Meet Mike

January 18, 2020

I learned how to turn wood by watching my dad when I was younger. I learned a lot from him while making the products for the TREP$ Marketplace, too. I made my first pens in kindergarten. I gave them to my teachers for Christmas.

I really enjoy wood-turning because I get to learn about different hardwoods and because each wood has different grains. This makes each pen unique. Sometimes very hard wood-grains can catch on my tools, causing it to break and I have to start over. Each mistake helps me to do a better job next time.

I wanted to participate in TREP$ to see how successful I would be selling my pens. It is neat to be able to make money doing something I enjoy. So that is how I came up with Mike’s Woodworking. My dad and I went to the wood-turning store to buy exotic woods and pen-making supplies. While I was there, my Aunt and I turned pens for troops overseas, so they can write letters to their families back home.

I was nervous before the Marketplace because I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested in my products. Once I had my first customer or two, I felt more confident. In fact, I almost sold out!

Since I was successful at TREP$, I had enough money to start paying back my start-up funds and buy more supplies for future products. I’m thinking of buying my own lathe to reduce future equipment rental costs.

Note: Mike participated in the TREP$ entrepreneurship education program as after-school enrichment,  right at school. This extracurricular activity is a PBL (project based learning) experience that helps kids gain an entrepreneurial mindset, financial literacy and life skills to prepare them for and improve their futures.

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