I love the idea of experiential learning in education. Let kids try things out and learn not just through reading, writing, and listening, but by doing.
This section of the website, Kid Lab, is a platform in which a student in the 12th grade or under, can learn by experience. Their parents or teachers can help, but the intention of the program is to develop the student's experience and education and plant a seed of entrepreneurship. To participate, they have to be committed to learn from beginning to end the process of selling a product, boiled down to include these basic areas:
- Your Framework: Inspiration, social entrepreneurship, passion, skill, and bringing ideas to life
- Your Product: Design, prototype, and testing
- Your Finances: Cost of goods, pricing, and profit (or loss)
- Your Marketing, Launch, and Sales: Product photography, packaging, description, and communications
The Montessori education system does not hold the corner market on cultivating entrepreneurial minds. However, there is a lot about the methods that support creativity, freedom, cultivating ideas, and bringing them to life. Here are some articles that support the connection:
How Do Innovators Think? - The Harvard Business Review
The Montessori Mafia - The Wall Street Journal
Early Lesson: Flexibility Leads to Creativity at Work - Investor.Com
- Montessoria Textiles receives no payment and charges no fee for participation.
- The Montessoria Textiles values of quality & beauty apply. Produce a high-quality interesting product.
- The student's idea & product must be a fresh design.
- The products will be sold in the SHOP.
- Sales taxes & shipping do apply. The system will calculate for the buyer. Local deliveries are an option and are obviously less expensive - but it will apply the sales tax for Montessoria Textiles' address.
The process to participate, have your parent or teacher email firstname.lastname@example.org with your proposal. Include the following:
- Picture(s) and description of the product. Plain front and back pictures are best, along with a shot with the product in "action". Please make the picture as high-quality as possible - clear, clean, focused, and clutter-less.
- What inspired you to make the product?
- Materials used in the product. People have sensitivities - please list anything someone might be allergic to and whether they have the option to exclude it.
- Any options associated with your product? Color, scent, materials?
- Cost of materials and length of time you put in to creating it?
- How many you are willing to produce (you would probably need around 5-10, depending on the product)?
- Price you believe the market will pay. Ideally, you sell your product for 2.5 times your cost, including your hourly rate to make it. However, sometimes that places an impractical burden on the price and for this exercise it's more practical to place a price in which you can sell your product. If you discovered that your product really took off and you need to make another batch, you can then consider ways to reduce your cost in time or materials through buying in bulk, hunting down less expensive suppliers, more efficient production methods, etc.
- Marketing: The best marketing is family and friends. You will need to let them know, once your product is live and you will need to be responsive to sales.
- As part of the sales process, it's possible that your product will not sell. If that happens, you will need to reconsider elements of your product and redesign (reprice, redo the design, or remove the product all together.) It happens - do not be discouraged. Think about what you can learn from it and press on.
Thank you and enjoy the Montessori Textiles Kid Lab marketplace!