It’s Wildcat business: Students manage own business

Alexis Harris, Staff Writer

     They are no longer just high school students. They are college-bound students. They are adulthood-bound students. They are in the final stage of preparation for a life outside of high school.

According to the Institute of Education Sciences in 2010, the greatest number of degrees earned in America are those in business, making up 20 percent of degrees earned overall. In high school, classes like DECA, Dollars and Sense and Business Marketing give students some business education. But others learn from actually starting companies.

The Wildcat Wear Twitter is used by students to order new spirit wear. Students can see the new designs via tweets, then use attached links to order the clothing items. Wildcat Wear has a partnership with a company that works with college sororities and fraternities to create T-shirt designs. After the designs are purchased through the company’s website, the merchandise is sent to seniors Binna Kim, Meredith McNeil and Erin Ball for distribution to Plano. They started Wildcat Wear this year from an idea brought up in English class last year.

“Binna and I were talking about how there wasn’t a very wide variety of spirit wear here,” McNeil said. “We were comparing us to the other schools in the district and noticed that they had better spirit wear than us. We came up with the idea to create our own ideas that we would like to buy and that would be designed by the students.”

The spirit wear that can be purchased at football games and at the beginning of the year at booths is sponsored by PTA parents. Creating a line of spirit wear by students is a new concept, and the founders of Wildcat Wear hope to make a tradition out of it. They want to pass it down to a group of girls who will be seniors next year.

“We don’t get any of the profits,” McNeil said. “The company that makes them comes up with a price for us with their own profit included. We are just the go-between people.”

Kim, McNeil and Ball began working over the summer on designs for the year. So far, each of their three designs has had over 150 orders. The idea has spread to other Plano schools; Plano West has begun their own student designed spirit wear as well.

“It has definitely been a fun experience so far and now Wildcat Wear is like ‘our baby’,” Ball said. “Working with the girls has made us a lot better friends, and has let me see how funny and creative they both are in their own way.”

The idea behind Senior Mahir Modgil’s business was also to produce clothing for his peers. Modgil owns a nationwide business Custom Elites, a website where people can order customized Nike Elite socks.

“I got the idea from playing basketball,” Modgil said. “Everyone wanted cool socks so I tried to figure out how I could do it. Once I did a lot of people wanted them.”

The business started in December 2011, but Modgil said its success kicked off in the summer of 2012. Initially, Modgil was selling through Plano, but then he created the website where the business grew. Each pair of socks is about $35, and he checks orders every day. The designs are created online, then printed and heat-pressed onto the socks. A company in California produces them for him after he sends the designs. He sold 10,000 pairs over the summer, and made a profit of about $25,000 in the three months of summer.

Modgil, Kim, McNeil, and Ball share a common ground with their businesses: they have proof of their work.  Their efforts have a materialistic value they all recognize.

“It was hard work brainstorming ideas and supervising the projects from start to finish,” Ball said. “There’s a level of pride you have in something you create, especially when it’s for your school.”