SUN Sailor Editions Excelsior/Shorewood - Page 13

Business Sun Sailor Newspapers welcomes news releases and story ideas from the community. Send to; mail to: Sun Sailor, 33 Second St. N.E., Osseo, MN 55369. Thursday, March 15, 2018 • Page 13 Excelsior Elementary entrepreneurs open origami business By PAIGE KIEFFER Three Excelsior Elemen- tary students have taken their consumerism class lessons to the next level by starting up their own busi- ness, Optimal Creativity Origami or O.C. Origami LLC. Fifth-grader King-Diorr Willsun and Fourth-grad- ers Rian Mathew and Ty- ler Dodge took the class last year in the Navigator program, which serves ex- ceptionally gifted students, with IQs of 140 and above, in second through fi fth grade. “We have a unit in con- sumerism and so we helped walk them through a busi- ness plan,” said Liz Gluck, a fourth- and fi fth-grade Navigator teacher. “They learned about inbound and outbound marketing, they learned about the dif- ferent corporations, they learned about raw materi- als, factors in production and more.” Gluck showed the boys a website of a T-shirt com- pany that a previous stu- dent had developed. They then became inspired to start their own business. “They took the lessons they learned and extrapo- lated it into their own lives,” she said. “As we were learning we were also developing,” Willsun said. “We were all friends and we all knew coding and fi nancing from this consumerism lesson last fall and our teacher showed us a website of what one of her students had made and we thought, maybe we could that!” Dodge said they all liked participating in arts and crafts and eventually set- tled on making an origami business. “We were just good at origami and it was one of the arts and crafts things that not many people made so we thought, ‘hey, why don’t we do origami,’” Dodge said. The boys used the three sheets of paper they were allowed in the after-school Explorers Club and made origami that they sold for candy at school. They also bought some of their own origami paper. With the paper they (SUN SAILOR STAFF PHOTO BY PAIGE KIEFFER) Excelsior Elementary students, left to right, Tyler Dodge, King-Diorr Willsun and Rian Mathew devel- oped their own business, O.C. Origami LLC. made things like cranes, box puppets, pianos, spi- ders, frogs, hawks, swans, balloons, lanterns, stars, ornaments, Christmas trees, Santa, seahorses, seals, roses, paper and air- planes. Dodge said, “My favor- ite part of this has defi nitely been making the origami.” In December, they re- alized that their business wasn’t expanding as quick- ly as they hoped so they developed a website and also made social media accounts on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. “The best part of this has been designing the website and setting up dif- ferent parts of the web- site,” Mathew said. The boys developed a website that advertised and sold their products, including the origami in different shapes, forms and animals; greeting cards with pictures of origami shapes and T-shirts with origami pictures and their logo. They also partnered with another student who developed Weber Cartoon- ing so they could sell comic strips and books. Dodge said, “We real- ized that we needed to ex- pand our business because we couldn’t sustain it.” On their website, they also provide origami demo videos and coding lessons for Javascript, Python and HTML for other students who want to learn more about coding. The boys also learned about advertising and did search engine optimization on Google. They made posters and advertised their website around the school. They also designed their own logo, a crane with Google’s colors. They also went through the process of registering their busi- ness as a limited liability company. “At fi rst we weren’t sure what type of business we wanted to start, so we did some research and found out that what a corpora- tion was,” Mathew said.  kä~ ¨|| £ö ¨Q ÏnAÝnÏ 2ŒA£ k¯üü to develop a mass produc- tion in origami.” King-Diorr added, “My favorite thing was working together to make some- thing productive and we had big leaps.” The boys said that O.C. Origami wouldn’t have been possible without the help of their teachers, par- ents and each other. “I’m proud about how they became really good friends and how they re- ally worked together and, whenever they had a hurdle, they solved it seamlessly,” said fourth and fi fth-grade Navigator teacher Ali Alo- wonl