If you walk into the front office of Page High School you will notice a store display showing off vinyl-stickers with the state of Tennessee and the word home on them.
While the products on the stand look like something you might find online produced on an assembly line for a well-established business, they are actually products built, designed and marketed by students in the PHS transition and occupational diploma programs and their self-built business Forever StickyZ.
Forever StickyZ is a vinyl sticker company and the brainchild of six transition and occupational diploma program students and their teacher Levi Griego.
Griego said he brought one of his cups to class one day that had a sticker on it and it sparked his students’ curiosity.
“So I brought my machine in and we played around with it for a couple days and they really liked it,” he said. “Then they started researching costs of producing stickers and we determined that it’s an extremely profitable business.”
The students then put together a business plan and presented it to PHS Principal Dr. Shane Pantall, who not only approved it, but donated the first $100 to get them on their way.
From there, Forever StickyZ has turned into a full-functioning business that sets up at all PHS events, sold items at this year’s Partners in Education Conference and even takes custom orders.
And the money goes right back into the program to help purchase things like more vinyl, cooking supplies for the transition class or even t-shirts for this year’s Special Olympics athletes.
Some students love the team-centered, hands-on work that Forever StickyZ requires.
“I like that it’s a team-built business and it’s hands-on,” said senior Josh Martin. “You learn from experience, and if you mess up, it teaches you what to do next time.”
Others enjoy the technical side.
“I really like helping with the machines,” said freshman Claire Nehrenz.
While the class provides a fun outlet for the students’ creativity, it also teaches them several skills in the process.
“Students are learning things like fine-motor skills, teamwork skills and how to complete a job on time,” Griego said. “Once we are outside selling, they have to deal with money, communicate with customers, manage inventory and run a budget.”
The business has been growing all year, but they have plans to take it even further next year with the idea to start making and selling logo stickers to local businesses.
“We want to move past doing custom work and start doing business logos by teaming up with some local businesses that might want stickers that they can sell or hand out to their customers,” Griego said. “Advertising is our big issue. It’s hard to get it out there so everyone knows what we do.”
The students are showing off their versatility with their current project of making framed family tree stickers for Mother’s Day.
Anyone interested in a vinyl sticker of their own can contact Griego.