By Renee Larr
Westfield resident and small business owner Marilyn Bullock turned to students at Westfield High School for help marketing her business, Eight of Hearts. She creates custom-made care packages.
“It’s an online business I started here in my home. I had kids in college, and I felt called to do the care package thing on a bigger scale,” Bullock said. “I’ve shipped to 16 different states so far. I’ve been trying to get involved with fundraisers and different community programs.”
Two of her high school-aged children took an entrepreneurship class, and Bullock thought she would reach out to the teacher, Matt Comer.
“I contacted this teacher and he was very excited. It was kind of a partnership between myself and the classroom,” Bullock said. “Not only is it helping my business, but it’s giving hands-on experience to these kids, learning about cost, profit margin, marketing. Mr. Comer thought it was a great idea.”
Students had to research Bullock’s business, determine the types of items they wanted to include in their gift boxes, determine a target audience and set a price. Bullock then included the boxes the students created on her website. She also made it a fun competition with a cause by donating to the winning team’s charity of choice.
“I had each team fill out a form, and one of the questions was who would be your charity of choice. They’re the ones who came up with Riley,” she said. “What was really amazing is that Mr. Comer was teaching about community support for a business. He said it went perfectly with what he was trying to teach them.”
Bullock and Comer said they hope to continue the partnership for future students.
“I think the students will have more of a vested interest if they can build up to make this a bigger project for them. I would love my kids to have an experience like this. I think you learn so much more with hands-on experience,” Bullock said.
For more, visit eightofheartsgifts.com.