Business-minded teenagers, who have started a company selling handmade wooden crafts, are pining for success in the national Young Enterprise contest.
The team from Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls is hoping their venture, Timber, will prove a hit over the festive period thanks to personalised Christmas decorations and gifts.
With all 15 girls in the company taking on different roles, the scheme gives them hands-on, real-life experience of what it’s like to run a business.
‘I thought Young Enterprise would be something fun and different to get involved with. It gives you the freedom to do what you want,’ says Nia Thomas, Timber’s director of PR. ‘Starting a company teaches you how to work well as a team; you have to listen to other people. If you are set on your own idea it’s important to hear other people’s opinions because they might point out flaws you didn’t see. You need that kind of resilience in the real world.
‘Young Enterprise is a competition and we are all really motivated and driven to win.’
The unique upcycled gifts, including keyrings and notepads, are made in HMSG’s DT room by team-member Abbie Walker. They are priced between £2 and £4 and most items can be personalised.
A Facebook page has been set up by the girls to promote Timber, along with an Instagram account and website. They plan to sell the products at school, in Monmouth’s market and at upcoming craft fairs.
The girls have also been tuning in to The Apprentice on BBC 1 to watch the hopeful entrepreneurs try to impress Lord Sugar – but not for the reasons you might think.
‘Watching The Apprentice teaches us how not to run a business – the contestants don’t work well together at all’, says Bea Wolf, Timber’s director of marketing. ‘I think we stand a chance of winning because we work really well together, we all listen to each other. You can be quite biased towards your own ideas, and it’s important to take criticism well – none of us take it to heart.
‘I really want to run my own business in the future. My family had a German gardening company and I want to open department stores.’
Nia added: ‘This is great because I’m working with people I’ve never worked with before and combining all of our ideas has helped us come up with something we couldn’t have done alone.’
To find out more about Timber, visit timberye.co.uk
For more information about Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls, visit habs-monmouth.org