MJS TREP$ Surplus @ The Pink Pear

PinkPear_TREPS.png

Last Friday, as I was doing a quick holiday shopping in town, I happened to come across yet another example why I love Madison so much. I happened to be at the right place at the right time, and what I learned made my heart sing! But I am getting ahead of myself… Let’s back up a few days…

On Wednesday night, the Madison Junior School sponsored their second annual TREP$ Marketplace. What is a TREP$, you might be asking? Well, it is a voluntary program offered to Junior School kids where they learn about being enTREPreneurS—thus the name TREP$. I had originally heard of the program several years ago when my friend’s kids, who live in another town, participated in TREP$ at their school. I was hopeful that our schools would offer this great program one day, and was delighted when my son brought home the paperwork last year and wanted to do it.

The kids meet once a week for 6 weeks after school, learning how to start their own business with the help of their families. They develop a product and a business name, and sell the products at the TREP$ Marketplace at their school one evening. Last year, they held the marketplace in the spring, but the school leaders decided that just before the winter holidays might work better this year, so it was held at MJS on Wednesday, Dec 5.

My 7th grade son and his friends sold cake pops, Rice Krispie balls, and stress balls that they made, with the business name of “Ballz” (no comment on the name). They had a blast trying to convince their friends and the families that came that they should buy them, deciding when in the night they should lower their prices so they didn’t go home with unsold product, and even coming home with a bit of profit from their sales (after paying their parents back for the supplies).

As my husband and I walked around the Marketplace Wednesday night, we were so impressed with the variety, quality, and creativity of the products the kids had made. Some kids went with the food theme: cookies, cookie mixes, mini cupcakes, Gatorade slushies, made-to-order fruit smoothies. Others made dog treats, dog toys, ornaments, scrunchies, friendship bracelets, hair bows, etc. Some looked especially professional: hand painted stenciled Madison signs (I bought one and it looks great on our dining room windowsill), wine bags that the girl had sewn herself, scrunchies, hand beaded bracelets and necklaces, etc. The quality and time these junior school kids had put in to these products was very impressive!

So, now let’s flash forward to me shopping in town two days later…

I headed in to The Pink Pear pop-up holiday shop (open through Dec 24) to buy some fuzzy gloves (and, as it ended up, quite a bit more! Got so much crossed off my shopping list there!). The Pink Pear is an online boutique that donates a portion of every sale to a designated charity each month. (See my blog about it here.) This month, donations are made to the Madison Eagle Christmas Fund. Owner (and fellow CAS/MJS mom) Christine Kosakowski was able to open a pop-up shop through Dec 24 in a store at 28 Waverly Place (on the corner at Lincoln Place) that had been sitting empty for several years. It is now filled with beautiful and very reasonably-priced gloves, hats, jewelry, mugs, shawls, etc.

I was chatting with Christine for a bit, when in comes Melanie Tomaszewski, owner of Madison Mud Clay Studio. They start talking about the TREP$ Surplus corner they are setting up at The Pink Pear. Turns out that as they both walked around the TREP$ Marketplace at MJS, they were as impressed as I was with so many of the products. They simultaneously had the idea to extend the TREP$ Marketplace into a dedicated corner of The Pink Pear pop-up shop! The kids would get the money from the sales, minus 10% of the sales that would be donated to the Madison Eagle Christmas Fund.

At TREP$, they took note of some of the high-quality items (not food) the kids had made, and contacted about 8 groups of kids to extend the invitation to sell their products at The Pink Pear. This past weekend, many of them brought their products in, and they are now for sale! There are hand-stenciled Madison signs, handmade jewelry, Christmas ornaments, canvas bags, scrunchies, and candles—all made with pride by our very own MJS students!

Honestly, how awesome is this?!?! Imagine that you are a middle school kid, you take the time to take the TREP$ class, you develop an awesome product, and then you are actually asked to sell it in a real store in town! This is what Madison is all about! Seeing how we can all work together—businesses owners, kids, families. It just makes my heart sing!!!

————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

The Pink Pear pop-up holiday shop, featuring the TREP$ Surplus corner, is located at 28 Waverly Place (corner of Waverly Place & Lincoln Place) in Madison until December 24, 2018. Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, and Sunday 11am-3pm. For more information, visit their Web site, or Facebook page.