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Big Sky market showcases student businesses in Billings

High school pop up market.PNG
Posted at 5:48 PM, May 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-15 11:54:31-04

BILLINGS — Saturday was a crash course in business savviness for Billings high-schoolers as they set up shop to showcase a semester worth of hard work and promote their small businesses at the Billings public school Big Sky market.

"The whole goal of this is to plant the seed that at a young age, if you want to do it, you can be entrepreneurial. It’s not just that you need money to start a business, you have to have an entrepreneurial mindset," said James Easton, workforce strategist for the Montana chamber foundation on Saturday.

Some students sold clothes, a few sold jewelry and some even sold collectibles.

And others focused their business to highlight Mother’s Day.

"A lot of moms like candles and like things that look fun. And they look cool, so I think there was a huge market for it," said Skyview high and career center Junior, Perrin Chavez on Saturday.

"I’m selling chocolate covered strawberries because every mother loves chocolate covered strawberries unless you don’t like chocolate. It was just an idea that came to me in class," added Skyview high and career center Junior, Anna Walsh on Saturday.

Chavez, Walsh and every participating student were thrilled with every sale they made.

But just like the unpredictability of the weather, not everything went to plan, however, that was always part of Saturday’s mission.

"Its differentiated for every kid so every kid gets to do what they want. They get to learn what they’re good at, they get to learn what they’re bad at... The joy is it is real and sometimes things don’t go great and that’s ok. This is a safe space for that and seeing kids be able to grow and learn from others is super cool," added Easton.

Overall, it was the real-life experience that mattered most.

"We’ve been working on this for quite a while now and we all worked super hard to get our ideas and we had to learn a lot of stuff. So, it gives us a little look into the business world to see what we want to do in the future," added Walsh.

"It means a lot because it lets me get my name out there and gets me learning and understanding what it’s like to run a business. I think it’s a great opportunity for high schoolers to learn how all of this works and learn how to set up their own business and to get out there and actually sell," Chavez added.