-Empowering Kids-

Dear Friends,
This is what it all started from.  This idea that we should be empowering kids to take control of their lives and become passionate about something.  We want them to understand how to be taken seriously and earn the respect and admiration of those around them- on top of a little cash!  Keep working with us toward that goal.  They're worth it.  

Enjoy the TREP$ Spotlight Kids below-

Meet Eva, maker of meaningful charms

My name is Eva. I am an 11 year old entrepreneur and a 6th grade student at St. Philip the Apostle School in Clifton, NJ. I started my business,EvAngels - a CHARMing Way to Save Babies, in November 2012 while taking the TREPS business program, which is awesome!!!!


I knew immediately that I wanted to make clay charms. It took many tests of different types of clays and many charm creation attempts and failures. I finally worked out the final product while mixing the scraps of previous charms. I randomly mixed complimentary or contrasting clay colors into balls partly to distract myself. I was then left with a bunch of cool colored balls with unique swirling designs. My mom suggested splitting them in half and then shaping them into hearts.


My distracted playing became the actual model for my jewelry line. When I cut the balls in half, they had the coolest swirls and patterns. No two charms can ever be exactly alike. I love this about my jewelry! Since I'm in my second year of business, I've added owls, cupcakes, and Christmas designs to my jewelry line to keep my customers coming back for more.


My mom, Sonja, is my Girl Scout Troop leader. She suggested that all the Girl Scouts participating in the TREPS program consider donating some of our profits to a charity. I agreed and thought of my sister, Mary Angela, who was born premature and died one hour after she was born. I chose the March of Dimes and donated 50% of my profits to help save other babies. I donated about $185.00.


The March of Dimes loved my jewelry and donation so they asked me to be the exclusive vendor at our local Walk For Babies fundraising event. I sold out! The people at the event were so kind and we shared stories about losing family members. But, best of all, I met lots of kids who were born premature and are doing great all because of the March of Dimes' hard work. The babies who survived and their moms wore my jewelry at the event. My mom couldn't stop hugging me and crying. I donated 75% of my proceeds so I could meet more babies next year. I only kept enough money to buy more supplies.


Since starting EvAngels, I've donated close to $600.00 to help give babies a fighting chance at life and to help moms learn how to take care of themselves so they can take good care of their growing babies. I'll be a vendor at the next March of Dimes Walk for Babies in April 2014 and hope to raise $400.00. My ultimate goal is $1,500.00.


I would have had two sisters if the doctors knew how to protect and save Mary Angela in 2003. Research has helped save a lot of babies since my sister died. Mary Angela is my guardian angel and my inspiration to continue to help raise money and awareness about prematurity. I want everyone to know that we can all do something to save beautiful, innocent babies who want a chance to enjoy life.


Mary's adorable little feet are on my business card because she helps me make an imprint on people's hearts. Mary Angela and I encourage others to give in the spirit of kindness and love. I can't wait for next year's TREPS marketplace. I have so many more ideas to grow my business so we can grow more healthy babies!!!!  


Meet Kayla, maker of tornado bottles

Hi my name is Kayla. This year was my first year in TREP$. It took a long time to decide what to do! I had many ideas before I decided to do tornado in a bottles. My original idea was to do phone cases, but the expenses were too high, so my mother and I sat down and thought about last year.  


What we remembered was lava lamps, and we wanted something similar. My mom used to be a teacher and she always made tornado in a bottle with her class. So, we went to the store and bought 2 connecters to experiment with. First, we tried with big bottles, but we thought people don't want to carry a big 2 foot product around! So next we tried smaller bottles. At first, the small bottles were leaking, so we made them tighter, and then finally they worked!


When we got to the market place people loved our products, but a lot of them said they were going to come back. Right away I didn't think they were coming back, but they came back! We sold half of the tornado bottles before people started to come back saying they were leaking. We luckily did not have to give anybody their money back, or a free tornado bottle. All we had to do was tighten them, then they were good as new. In the end we took in $167.75. Our business was a success.


