Meet Natalie and Camille

May 13, 2019

We are Camille and Natalie, and we ran Catamille Crystals for TREP$. At Catamille Crystals, as you might assume, we sold crystals–but not just any crystals! We sold colorful and fun shaped crystal ornaments and magnets. Our crystal designs included shapes like a paw print, a peace sign, or a snowflake. We got the idea of growing crystals from Pinterest.

Here’s how we made them: we boiled water and added borax and food coloring. Then, we shaped a pipe cleaner into a design, tied a string to the pipe cleaner, and attached the string to a pencil. Next, we put the pipe cleaner into the borax solution, covered the jar with plastic wrap, and left it to sit overnight. If we didn’t get the proportion of water and borax just right in the solution, the crystals would not form nicely. Some crystal designs we tried, like a turtle, did not work out well since the design was too detailed. We had to make designs that were fun and interesting, but not too complicated.

On the night of the TREP$ Marketplace, we were excited and a little nervous. We weren’t sure if customers would want to buy the crystals that we’d worked so hard to make! We put up the poster we’d made for our booth, and decorated our table with a nice tablecloth. We displayed our crystals on a colorful, eye-catching jewelry tree stand, so customers could see them and touch them. As the Marketplace started, some people asked if the crystals were edible, like rock candy, so we added a warning on our poster: “Warning: Do Not Eat.” Many people came by to look at our crystals, and we got a steady stream of sales. Near the end of the marketplace, we sold out of all of our products! We sold our small crystal ornaments for $1 and large crystals ornaments for $2. We sold 2 small crystal magnets for $1 or a large crystal magnet for $2. Based on how well our ornaments sold, we probably could have priced them a little higher to make a bigger profit for the amount of time we spent making the products. Overall, we had a great time at TREP$ and wouldn’t do anything else differently!

Note: Natalie and Camille are students who participated in the TREP$ entrepreneurship education program as after school enrichment right at their school. This extracurricular activity is a project based learning experience that helps kids gain an entrepreneurial mindset, financial literacy and life skills to improve their futures.

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