Lip balm project teaches business principles

Staff writer

The last hour of the day is a busy one for nine members of Lisa Beye’s marketing class at Centre High School. After spending nine weeks developing a business plan, they now create lip balm for sale.

Members are divided into two groups: Da Balm and Calm Balm. Da Balm members are Carissa Shields, Abigail Svoboda, Kristin Vinduska, Adam Makovec, and James Mercer. Calm Balm members are Ally Basore, Brenna Shields, Stephanie Lewis of Peabody-Burns High School, and Marie Miklus.

The two teams are competing for sales with teams from around the state, including three in Marion, two in Herington, and one in Hillsboro.

Each team developed its own plan, secured funding, and set up a website. Calm Balm is offered in five flavors and Da Balm in seven.

They conduct business during their seventh-hour class, each team member doing a specific task. On Friday, Carissa Shields, general manager of Da Balm, was calculating the number and type of labels needed for the next week. Vinduska, financial manager, was keeping track of sales receipts, and Mercer and Makovec were producing the product. Basore and Shields were applying labels.

Makovec said the experience is helping students be involved in the community and showing them all the aspects of running a business. He said it requires a lot of work, and he wasn’t sure if he would want to make a living running a business.

Ally Basore is general manager of Calm Balm.

“I’ve learned a lot about time management,” she said. “I’ve had some rude awakening about how important it is.”

She said she has had to learn just how much time it takes to do individual tasks such as designing and printing labels.

Makovec and Mercer are responsible for producing Da Balm lip balm. Basore and Brenna Shields produce Calm Balm. Working in the science room kitchen, they mix melted bees wax with essential oils and flavoring, then fill tubes and apply labels.

Each team sells a “flavor of the month,” as well as seasonal flavors.

“I’m proud of the way this group talks to people in the community to drum up business,” Beye said.

The lip balm is popular with businesses because each tube can be labeled with the company name, Basore said. Businesses buy it in bulk to give to employees or to customers who visit their booths at trade shows.

In addition to websites, the product is marketed through Facebook and other social media. It is offered during school functions and sells for $1.50 a tube.

According to Carissa Shields, both teams have been successful in competing for sales within the Centre community.

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