With inability to sell, Young Entrepreneur Fair gets ‘creative’
Updated 12:58 pm, Tuesday, August 29, 2017
NEW CANAAN — Despite a recent ruling banning commercial activity in the downtown Pop Up Park, organizers of the Young Entrepreneur Fair said the event was a success.
Keremena Doest, an organizer of the second annual fair held Aug. 27, said she originally planned for the participants — from elementary-school age to high-school age children — to sell their products from booths located within the Pop Up Park at the corner of Elm Street and South Avenue.
However, when the Police Commission met at their July meeting to discuss whether commercial activities should be allowed — commissioners said they had not been made aware of the Young Entrepreneur Fair and no organizers or Chamber members had been invited — they voted no, forcing Doust and others to rethink the setup.
“We encouraged kids to start working no an email list, that way they can follow up later for possible sales. And we encouraged kids to swap items with each other and become each other’s supporters,” Doust said.
Participants could exchange “Happy to Swap” cards with their fellow entrepreneurs to exchange goods. According to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, many participants also created business cards to give to potential customers with whom they could follow up at a later date.
“Because they weren’t able to sell anything per the Police Commission, they had to get creative as to how to get their products promoted.,” Murphy said.
Doust said she plans on readdressing the Pop Up Park with the Police Commission in the hopes of returning to its original model, in which the kids set up booths and sell from the park.
“I think we’ll collect feedback from the participants this year and reach out,” Doust said.
Among the items created by participants are New Canaanopoly, jewelry, moisturizers, dog pillows, pencils, stationery and greeting cards, Doust said.
Each of the Young Entrepreneurs received gift cards to local merchants.
“It was so awesome. These kids were the real deal. Young Entrepreneurs is an understatement. Their products and presentations were so creative and clever,” Murphy said.