Five Springside Chestnut Hill Academy student business owners have set up a pop-up shop in Serendipity on the Avenue. The SCH entrepreneurs have spent months preparing to bring their wares to market through the school’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Pictured here are Nilah Jordan (left) and Alysa Akins (right) who also had a chance to sell their products – lip balms and scarves – during a busy morning in the Lower School loop when families were dropping off food donations for Thanksgiving baskets.

by Karen Tracy

This holiday season, there will be a new addition to the charming shopping scene typically found on Germantown Avenue. Springside Chestnut Hill Academy students who have developed unique products under the auspices of the school’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership will be sponsoring a pop-up shop at Serendipity.

For months, the five high school students whose products will be for sale have been working in the Venture Accelerator of the CEL – refining the design of their product and creating ample inventory, generating marketing materials, researching pricing strategies, practicing their pitches and learning inventory management.

And while their products range from geode jewelry to lip balm, they all share a similar goal: to make a difference. Whether it is improving one’s self-image, or helping to pull Cambodian families out of poverty, customers visiting Serendipity during the holidays will be able to learn the journey each student has taken with their venture as they shop.

The students earned the right to join the eclectic mix of offerings at Serendipity after pitching the opportunity to the shop’s owner Nicole Beltz, herself an entrepreneur with three highly successful stores in the area.

Serendipity’s motto is “Behind every brand, there is a creator. Meet the makers at Serendipity.”

This holiday season, SCH makers are joining the ranks. Nilah Jordan, one of the student business owners and the vision behind “Bee Kind,” is selling all-natural, flavored, organic lip balm lip balms and will be dedicating her profits to Operation Smile.

Ellie Lubin seeks to empower women and allow them to express their identity with “Femme Fatale,” stylish and sustainable clothing.

Alysa Akins is bringing unique, hand-woven cotton scarves to the U.S. marketplace with “Sonas,” a social enterprise business that supports women in Cambodia and teaches them skills that will ultimately help children in the village get an education.

Keith MacMahon has created “Tuff Jewels,” stylish pendants made of hand-cut and polished geodes and crystals.

And with “Twisted Spirit,” an all-natural curl enhancing gel, Tiara Jenkins is encouraging customers to embrace and show off who they really are.

This weekend, on “Small Business Saturday,” SCH store owners will be selling their wares in person in a nook at Serendipity. Their stories and inspiration along with their products will be available in the pop-up space through the end of January. In this way, students will experience the highs and lows of a typical retail business.

Karen Tracy is the Director of Communications at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.

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