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Laser-cut acrylic jewellery (making+selling)

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A group of students at our school decided to take part in an extracurricular activity, in which we were to effectively set up and run a business.
This activity is run in the UK by Young Enterprise,  the UK's largest business and enterprise education charity.

Learning Objective: Observe the practices used in small, start-up businesses, through the active involvement, and day-to-day running of a small, start-up business.

We first set about coming up with a name, and after a significant amount of thought, named ourselves 'Alpha Innovations' and designed our logo (see above).

There were certain guidelines provided by Young Enterprise in which to adhere to, including the prohibition of processing online payments (stopping us from selling on ebay etc.).
 
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Step 1: Idea formulation

The process of selecting a product/service to base our business upon required a significant amount of thought. We originally decided upon the personalisation of 'twister' memory sitcks using 'cermark' (or the cheaper 'dry moly' method), however, initial market reasearch proved that this idea was not as lucrative as we expected.

Suggestions were made to produce an arduino-based electronic product, however, this too, was not exeptionally lucrative (mainly due to the amount of time involved).

That left us to consider our options, the product had to be relatively simple, and make use of equipment that we had acess to...

Our school's laser cutter proved to be one of the most useful pieces of equipment available to us, so why not make use of it's computer-controlled precision cutting power?

That is exactly what we did, deciding to produce a range of laser-cut acrylic jewelery, which could be made almost entirely by us.
wilgubeast2 years ago
What a cool program! Man, that sure beats doing these sorts of projects solely for in-class or in-school sales. We tried something similar (albeit far less ambitious) with our middle school students. I'd love to see some more projects like this. Perhaps those MDF stands as there are many Instructables authors who also show and sell their projects.
Fab work! Looks like you guys have been very productive - hope it's profitable for you too!
fatboy106 (author)  lucylollipop2 years ago
Thanks, we've made a decent profit so far, but we still have lots more stock to sell!
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