Ovid-Elsie corporate service department teacher strives to have the best program for her students. Since 2003, Bonnie Ott’s class has run their own business and in recent years even earned its trademarked name of Cornfield Candle Company.
Ott said in an interview on Wednesday she and her former colleague were looking for a way to “raise the bar” to “empower” students and give them a hands on experience of running their own business.
Ott noted, the Christmas buying season helps sales so it becomes an ideal time frame for marketing and promoting the product. As the class always begins their candle business in mid October the largest sales weekend tends to be over Thanksgiving break for students and they begin to fall as the business comes to a close in December.
Motivating the students has never been a problem as they make the decisions themselves, with only some guidance. With Ott playing the role of a facilitator, students feel empowered as they make group decisions about the glass jar styles, fragrances, colors and many other things. “[Students] buy in to the process.”
Ott said the goal of the process of manufacturing soy candles from raw materials and selling them is so “they [students] know how to start a business and hopefully have great memories of this experience, that they can use throughout their lives.”