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Students learn basic lesson in economics

A lesson in economics has turned into a money-making venture for a Madison High School duo.
Elsy Rodriguez,18, and Keyli Cartajena, 17, said they never thought about starting a business until they were in Pauline Scott-Bradford’s Economics class. They were given a month-long project and decided to take it a step further.
“It’s always been just a dream to start our own business. We always thought it would be super cool to do so. We have lots of YouTube bloggers and Instagram girls that do these things and we always looked up to their businesses,” Rodriguez said. “It’s amazing the project led to this.”
It all actually started as a joke. The friends were playing around with headphones and  wrapping them around each other’s neck making them seem like they were chokers. They agreed the headphones looked fashionable. That’s when Rodriguez came up with the idea that they should actually make their own chokers and start a business selling them.
“My best friend and I are always on the top trends and ever since chokers became a thing, we love them,” Catajena said.
They encountered difficulties with the sizing of the neck and what tools to use to actually make the chokers. The utilities to make the chokers weren’t that hard to purchase. They both put their share into the business. Rodriguez had money from her job and Catajena’s mother put up the rest.
“We received a lot of positive feedback from family, friends and total strangers. We love our customers. They are our biggest supporters, Rodriguez said.
According to the teens, they have customers of all ages, in Houston and outside of Texas.
Because of the enormous amount of sales, the teens are working on a website so that the customer’s demands can be met.
“Our goal is to become a full-blown company like Forever 21, H&M or maybe at least get as good as Fashion Nova,” Rodriguez said with a smile.
What makes them different from other businesses? It’s the originality, the designs and the shapes, the teens claim.
“I love purchasing from K&E Original Chokers because they are so unique and are very high quality and very affordable,” customer Sandra Escobar said. “I purchase chokers very often for myself but they are also good for gifts. My best friend just had a birthday and there wasn’t a better gift than a choker from K&E Original Chokers.”
Catajena and Rodriguez said they take pride in owning their business.
“Owning our business is a good feeling. It not only makes it feel like a huge accomplishment but it also makes us feel independent and we have so much fun producing our products,” Catajena said. “We also love the fact people enjoy our taste in fashion as much as we do. It’s just a great feeling! It’s indescribable!”
Rodriguez said they only make three of the same chokers, unless there is a big demand.
Even though there has not been a huge profit yet, the teens celebrate the fact they were able to pay off thei senior fees, caps and gown.
The best friends admit the business allows them to spend time together and have fun while designing chokers.
“I think this would totally be a risk worth taking for many reasons – mainly because we  believe in the saying good things happen unexpectedly; and this was something that we both never thought would come true. We always saw it as an impossible dream coming true,” Rodriguez said.
The seniors plan to continue the business when they go to college.

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