High School Students Launch Spiritwear Store Despite Pandemic Challenges
Most adults won’t attempt to launch their own business during good economic times, much less during a pandemic. But that’s just what Fair Grove High School students did with the opening of an apparel and spiritwear store.
Earlier this month, they cut the ribbon for Flight Gear, a spirit shop located in a remodeled space inside the gym lobby. The store, which sells Fair Grove Eagle apparel such as onesies, hats, shirts, shorts, pants, sweatshirts and accessories in person and online, is the result of a lot of business planning, secured funding from sponsors, a website launch, marketing strategy and merchandise ordering, all led by the students.
Cayse Overstreet, a business and marketing teacher at the school, helped her students with the details, but made it clear that the students did the heavy lifting.
“This is hard work, and this is what is shaping them into young adults who will one day run our businesses, schools, towns, hospitals and whatever else they set their minds to,” Overstreet told the Springfield News-Leader. “I felt that project-based learning could be taken to the next level if we gave our students the opportunity to work with real customers, real money, and real responsibilities."
The initial stages of the project started a few years ago, with a goal to open doors during the 2020-2021 school year. But as we all know, COVID had other plans. And yet, the students remained undeterred, only delaying their launch rather than scrapping the project entirely.
Overstreet says the delay was actually a good thing.
“This took the pressure off of my students by feeling they had to learn everything about the business in a few short weeks and then open up shop,” she said.
Like most adults launching a new business, tapping resources and doing research is paramount to success. But in the end, there’s nothing like getting your hands dirty.
“Getting out of the textbook and allowing students to have ownership in their learning is what this is all about for me,” Overstreet says. “I have quickly realized it is not just a class for these students.”