—just in time for the holiday shopping season. Serendipity owner Nicole Beltz, whose shop features an eclectic assortment of gifts, jewelry, and apparel that “come from the heart,” has generously provided space for the students’ wares in the front of the store.
The five businesses featured have been developed and nurtured through the school’s Venture Accelerator program and represent a variety of goods—woven scarves, socks, fishing lures, crystal jewelry, and dog-themed clothing items.
Since January 2019, senior Keith MacMahon has designed unique, one-of-a-kind crystal and geode jewelry under the name Tuff Jewels. From pendants to earrings, Keith says, “everyone can find a piece that fits their style and I hope that all visitors will find something special.”
Senior Mia Costanis and junior Meena Padhye are the entrepreneurs behind the non-profit Sonas to America. They are importing high quality, sustainably woven cotton goods from Sonas—a village in Cambodia—and selling the products locally and online. All proceeds are sent back to the weaving village to create incomes and provide an opportunity to send children in the village to college. Scarves, wraps, masks, and table runners are in-stock now and available at Serendipity. To date, the business has donated over $4,500 back to the Sonas weavers. Sonas scarves are also featured in this year’s holiday gift guide produced by The Philadelphia Citizen: “25 Philly-made gifts for everyone on your gift list."
Dog enthusiasts will want to check out Brigitte, a charming line of clothing and accessories, and know that their purchases support an animal welfare organization. Senior Bridget Capano says she found inspiration for the Pixie collection from her eight-year-old Teacup Yorkshire Terrier, named (you guessed it) Pixie. Street Tails Animal Rescue program, whose mission is to find well-fitting homes for shelter animals, will be the recipients of her business proceeds.
For the fishing folk, junior Lucas Polternak has produced a line of fishing lures and accessories for Infinity Flies. Lucas is an avid fisherman with a passion for tying his own flies. His long term vision for his business includes inventing new types of flies, owning his own tackle shop, and creating a program to teach inner-city kids about fishing and the outdoors. Like any smart entrepreneur, Lucas has honed in on the holiday market and added fishing lure ornaments to his store.
Completing the offerings at Serendipity are Switch Socks, designed by two juniors, Brooke Gyllenhaal and Lauren Sullivan. As competitive athletes, they identified a need in the marketplace for socks that can be used for athletics as well as for lounging. "Switch" refers to the notion that their socks are “for the kids that work hard on the lacrosse field, but also love going to the beach and hanging with friends, lounging around the house, or going on a fun road trip. Our socks are more than just performance socks, they are the perfect socks to ‘switch it up!’” A portion of their proceeds are donated to Harlem Lacrosse, a school-based non-profit organization that provides academic intervention, leadership training, and lacrosse to at-risk youth.
CEL Executive Director Ed Glassman and student mentor Paris Gramann share: “We are so impressed with these students and the hard work they have demonstrated—especially during a pandemic." Be sure to check out shopcel.org to further support SCH's student entrepreneurs!
Learn more about SCH Academy's Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership program, and see how our students are changing the world. Hear directly from Director of the CEL Ed Glassman about our trademarked curriculum and read about our CEL course offerings.