Meet Emily, maker of arm knit scarves

My TREP$ experience was one to remember. I got the idea from my mom because I was having trouble figuring out what I should do so my mom suggested the infinity scarf. My mom's work buddy came over to show me how to make them and that's how all of this really started.


The fun part was making the scarves. I could make them while I was watching TV.  The most challenging part was buying yarn at the right price. Mom and I shopped around at some different places to find good deals on yarn.  


The first 10 minutes at the marketplace were pretty slow but I had to remember people were still looking. Then people started to come over. I sold more than just Infinity scarves, I sold fuzzy head bands that I also made.  I had many customers. Even though my product was kind of expensive, I sold almost all of my scarves. Then people stopped coming. So I lowered my prices and that did work for a while. After business started to get slow again I took all my things and walked around and made some pretty good sales.  


My mom counted my money and I had 123 dollars and made a profit of 51 dollars. The funny thing is that even after TREP$ I'm still selling stuff. I had two people after TREP$ want to buy two infinity scarves.  I ended up selling all of the scarves I made for TREP$. My total profit ended up being $81.00 after expenses were paid.


I am continuing to make the infinity scarves to order. I have two more scarves to make so far.

I suggest this idea to anybody who likes crafts and wants to make a lot of money. This idea definitely worked for me. I was very pleased with my results. My product was so good that the teachers in my school want to buy them. I not only had fun doing this, I made a lot of money, too!


Meet Maya and Sydney, of MS Jewels

Our names are Maya and Sydney and we are 5th graders at Helen Morgan School in Sparta, New Jersey. We heard about the TREP$ after school program and knew from the start we wanted to be partners. We found the idea for our TREP$ product in a book called Toolbox Jewelry. This book described how to make jewelry using common hardware items. Since one of our fathers owns the hardware store in town, it was a huge advantage. It seemed to be the perfect match. MS Jewels had begun.


We looked through the book and picked out the jewelry we wanted to make. We wanted to have a nice variety of necklaces, bracelets and earrings. First, we decided how many pieces we would make and how many of each. We wanted to make eight styles and six of each style. After we counted what supplies we were going to need, we placed the order. Finally the order came and we were on our way to making the jewelry.


Both of us were challenged while making the jewelry. As we made the different pieces, some weren't coming out the way we wanted. A lot of the problems were resolved after trying them again. Others we decided not to make any more of and chose to do different sizes of the pieces we were happy with.


We had the most fun at the marketplace because all of the hard work paid off in the end. It was exciting to see people's faces when they walked up to our table and how happy they were with their purchases. In the end, we made a total of 53 pieces of jewelry and sold 48. Our profit was $175.



Meet Tyler, maker of milk carton wallets

My name is Tyler. I'm 10 years old and in fourth grade at JFK Elementary School, in Wayne, NJ. My products were wallets and bracelets made from milk cartons. I came up with the idea in second grade. I had to come up with a project for Earth Day that was made from recycled materials. My mom and I searched Google for ideas for recycled crafts and we found the wallet idea. Everyone in my class thought it was a great idea and really cool. I then knew this was what I wanted to do in two years for TREP$. For the next two years, me and my family collected the milk cartons and stored them. My mom saw the bracelets at a store and told me about them. I liked the idea because it was also made from milk cartons.


My favorite part of the process of making my products was cutting and putting on the duct tape with my mom. A few of the challenges I faced were the process of making the wallets and bracelets took a lot of time and using the duct tape was sometimes difficult because the tape was so sticky.


The poster I had on display at my TREP$ table had information about the wallets and bracelets such as the cost, what they were made of and color choices for special orders. I made a form for people to fill out in case I didn't have the design and color they wanted. I priced the wallets at $3 each and bracelets at $2 each. The wallets sold well, but the bracelets weren't such a big hit. I may not sell the bracelets again next year and focus all my time on the wallets.


When people came up to me at the TREP$ Marketplace, everyone commented on my products. People thought my product was great. It made me feel very successful. All the time I spent making them was worth it. I made 29 wallets to sell at the Marketplace and sold 28 of them there. I also took special orders for 12 wallets that I made and delivered the week after. I plan to continue with my business in fifth grade and middle school TREP$. I would also make wallets for anyone who asked at any time.