By: NetWork Kansas
Jade Artzer has been competing in the YEC Series with her business, Made by Jade, since the 2013-2014 academic year. Each year Jade has been able to show improvements and growth in her business. This past season, in April 2017, Jade took second place and won $2,500 at the YEC State Championship at Fort Hays State University. Below she talks about the impact this program has had on her as an entrepreneur.
Q: Describe your business and how it's grown since participating in the YEC Series.
A: "Made by Jade is a quick bread business, savory and sweet. This business began with a 12-year-old child, and packaging that reflected that, and has grown into a more mature 16-year-old and professional packaging. Along the way, I have created numerous flavors, keeping some and discontinuing those that didn't work. Made by Jade has ten flavors, repeat customers, expanded marketing opportunities, and the addition of a silent partner."
Q: What were your key takeaways from participating?
A: "I have had the greatest of opportunities, by learning and growing with my business. I have become mature beyond my years because of becoming a business owner at such a young age. Made by Jade provided ample good fortune to meet professionals that gave me a hand up and treated me as a business owner, teaching me how to improve both myself and my business.
The experiences I have received from past competitions have grown Made by Jade in an enormous way. I went from selling my product at craft fairs to moving it into stores. I also have received amazing opportunities to speak in front of groups of students and adults! My best key takeaway is the experience and friendships, I have formed. These experiences have taken me much further, not only in the business world but outside of it. Experience is the one thing that many people don't get very often, I feel very blessed to be one of the few students competing at competitive levels and meeting outstanding people from around Kansas."
Q: What are your plans to grow your business in the future?
A: "Made by Jade has major future plans. We are in the process of revamping our product to curb shipping costs and achieve a larger market. I am excited to see where this journey is going to take me."
You can view the Made by Jade website at www.madebyjadeks.com.