Charming to Success

Mar 27, 2023

Head of Leadership Vinneccy (left), and volunteers Alysssa Toro and Romeo Puente (center) pose the four different charm designs created to sell. (Aaron Rojas)

As Ms. Brown aimed to give her AOF students a practical understanding of business operations, she enrolled in her first challenge in the JA Company Program. Through this program, students can gain hands-on experience in running a business while developing important teamwork abilities. In addition to managing a virtual stock portfolio, participants have the chance to compete against other schools throughout Florida and on a national level.

“I decided to do the Junior Achievement Company Program for my second period since I wanted to give ‘more meat to them’. After consulting with teachers who have previously worked with Junior Achievement, such as Mr. Paz who had participated in the [JA] Stock Challenge, I was convinced that my students were prepared for the challenge,” Ms. Brown said.

Preparing for Gables’ first-ever Cavalier Croc Charms on March 3, AOF Lead Teacher Mr. Ball-llovera congratulates Mrs. Brown and her commitment to the upcoming JA Company Program. (Aaron Rojas)

Uniting the student body and allowing the inclusion of Gables’ spiritedness in the form of small accessories, the Charm Department was created. The corporation aims to adopt the ever-changing needs of customers by refining the charm products and utilizing all hands from inventory.

“We accommodate our customers by creating charms that are generalized and could be purchased and worn by anyone, regardless of status, whether that is a student, teacher, or an old alumnus. Getting feedback from our audience has helped us amplify our sales and expand our catalog of charms,” sophomore Nathalie Diez said.

Within the corporate structure, 21 students are investors with a $15 per stock share, and there are six captains overseeing different aspects of the corporation. These sophomore captains include Eros Vinneccy, who leads the leadership team, Anahi Montano-Abarca taking responsibility for Head of Marketing, Lia Samper who is Head of Sales, Diez is tasked with managing production, Jeser Rubioperdomo is in charge of finance and Pozo, the founder and Chief Executive Officer.

Celebrating AOF Academy Day on March 17, the Charm Dept. representatives along with Gables’ AOF counselor, Ms. Bergouignan, sold in the gymnasium as students walked to booths. (Matthew Castano)

“I wanted to join this corporation because I saw a big opportunity to expand my name past the school itself. I wanted to help create a business with our class. When Ms. Brown told us we were going to compete in a Junior Achievement challenge, I wanted to become more involved in the corporation than just an investor,” Vinneccy said.

Starting their business back on Nov. 4, the Charm Dept. mapped out their sales strategy and designed their charms. In order to turn their idea into a tangible product, Ms. Brown helped the team partner a collaboration with Ms. Garcia, a technology design teacher who had access to a 3-D printer. Printing out six charms every 30 minutes, the Charm Dept. was able to bring their concept to life and create the first Croc charm, featuring a CG logo.

“For the second charm design, we got the picture of the school’s logo, and we traced out each individual piece on the computer. After that, we used our 3-D program which raises and lowers the charms like walls. Once we set up the elevation, we do each individual section and move it around until we have it at the proper depth, thickness, and cut into each other,” senior Angel Cabrera said.

Gaining popular throughout Gables, the Cavalier-style charms are a new set of school-spiritedness. (Aaron Rojas)

Currently placed in the 9000 building, to expand their customer base, the Charm Dept. has established their ‘brick-and-mortar’ sales location where customers can use credit cards or Apple Pay to purchase their products for $3.

Additionally, the Charm Dept. plans to launch another sales outlet before the 2000 building and pitch sales presentations in classrooms. Students scrolling through their phones may encounter promotional advertisements and one-on-one interviews on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, under the handle, @charmdept and through their online store.

“The ideas I currently have are boosting sales on social media since that is where most of our target audience is. We have also been doing sales pitches in classrooms such as Ms. Chase, Ms. Jackson and Mr. Reisert which are basically giving the students at Gables a little information on our business, why they should buy our product and how it would raise more school spirit,” Montano-Abarca said.

Moreover, on March 24, the Charm Dept. placed ‘Top 10′ in representing Greater Miami nationally. Continuing further in the 2023 JA Company Program Competition, the Charm Dept. has to submit a 1-minute commercial video before April 12, where they showcase the benefits of their product and meet customers’ needs.

“I did not know what to expect from the competition. I saw the company as just a class project and the competition as just another class assignment. I was pleasantly surprised and gratified by the news due to all the hard work the company and its people have put into the project,” Samper said.

Continuing the second half of events for Senior Spirit Week, on April 5, seniors came over to the auditorium to promote the Croc Charms sale. (Matthew Castano)

With their innovative approach to business, the corporation will continue to sell the Croc Charms through the rest of March and liquidate their business on April 14, completing the JA challenge. After calculating their profits, the Charm Dept. will donate 10% of their earnings to the Mexican American Council, a nonprofit organization based on improving the quality of Hispanic farmworker families in South Florida.

As CEO and founder, the key to running a successful business is having solid communication lines and allowing for the free-flow exchange of ideas

— Daniel Pozo

“We absolutely think that if someone finds inspiration in students starting their own business, they should definitely do so. It is a great learning opportunity, and can create great relationships and establish a good foundation in terms of networking,” Rubioperdomo said.

Inspiring their fellow class to pursue their own creative ideas, the corporation’s success is a testament to the determination of what can be achieved when a group of passionate individuals comes together to pursue a common goal.

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About the Photographers
Photo of Aaron Rojas
Aaron Rojas, CavsConnect Features Editor

Entering his third year in CavsConnect, Aaron Rojas is the newest editor on the team for Features. As he enters the ranks of rising juniors in the International...

Photo of Matthew Castano
Matthew Castano, CavsTV Staff

Meet Matthew Castano, a talented junior in high school who serves on the boards of FEA, FBLA, and AOF. With a passion for videography and photography,...

Photo of Gaby Blanco
Gaby Blanco, CavsTV Photography Editor

Gaby Blanco is a senior in the DEH academy at Gables. Being Gaby’s third year as the photography editor of CavsTV, she hopes to round off her year by...

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