LAKE TWP.  It’s been a busy school year especially for seniors in the Lake Local’s Marketing and Business Management program. They have established their real-life companies and have been marketing and selling their products throughout the school year. The program is a career tech program with multi-year experiences for students starting in their sophomore year.

Students in the program spend the first year studying digital marketing. The second year they take business administration in the fall and computer applications for professionals in the spring, and can earn college credits through Stark State College. 

Their senior year is when they apply all the theory they have learned in the first two years by establishing a small company, assigning officers to manage the company, developing a product based on market research and then selling the products to the general population.

“The students study strategic entrepreneurship, principles of management their senior year in addition to building and running a company,” said Aja Tompot, who teaches the program. “They create the companies with the help of Junior Achievement and work on building and managing the companies two periods a day throughout their senior year.”

Tompot added that the students, like any entrepreneur and small business owner, spend a lot of time out of class working with the company to make it successful.

“Students really get a good sense of what it’s like to run a business. We had one company that overdrew their checking account and had to call the bank to straighten it all out. It can also be challenging when the students in a company don’t get along,” Tompot said.

There are three companies this year. Each company assigns the positions of CEO (chief executive officer), CFO (chief financial officer), CTO (chief technology officer), chief of marketing, production and supply chain manager and sales manager. Below are the companies with the officers listed and product details.

S.O.L.E.Solutions

This company is selling reusable products that replace everyday plastic products. The first product they have been selling is reusable silicone straws. The straws are multicolored and come in one size. The straws are sold in a pack of six with two cleaners.

Leadership includes: Sam Oplinger, CEO; Lauren McMillin, Productions Manager; Hannah McMillin, CFO; Carley Gillespie, Marketing/Social Media; Matthew Myers, CTO; Haleigh Batchik, Sales Manager.

“We decided to do reusable products because we wanted to do something to help the planet and we thought that this was a good first step to help solve one of the biggest problems in today’s world, plastic waste,” wrote Carley Gillespie in an email. “The product cost us $3.48 to make per xix pack and we are selling it for $10.”

Gillespie wrote that the group has enjoyed the process a lot and they are selling above the set goals which gives each member a sense of satisfaction.

“We really like being able to mimic a real-life business and to do all the parts that it takes to run it. It’s a lot of fun seeing what it is like to run a real-life business so young,” Gillespie wrote.

Each group donates a portion of the profits to a charity and S.O.L.E.Solutions selected to donate to the environmental club at Lake High School because it wanted the donations to benefit something local and to benefit something that the community would care about. The environmental club is planning to use the funds for a garden it will be building towards the end of the year.

As of December, it has sold 170 packs of straws for $1,472. it has sold the product to family, friends and individuals, as well the Lake Primary and Lake Elementary School’s Secret Santa shops where it sold close to $340 worth of straws in individual, doubles and triples with one cleaner.

For more details, visit www.solesolutionsja.com or find it on Instagram @sole.solutions and Facebook @solesolutions.JA. Email the company at solesolutions.ja@gmail.com.

Aroma Wellness

This is a corporate wellness business that provides its customers a solution to manage stress in their workplace. It is selling essential oils in a starter kit that includes three 100 percent pure essential oils, a premium diffuser and replacement oil pads. The natural oils can help solve problems such as tiredness, irritability and stress with the different scents.

Officers include Jacob Tarter, CEO; Katie Slider, CFO; Bryce Lakins, CTO; Jeff Yoder, marketing director; and Chloe Molica is the sales manager.

“We agreed as a team that one of the major problems in high school, especially with seniors, was stress and anxiety,” said Yoder. “It’s also a big issue in our society. We looked at several products for stress relievers such as stress balls and exercise. We landed on the essential oils because some in our group had experience with using the oils. Our CEO has used them in his everyday life, so we took what he knew and did more research and developed the product.”

Its marketing slogan is “Conquer Your Day and Feel the Aroma.” The company buys the oils in bulk and puts them together in a boxed kit. It targets small businesses for sales. There are three essential oils in each kit including Refresh Frankincense, Wakey, Wakey Peppermint and Counting Sheep lavender. Their cost for the product is $25 and is sold boxed for $45.

“It’s been a great experience so far. We’ve had some ups and downs with determining the way to market the product. We did participate in two Shark Tanks and didn’t get an investment the first time but did get a $1,000 investment the second time around,” Yoder said.

The company had 25 presales in December and would like to sell 25 kits a month through the end of the school year. Find out more about Aroma Wellness on Facebook, Instagram at @aroma.wellness and at www.aromawellness.shop.

It is donating a portion of their profits to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to help stop teen suicides. Yoder said the group selected the Suicide Prevention Lifeline because the company is selling a product that relieves stress and anxiety and thought it was a good fit.

Co.nnected Social Media Management

Co.nnectd Social Media Management is a company that manages business social media accounts. The company helps other companies increase their followers and engagement on different social media platforms. Its target market is businesses who have limited experience or minimal free time.

The company leadership team includes: Alex Burkett, CEO; Zach Minor, CFO; Logan Woods, CTO; Tanner Vancamp, Director of Sales; and Mac West, Director of Marketing. 

“After strategically looking at problems in our local community, we realized that many businesses wanted to use social media, however, they had a lack of time or knowledge on the subject,” Burkett said in an email “Our goal is to solve this problem by providing small businesses with an affordable high-quality service at a fraction of our competitors. Our service cost us $150 per client each month. We spend 15 hours each month creating content and understanding the business. We pay ourselves $10 per hour for the 15 hours of labor. “

The company charges customers $250 per month for Facebook Marketing, Instagram Marketing, and $25 worth of free social media advertising. Right now, Co.nnected is offering a six-month contract for only $1,000.

“As we have grown as company, we have also learned a lot about the sales process, teamwork, and working with customers. Our social media knowledge and business skills have continued to improve every day. We are excited to continue learning and growing as we move forward,” Burkett wrote. 

Co.nnected decided to donate to Stomp Out Bullying. The vision is to connect businesses that target young children to local schools through the nonprofit organization Stomp Out Bullying. It is creating real-world action that will affect more than 1,000 students through in school education and presentation which Burkett and his leadership team feels resonates with families, teenagers and business owners.

“Our company is the bridge that connects local community business leaders and schools through the education and awareness of cyberbullying,” wrote Burkett.

The team has set a goal to acquire 10 six-month contracts. To-date, the company has sold $1,750 worth of services. It is working with Akron NeuroFeedback and Enfusen Corp.

“At Co.nnected, we strive to provide the highest quality content at an affordable price. Visit our website and social media pages for more information,” Burkett wrote. 

Contact or follow the company via their website at www.connectedlhs.com, on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/connected.lhs/ or on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/Connected-323123545164562/?ref=br_rs.